By Basil Overton
“O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself:
it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Jeremiah
wrote the foregoing more than 600 years before Jesus Christ was born. He
wrote it because he saw the plight and predicament of God’s people. They
were in an awful state, and Babylon’s forces were soon to come upon them
and carry them into captivity.
Jeremiah knew that the reason for the terrible condition
God’s people were in was that they did not follow the instruction God had
given them; they had ignored his Word. So, Jeremiah declared “the way of
man is not in himself,” and “it is not in man that walketh to direct his
It is still true that without divine direction man is not
capable of directing his steps, even though some teach to the contrary
in the doctrine of humanism. In order for one to live right in this world
and to live with God in eternity, he must submit to God’s authority and
direction. This authority is conveyed to us, or administered to us in the
God Speaks To
Before Christ came, God spoke through prophets in various
ways, but in these last days, or the Christian age, God speaks unto us
by his Son (Hebrews 1:1-2). God made this clear when he spoke to Peter,
James and John, and said of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am
well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5).
Us Through Christ
Just before Jesus went back to heaven to reign on God’s
throne, or to be head of his body the church, he said to his apostles,
“All power is given unto me in heaven and in
earth, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo I am with you
always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Power of the foregoing is from Greek exousia
which means authority, and is so translated in other translations.
God the Father delegated authority, or gave authority to
Jesus. Jesus delegated authority to men who spoke God’s inspired Word.
To some of these, Jesus said, “He that receiveth you, receiveth me, and
he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me” (Matthew 10:40). He stated
the same principal when he said to some, “He that heareth you, heareth
me . . .” (Luke 10:16).
This same principal is seen in a statement Paul wrote
to Christians in Ephesus. He said,
“But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be
that ye have heard him., and have been taught by him, as the truth is in
Jesus . . .” (Ephesians 4:20-21).
Ephesus was nearly a thousand miles from where Jesus lived.
The foregoing text does not indicate that Jesus himself actually taught
those in Ephesus. Obviously, it means that as those in Ephesus were taught
by Paul and/or other inspired men, they were taught by Jesus, and God was
speaking to them through Jesus Christ! The Bible has authority, and is
authorative because God directed those who wrote it.
A Bad Mistake
Many make the bad mistake in religion of following
their feelings, or what someone tells them that is really not in the Bible.
One cannot be saved by following such. He must instead follow what God
speaks to him through Jesus Christ, and that is in the New Testament.
Many years ago in a class in a Graduate School in a State
University we were studying History of Western Education. In one session
our lesson was on the influence of the Bible in Western Education. We had
a substitute teacher that time who was a lady, doctoral candidate. She
said she did not put much stock in what Peter, James, John, Matthew, etc.
wrote, but she accepted what Jesus said. I asked her if she had ever thought
about the fact that were it not for what those men wrote, she would not
know what Jesus said. She said she had not thought about that. I said,
“You think about it.” I hope she did!
One’s feelings can deceive him. He will feel good if he
does what God says for him to do in the Bible, but he will feel good if
he does what God has not said if he believes that what he has done
is all right. In the latter, his feelings will deceive him.
Feelings come as a result of what one believes. What he
believes comes by what he hears. If he hears the wrong thing and believes
it, and thinks it is the right thing, he will feel just as good as he would
feel were he to hear and believe the right thing.
Remember, man is not capable of directing himself properly
without divine direction. That direction is in the Bible. Please recognize
and accept the authority of the Bible.