Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 2, No. 6 Page 14 June 2000

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Bible Authority

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 steps.”

Still True

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 Bible.

God Speaks To
Us Through Christ

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).

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.

Delegated Authority

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.

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