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Questions About Bible Authority (Part 2)

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Radio transcript for the week of February 28, 2016

Todd Clippard preaches on "Questions About Bible Authority (Part 2)" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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Today we conclude a two part series on the topic, "Questions About Bible Authority". Tragically, most professed Bible believers have no concept of Bible Authority. Whenever some course of action or teaching is pursued, the question is not asked, "Does the Bible permit this?", but rather, "Will this help us grow in number, finances, visibility in the community?", etc.

To speak of Bible authority is to speak in another language, one never studied nor understood. This subject is too important to overlook or ignore!

What do we mean by "Authority"?

  1. "The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience." - Oxford Dictionary
  2. "The power to control or demand obedience from others" - Cambridge Dictionary
  3. "The right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another." - Oxford Dictionary

What or Who Is the Source of Authority for:

  1. Life? Daniel 5:23 - "God holds your breath in His hand."; Acts 17:25 - God "Gives to all life, breath and all things."
  2. Government? Daniel 4:25 - "The Most High rules in the kingdoms of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses." ; Romans 13:1 - "There is no authority except from God."; John 19:10-11 - "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given to you from above."

What Do We Mean When We Say Bible Authority?
Quote from David Lipscomb, Gospel Advocate (1873) - "Our worship to God is regulated by laws of God. We have no knowledge of what is well-pleasing to God in worship save as God has revealed it to us. The New Testament is at once the rule and limit of our faith and our worship to God. This is the distinctive difference between us and other religious bodies. Others accept the New Testament as their rule of faith but they do not make it the limit of their faith. We seek for things authorized, they for things not prohibited; our rule is safe, theirs is loose; ours confines us to God's appointments, their opens the worship and service of God to whatever will please men."

This principle is not confined to worship, but includes matters of salvation, church organization, Christian living - Colossians 3:17

Psalm 19:7-14 - "by them your servant is warned" (v 10); To what does “them” refer? The law, statutes, judgements, and commands of the Lord! Why would one need warning? Because of danger!

Jeremiah 10:23 - "The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps." Who has the right to introduce instrumental music in worship? To observe the Lord’s Supper at any other frequency than each Lord’s Day? To set up a clergy or denominational system? To write a creed or book of discipline? To appoint women to positions of leadership? To change God’s law on marriage or a thousand other things?

What happens to those who reject God’s authority?

  1. Adam and Eve did what God forbade them - Genesis 3
  2. Cain did not do all he had been commanded - Genesis 4
  3. Nadab and Abihu did something different - Leviticus 10
  4. So did David! - 1 Chronicles 15:13 - "We did not consult Him about the proper order" (cf 2 Samuel 6). Notice how David equates reading the word of God with consulting God! One only need to read Numbers and how to move the ark! Consulting God’s word is consulting God!
  5. Matthew 15:13


Jesus asked in Luke 6:46, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and do not do the things I say?" Hebrews 5:9 says Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

Jesus said unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God - John 3:3.

We are born again though belief in and obedience to the gospel. He who believes the gospel and is baptized shall be saved - Mark 16:15-16. We obey the gospel by:

  1. Believing in Jesus’ Deity, his death for our sins and his resurrection (John 8:24; 1 Cor 15:1-4)
  2. Repenting of our sins (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30)
  3. Confessing Christ as the Lord (Romans 10:9-10)
  4. Being baptized, that is immersed, in water to receive remission of sins (Acts 2:38)
  5. Living faithful to the Lord until the end (Matthew 10:22; Revelation 2:10)

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