Summary: In this sermon, we explore two questions: What is Biblical Authority? and How do we know that the Bible is the Word of God?
A. The story is told of a collector of rare books who ran into an acquaintance and they began to talk about books.
1. The man told the collector that he had just thrown away an old Bible that he found in a dusty, old box and he mentioned that “Guten-somebody-or-other” had printed the Bible.
2. “Not Gutenberg?” gasped the collector.
3. “Yes, I’m pretty sure that was it!”
4. “How could you be so foolish,” said the collector, “You've thrown away one of the first books ever printed. A copy like that recently sold at auction for half a million dollars!”
5. “Oh, I don't think this book would have been worth anything close to that much,” replied the man. “It was scribbled all over in the margins by some guy named Martin Luther.”
B. I’m pretty sure that is not a true story, because I don’t think anyone would be that unfamiliar with famous names like Gutenberg and Martin Luther.
1. Obviously a rare book like that has tremendous monetary value.
2. I want to declare to you today that any copy of the Bible has more value than a pile of money.
3. I believe the Bible is the Word of God, it contains the very words of life – eternal life.
4. King David, the OT Psalmist wrote: The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. (Ps. 119:72)
a. I hope that is the way you feel about the Bible!
5. Today, I want us to discuss the place and purpose of the Bible in the life of Christians and the church.
C. As you know, we are in a series called UR Church – Be the church of Christ.
1. I have been emphasizing that we are trying to be Christians only, who are a part of the New Testament church that Jesus built.
2. We began the series with the notion that Jesus promised in Matthew 16:18 that he would build his church and that the “gates of Hades would not overcome it.”
3. The inauguration of the church that Jesus built took place on the day of Pentecost, as is recorded in Acts chapter 2.
4. The church Jesus built has stood the test of time, and has overcome every attack of the evil one.
5. In every time and place, the church of Jesus has had to face the opposition of false teaching.
6. This seems to be a favorite tactic of Satan to keep the church at odds with itself, and to carry some into error.
7. I’ve tried to point out that unlike other groups and churches, our fellowship has striven to be the church of the New Testament and that alone.
8. We want to hold no other belief, nor practice any other rite than that which the NT church believed or practiced as found in the Bible.
9. For that reason we have looked to the Bible as our sole source of truth, and our only instruction from the Lord.
B. Today, I want us to explore our attitudes toward the Bible and its authority. To do so, I want to help us ask and answer two questions:
1. What is Biblical Authority?
2. How do we know that the Bible is the Word of God?
I. What is Biblical Authority?
A. If a person says that they believe that the Bible is divinely inspired and totally truthful, then they must also give it absolute authority, right?
1. Any approach to the subject of biblical authority must begin with God Himself.
2. God’s authority is based on who and what God is.
3. God is His own authority. There is nothing outside Him on which His authority is established.
4. When God made His promise to Abraham, He pledged His own name because nothing or no one was greater by whom He could swear (Hebrews 6:13).
B. Authority is the right or power to command obedience or belief.
1. God’s sovereign, universal, and eternal reign over the entire universe reveals His authority.
2. God establishes His purposes in time and does all things according to His will.
3. His providential direction over the events of history demonstrates His authority.
C. Men and women are creations of the self-revealing, eternal God.
1. Since He has created humankind, life's meaning is found in a relationship with God.
2. God exercises authority over His creation; and God’s people respond to His authority in obedience and worship.
3. Although God communicates His authority in nature and history, and through human conscience and experience, He primarily communicates His authority through the Bible.
4. Of course, God has also revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ (Jn 1:1-18; Heb 1:1-3).
D. The Bible pictures Jesus’ authority in terms of acting on behalf of God the Father.