Do Christians Obey The Bible?
Do Christians Obey The Bible?
Do believers have to obey the Bible? Is the Bible simply a source for encouragement carrying no Divine authority. Should the Bible be the authority for how the Christian believes and lives? Should the Bible be received as the voice of God to settle the issues and problems within the churches?
This argument has come to us in subtle forms. For instance, there are some who have argued that historical accuracy and inspiration do not matter because all that matters is that we have the essence of Jesus’ teachings in passages like the Sermon On The Mount. Is this true? In the very first chapter of The New Testament Documents, Are They Reliable? F.F. Bruce demonstrates that Christianity is unique among the religions of the world because it depends upon historical accuracy and a revealed text. Does it matter to Christian faith that the Bible is dependable? Can believers in Jesus not simply follow the idea and concepts that he taught without the need for historical accuracy needed for a claim to inspiration? Bruce contends that Christianity is unique among the religions of the world. It is based in a historical event (the cross) and an inspired canon (the Bible). According to the Bible itself, it should be our sole authority for faith and practice and our supreme authority in every other area of life.
The Bible Claims Divine Authority.
Phrases such as “Thus saith the Lord” “And God said” are clearly claiming Divine authority. Dr. Rene Pache writes that “…In various expressions, the Old Testament declares 3,808 times that it conveys the express words of God.” The Inspiration & Authority of Scripture, p. 81. A close reading of the following portions of Scripture easily demonstrate that believers in our God in Old Testament times recognized the authority of Scripture (2 Chronicles 34:8–28 The Book of the Law Found; Joshua 1:5–9; Ezra 9:1-9 esp. 4; Nehemiah 8:1-9; Psalms 1 & 119).
Jesus Submitted to the Bible’s Authority.
In passages like Matthew 4:1–11 where we witness the temptation of Jesus or Matthew 5:17–18 where Christ claims that he came to fulfill the Law we see a profound recognition of the authoritative role of Scripture in our Savior’s life and ministry. Other examples include Matthew 12:3; John 19:28-30; and Luke 24:44.
The Apostles Recognized the Authority of Scripture.
Repeatedly the Apostles of our Lord appeal to Scripture as the authority for life and faith. Here are just a few of the many examples 2 Peter 3:14–18; James 4:5; 1 Peter 1:15-2:3; & Galatians 3:6. The epistles would be meaningless without the backdrop of Biblical authority.
The Early Church Recognized the Authority of Scripture.
A quick reading of such passages as 1 & 2 Timothy; Titus 1:9; 2:1, 5; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 3:14; 5:27; Colossians. 4:16; & Galatians 1:8 demonstrate that to the early church Scripture was regarded as the final authority for life and faith.
Recognition and Submission to Scripture’s Authority is a Distinguishing Mark of a True Believer.
One’s attitude toward Scripture is often, in the Bible, a marker for where a person is spiritually. Believers are said to “hear Christ’s voice and follow him” and of course this is a reference to receiving the Word as from God. Here are a few more passages that show how believers have a unique submission to Scripture’s authority: Genesis 3:1; Ephesians 2:2; Psalm 2:1-3; & James 1:19 - 2).
To the believer, Scripture is as important as a baby’s need for milk. Peter says that as newborn babies strongly desire milk for physical nourishment we should develop a strong desire for the nourishing milk of God’s Word (1 Peter 2:2) and this is impossible without a hearty humility to the authority of the Bible.
Love You All In Christ,