Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Word of Authority

To what or whom does the Christian look as his ultimate authority?

First, authority never resides in a “what.” It always resides in someone, not something. The highest law of our land is the Constitution of the United States. We mistakenly speak of it as the final authority, but it is actually only an expression of the authority of the people.

Similarly, God, not the Bible, is the final authority for the Christian. The Bible is the primary expression of that authority, but is not the only expression. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Heb. 1:1-2). Jesus Christ’s time on earth was the other main expression of God’s authority. However, since Christ is a person, He is more than just an expression—He Himself possesses God’s authority. How do we know this? He made the worlds, and they are sustained by Him alone (John 1:1-5; Col. 1:15-20).

Unlike the Constitution, the Bible does not need amendments. God’s later revelation never contradicts His earlier revelation. God is not imperfect like people, and He does not change like people. Man’s laws can contradict themselves, but God’s revelation does not need correction.

Because God is not static, impersonal, or limited, there is nothing to prevent Him from expressing His authority to us in the future. If He does, we can be confident of several things:

• The new expression would not contradict or change God’s previous expression.
• It would not be pointless or futile.
• It would not need to be corrected later.

Even in recent history, books have surfaced which purport to be an expression from God—the Book of Mormon, for example. However, this book contradicts the Bible and has been changed many times since its first appearance two centuries ago. This contradiction and change demonstrate that the Book of Mormon is not a revelation authorized by God. Other books like God Calling and Angels on Assignment, which supposedly contain revelation from God, are also found to be false by this same test.

Christians believe that the Bible is an inerrant expression of God’s authority. We must never transfer this faith in His revelation to the writings of mere men. God is our final authority. Thus far, He has only chosen to communicate His perfect revelation in two expressions: His Word, the Bible, and His Word, the Son.

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