To what or whom does the Christian look as his ultimate authority? First, authority 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 Christians. The Bible is the primary expression of God’s authority, but it 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" (Hebrews 1:1-2).
Jesus Christ is the other main way God expresses His authority to us. However, since Jesus is a person, He is more than just an expression of God’s authority—He possesses that authority Himself. 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 is not imperfect like people, and He does not change like people. His 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 will not contradict or change God’s previous revelation.
• It will not be pointless or futile.
• It will not need to be corrected later.
Even in recent history, books have surfaced which purport to be revelations from God. The Book of Mormon is a good example. This book contradicts the Bible and has been modified many times since its first appearance in the early 1800s. This contradiction and change demonstrate that the Book of Mormon is not a revelation authorized by God. The teaching in other books like God Calling and Angels on Assignment is also proved false by this same test.
As Christians, we believe that the Bible is an inerrant expression of God’s authority. We must never transfer our faith in His revelation to the writings of mere men. God is our final authority. Thus far He has chosen to communicate His perfect revelation in only two expressions: His Word, the Bible, and His Word, the Son.
This post coordinates with today's reading in the To the Word! Bible Reading Challenge. If you are not in a daily reading plan, please join us. We would love to have you reading with us.