Scripture as our Authority
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4
This weekend was the start of a series in my church on "How to read the Bible". My hope is that we as people who put our faith in God and seek to mature in our character and heart find that the Bible is useful and not awkward or obscure. Do you recall the first time you even saw or read a bible? Was it on a shelf collecting dust, read to you by a parent, or in the side table of a hotel room? All seem to encounter the Bible in one way or another here in our Western culture. But do we really engage with it as intended?
Biblical studies is a vast and deep pool filled with amazing scholars who have committed their lives and occupation to bring a deeper understanding to the words contain and surrounding the 66 books. It so important to recognize that there is great works by individuals who have written countless books, commentaries, and papers who seek to bring depth, meaning, context, and application. However, beyond this for our everyday life, do we treat the Bible as an authority in our lives?
When I say authority, I ask does this book bring with it the opportunity to guide you, direct you, and give you life, peace, and hope? Not a hope set on your abilities, but Gods. Not a guide like a self help book, but as a means to know what a life of right standing with God actually looks like and to practice. This book has authority because it stems from God words, and testifies to the accounts and work of Jesus. By engaging with it, we trust that the Holy Spirit is given the chance to engage and deal with our setting and convictions.
Many wrestle with the Word because it pierces the heart, examine and searches us, it elates us and convicts us, it inspires and lays a burden for those who are both close and far from God. It would be my hope that as you consider your relationship with God's word to you, three focuses to practice;
Have a Hunger to do what is calls me to consider
Have eyes to see new revelation to perceive and be encouraged or challenged in
Have the strength to apply and live out what is given in your heart to adopt and receive as instruction.
“If you want authority in your words, then make the Word your Authority.”
If we can start here or at least center ourselves in these three positions, we stand to have a greater chance to bring Scripture into our lives as an authority that produces life, peace, and hope. In God, when we trust, we receive these before anything is accomplished. Before healing comes, prior to the outcome, the relief, or the provision, we receive that when we take God at his word and we can live with authority.
Keep Looking Up!