"He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."
Colossians 1:18

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Friday, January 18, 2013

The Final Blow of Scriptural Authority - Complete Authority

Yes, I know I had called this little series "The 1-2 Punch of Scripture Authority," but, admittedly, after a snappy 1-2 combination, a boxer likes to have a final, devastating punch (for the record, in spelling the word "boxer," I have just depleted my entire fund of knowledge surrounding boxing).  With this in mind, there is a third sort of authority which the Bible enjoys, according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  Consider it a postscript.

We have looked mainly at verse 16 thus far, but verse 17 brings it all to a close:  "...so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."  The Bible is divinely authoritative, and it is universally authoritative, in order that it may thrust into the hands of all believers any and every spiritual tool needed "for every good work."  It is, therefore, completely authoritative; that is, it is by itself sufficient to guide us in all matters of righteousness.  When we open its timeless pages, we throw wide the doors of the only arsenal we will ever have or will ever need in this struggle for holiness, and every weapon is divinely powerful and eternally sharp.

Consider the lasting comfort that should infuse our souls as we take this in.  All of our righteous needs have been gathered into one definitive source, and are there protected against the incursions of unrighteousness.  We are kept, then, from the ignoble listlessness of pursuing human solutions to problems that our imperfect natures simply cannot surmount.  The world is fully crowded, in every corner and crevice, with methodologies that endeavor to promote righteousness apart from God and His effusive transcendence, which is itself the only way to defeat and overcome sin.  We expect this of the world, but we must throw off these foolish tendencies as God's children.  Should the utter failure of the world to deal with unrighteousness not suffice to cause us, both as individuals and within our churches, to cling with a fearful tenacity to God's Word?  Should it not prove to us a hundred times over that the world's methods can only oppose and mock scripture?

So the Bible has much to say, then, about avoiding evil and embracing good.  What of those deeds, though, that are neither good nor evil?  What has our Lord to say about morally neutral works?  Interestingly, this is a concept that is entirely foreign to the pages of the Word.  Paul demonstrates this truth in 1 Corinthians 10:31 - "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  In other words, there is a moral component of every act, because God can be remembered or forgotten, acknowledged or scorned, blessed or cursed, in everything we do.

Thus God's Word diffuses its brilliance to every last circumstance and choice that confronts us, and that brilliance comprehends every decision we must make.  Praise be to our Father, who would lavish us not with an unbroken chain of events in which we might both praise Him and grow to trust and love Him, but with His own book, which will never fail to steer us from the rocks of moral folly!


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