Back to the Bible
Have you ever heard the old saying, "You can prove anything by the Bible"? It was told one time of a fellow who decided he was going to start doing whatever the Bible said do and turned and read Matthew 27:5, "and he went away and hanged himself". It was reported that the fellow then decided he didn't want to follow the Bible anymore.
"Back to the Bible" and "Where the Bible speaks, we speak; where the Bible is silent, we are silent" was the cry of men opposed to denominationalism, disunity and division. My friend, I believe this should be our desire, that is, that all speak as the Bible speaks and to be silent were the Bible is silent.
The apostle Peter said, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God" (I Peter 4:11). The apostle Paul said, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Colossians 3:17). So, the Bible teaches that we are to have authority for ALL that we say and do in religion. And yes, my friend, it does matter, for Jesus said, "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work INIQUITY (means "without law", Matthew 7:21-23, emp LS).
First, we must understand WHO establishes Biblical authority. Paul said, "For there is no power but of God" (Romans 13:1) adding that there is but "One God and Father of all, who is above all" (Ephesians 4:6); and to the church at Corinth, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (I Corinthians 11:3). Matthew records, "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18). Jesus Christ has received from the Father "all power", that is, all authority, and rules supreme. Paul says that God the Father "hath put all things under his (Christ, LS) feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." Finally, we see that "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2).
Second, we must understand how God has revealed to us His authority. More next week.