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Establishing Bible Authority

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Establishing Bible Authority
Some Things Not Specifically Stated
Aids vs. Additions
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The New Testament constitutes the will of Christ, positively, perfectly, and finally revealed to man (2 Tim. 3:16-17). All that it authorizes is taught in its pages, and the sum total of its teaching on any subject is Heaven's Will on that theme. To add or subtract, change or pervert is to disrespect Heaven's authority (2 John 1:9). We therefore must be concerned with the methods of determining what is authorized by the New Testament. The questions of Matt. 21:23-27 should be asked of every religious practice.

I.  How To Establish The Authority Of Christ

A. The Doctrine Of Christ Was Taught By The Apostles And Practiced By The Disciples.

1. Often people have the idea that unless a command was specifically stated by Christ Himself then we have no right to be dogmatic in regard to it.

2. However, all the commands of Christ were not specifically written, for some must be learned through observing what the apostles taught (Acts 20:35).

a. Christ Commanded (Matt. 28:18-20) — "All" authority with Him; apostles were to teach what He had commanded.

b. (What the) Apostles Taught (Matt. 18:18) — They did not teach their own doctrine, but Christ's (I Cor. 14:37).

c. (And the) Disciples Observed (Phil. 4:9) — Heaven's Will is exemplified in the inspired history of the N.T. church .

B. Three Ways Of Establishing Scriptural Authority (Illustrated In The Lord's Supper).

1. PRECEPT (Expressed Statement)

a. By this is meant a direct, positive command expressly stated.

b. (Observance)—"This do in remembrance of me," Luke 22:19;1 Cor. 11:23-24.

2. EXAMPLE (Approved By Apostles, I Cor. 11:1,23; Phil. 4:9; 1 Cor. 4:17; 2 Thess. 3:6-10).

a. The practice of the N.T. church under apostolic guidance is authoritative.

b. (Day Of Observance) — "And upon the first day of the week...," Acts 20:7.

3. NECESSARY INFERENCE (Inescapable Conclusion)

a. When a command is neither expressly stated nor specifically exemplified, it may be determined by a logical deduction. The word "necessary" should be emphasized, for things that are only "probable" or "likely" cannot be binding.

b. (Frequency Of Observance) — "The first day of the week...," Acts 20:7.

(1) Compare: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy," Exo. 20:8. "The first day of the break bread," Acts 20:7.

(2) If "the Sabbath day" means every Sabbath as regularly as it comes, why should not "the first day" mean every "first day" as often as it comes?


What Must I Do To Be Saved?

No question is more important than this. We make many important decisions in life regarding matters such as education, marriage, and occupation. But none is as transcending as that which affects our soul's eternity (Matt. 16:26).


"Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?"

Luke 9:23-25