There is still a need to talk about a few more basic topics in order to asure we build a good and solid foundation in the Bible and using it as our sole source of authority. (
1 Corinthians 3:11
So, here is another idea that we must need to consider before the next lesson. And that is the idea of AUTHORITY. The idea of authority should not be a new idea, but an idea we should realize that we need to use every day.
When you read something, or someone tells you something, do you automatically accept it as fact? I don't think so. Not unless you first mentally 'consider the source'. Is the person telling me this reliable? or are they known for spinning yarns, telling only part of, or stretching, the truth? It matters!!! Especially in areas of salvation and the Bible. It matters a great deal. That is something we must always consider, the source. And remember, the source is not me, your best friend, your family member, or even your preacher, priest, or pastor. In religious matters, it should ALWAYS BE 'THE WORD OF GOD'! Remember in a previous lesson, how we made mention of the people of Berea being more noble than those in Thessalonica (
)? They were not even willing to take the word of an apostle (Paul), with out first checking it against the scriptures. And neither should we, even if an "angel from heaven" (
) tells us.
Because sometimes even the most honest people you know, because we are human, make mistakes. Like someone doing some genealogy research. And in using some information from a previous family member researcher, whom they fully trust, they find some inaccurate information. Like someone that had been recorded as being born in 1876 when actually they were born in 1867 (according to census records). Which helps explain how they had a child born in 1883. At 17 years old instead of 8 years old. An honest mistake? Yes, they had inadvertently transposed the 6 & 7 in the date. Not intentionally, but the error was stated just the same, so without the careful study of another researcher, no telling how many times this error would have been repeated and believed.
And so that is all I'm asking you to do here. "Consider the source" = Get (your Bible) ---see note at bottom of this--- out and read it for yourself.
So, What should we use as an accepted means of authority? The Bible of course!
And how are we suppose to use the Bible as the sole authority in guiding us in our worship of God? Well, actually there are three things we must ask as we study the scripture as it directs us on how to worship God.
1: Is this a direct commandment? For example in Acts when the early church was told specifically to chose seven (7) men of honest report to serve (
). Then would it be alright for us to use eight (8) men because we happen to have a large church or congregation? I do not think so!! After all the first congregation started out with 3000 men (
2: Is this an example that we should be following? in other words, Is this the way it was done by the early christians/church? (
1 Peter 2:21
1 Corinthians 11:1
, etc.) And we are given a direct example of this type of authority in (
) where it gives us the example of the disciples coming together on the "first day of the week" for the specific purpose to break bread and while they were gathered together there, preaching took place.
And NOT followers of something else (
2 Peter 1:16
2 Timothy 4:2-5
Therefore in using the Bible as our sole source of authority, today we also come together on the first day of the week to break bread because that is the way the disciples did it. (We will talk more about this in a later lesson.)
3: And then there is a third type of authority the Bible gives us and that type is called "necessary inference". That is like where we are told to do something, but not instructed on a specific way of doing it. For example, we are told in (
) "not to forsake assembling ourselves together". But we are not told where to assemble- in a building, on a boat, under a tree, or some other place. So we are free to assemble most anywhere.
The Bottom Line = Is we must have authority for the things we do. When God tells us what He wants us to do, then that is what we must do. And when He tells us how He wants us to do it, then that is the way we must do it. PEROID!!
NOTE: Don't forget what we talked about "What translation is my Bible?" in the previous lesson.