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First, then, concerning this book, who is THE AUTHOR?

September 23, 2019 Leave a comment

Concerning the Bible, I have three things to say to-night and they are all in my text. First, its author, “I have written;” secondly, its subjects — the great things of God’s law; and thirdly, its common treatment — It has been accounted by most men a strange thing.

1. First, then, concerning this book, who is THE AUTHOR? The text says that it is God. “I have written to him the great things of my law.” Here lies my Bible — who wrote it? I open it, and I find it consists of a series of tracts. The first five tracts were written by a man called Moses. I turn on and I find other. Sometimes I see David is the penman, at other times, Solomon. Here I read Micah, then Amos, then Hosea. As I turn further on, to the more luminous pages of the New Testament, I see Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Paul, Peter, James and others, but when I shut up the book, I ask myself who is the author of it? Do these men jointly claim the authorship? Are they the compositors of this massive volume? Do they between themselves divide the honor? Our holy religion answers, No! This volume is the writing of the living God: each fetter was penned with an Almighty finger; each word in it dropped from the everlasting lips, each sentence was dictated by the Holy Spirit. Albeit, that Moses was employed to write his histories with his fiery pen, God guided that pen. It may be that David touched his harp and let sweet Psalms of melody drop from his fingers, but God moved his hands over the living strings of his golden harp. It may be that Solomon sang Canticles of love, or gave forth words of consummate wisdom, but God directed his lips, and made the Preacher eloquent. If I follow the thundering Nahum when his horses plough the waters or Habbakok when he sees the tents of Cushan in affliction; if I read Malachi, when the earth is burning like an oven; if I turn to the smooth page of John, who tells of love, or the rugged, fiery chapters of Peter who speaks of the fire devouring God’s enemies; if I turn to Jude, who launches forth anathemas upon the foes of God, everywhere I find God speaking: it is God’s voice, not man’s, the words are God’s words, the words of the Eternal, the Invisible, the Almighty, the Jehovah of this earth. This Bible is God’s Bible; and when I see it, I seem to hear a voice springing up from it, saying, “I am the book of God: man, read me. I am God’s writing: open my leaf, for I was penned by God; read it, for he is my author, and you will see him visible and manifest everywhere.” “I have written to him the great things of my law.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Bible, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning March 18, 1855

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Here lies my text — this Word of God

September 16, 2019 Leave a comment

Oh! how ten-thousand-fold merciful is God, that, looking down upon the race of man, he does not smile it out of existence. We see from our text that God looks upon man for he says of Ephraim, “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.” But see how when he observes the sin of man he does not dash him away and spurn him with his foot; he does not shake him by the neck over the gulf of hell, until his brain doth reel, and then drop him for ever; but rather, he comes down from heaven to plead with his creatures; he argues with them, he puts himself, as it were, upon a level with the sinner, states his grievances, and pleads his claim. O Ephraim, I have written unto thee the great things of my law, but they have been unto thee as a strange thing! I come here to night in God’s stead, my friends, to plead with you as God’s ambassador, to charge many of you with a sin; to lay it to your hearts by the power of the Spirit, so that you may be convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of a judgment to come. The crime I charge you with is the sin of the text. God has written to you the great things of his law, but they have been unto you as a strange thing. It is concerning this blessed book, the Bible, that I mean to speak to-night. Here lies my text — this Word of God. Here is the theme of my discourse, a theme which demands more eloquence than I possess; a subject upon which a thousand orators might speak at once; a mighty, vast, incomprehensive theme, which might engross all eloquence throughout eternity, and still it would remain unexhausted.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Bible, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning March 18, 1855

There is not a sparrow or a worm, but is found in his decrees

September 9, 2019 Leave a comment

I have written to him the great things of my law,

but they were counted as a strange thing.” Hosea 8:12.

This is God’s complaint against Ephraim. It is no mean proof of his goodness, that he stoops to, rebuke his erring creatures; it is a great argument of his gracious disposition, that he bows his head to notice terrestial affairs. He might, if he pleased, wrap himself with night as with a garment, he might put the stars around his wrist for bracelets, and bind the suns around his brow for a coronet; he might dwell alone, far, far above this world, up in the seventh heaven, and look down with calm and silent indifference upon all the doings of his creatures; he might do as the heathens supposed their Jove did, sit in perpetual silence, sometimes nodding his awful head to make the Fates move as he pleased, but never taking thought of the little things of earth, disposing of them as beneath his notice, engrossed within his own being, swallowed up within himself, living alone and retired, and I, as one of his creatures might stand by night upon a mountain-top, and look upon the silent stars, and say, “Ye are the eyes of God, but ye look not down on me; your light is the gift of his omnipotence, but your rays are not smiles of love to me. God, the mighty Creator, has forgotten me, I am a despicable drop in the ocean of creation, a sear leaf in the forest of beings, an atom in the mountain of existence. He knows me not; I am alone, alone, alone.” But it is not so, beloved. Our God is of another order He notices every one of us. There is not a sparrow or a worm, but is found in his decrees. There is not a person upon whom his eye is not fixed. Our most secret acts are known to him. Whatsoever we do, or bear, or suffer, the eye of God still rests upon us, and we are beneath his smile, — for we are his people; or beneath his frown, — for we have erred from him.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Bible, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning March 18, 1855

Did the Gospel Authors Think They Were Writing Scripture?

March 23, 2017 2 comments

by Michael Kruger

One of the most common misconceptions about the New Testament canon is that the authors of these writings had no idea that they were writing Scripture-like books. I dealt with this misconception on a general level here, showing that there was a clear apostolic self-awareness amongst the New Testament authors.

While this apostolic self-awareness may be easy to show for authors like Paul, what about the gospels which, technically speaking, are formally anonymous? Do their authors exhibit awareness that they were writing something like Scripture? To explore this further, let us just consider just one of our gospels, namely the Gospel of Matthew.

The first step is to get our expectations clear. We should not expect that Matthew would say something like, “I, Matthew, am writing Scripture as I write this book.” Gospels are a very different genre than epistles, and we would not expect the authors to provide the same type of direct and explicit statements about their own authority…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Reaffirming Sola Scriptura

by Tom Nettles

Sola Scriptura as Philip Schaff indicated, confessions and creeds hold no absolute authority for Protestants. Their authority is only an ad hoc, ecclesial, and localized standard for the sake of unity in fellowship and consistency of witness either in a denomination or a local assembly of believers. They can be amended or expanded in light of evidence from more mature biblical exegesis or in light of doctrinal and cultural challenges to biblical truth. For this reason, confessions arising from within Protestantism usually contain an article that affirms the sole authority, inspiration and infallible authority of Scripture. For example, the Second London Confession of the Baptists stated in its first sentence, “The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, Faith, and Obedience.” In paragraph 6 of the same article on Scripture, reflecting the words and concepts of both the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Savoy Declaration with one slight variation [italicized], the confession added: “The whole Councel of God concerning all things necessary for his own Glory, Man’s Salvation, Faith and Life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture; unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new Revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.” Thus, one of the most influential confessions in Protestantism begins with a ten paragraph article affirming the sole and certain authority of Scripture closing with these words: “The supreme judge by which all controversies of Religion are to be determined, and all Decrees of Councils, opinions of ancient Writers, Doctrines of men, and private Spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture” [WCF]. Again, the Second London Confession varied the language slightly, insisting even more clearly on the sole authority of Scripture, closing with the phrase after the words “can be no other,” with these words, “but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.”

For Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, however, the view of the creedal tradition is quite different. The Orthodox churches consider the first seven ecumenical councils as guided by the Holy Spirit resulting…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Is the Bible Foundational to Christianity? Engaging with Andy Stanley

September 27, 2016 Leave a comment

by Michael J. Kruger

One of the most profound challenges for Christians as we live in an ever-more-hostile world is how to properly defend the faith against the incessant attacks against it. And these attacks have taken their toll. We have seen far too many casualties over the years as people leave the church because they had doubts or questions that were never answered.

It is precisely this issue that is behind Andy Stanley’s recent sermon, “The Bible Told Me So” (preached Aug 28, 2016). Stanley, son of well-known Atlanta pastor, Charles Stanley, is the senior pastor of Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, GA.

Stanley’s concern in this sermon is for those who have experienced what he calls “deconversions”—people who went to church as a child but have drifted away from the faith as they have reached adulthood. They drifted away because they went to a church that refused to answer their difficult questions and insisted that they were “just supposed to have faith.”

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Confessions of Faith: The Bible, therefore, the Creed

by Tom Nettles

The Bible is a big book with numerous themes and doctrines. Consider the following four realities that drive us to summarize the doctrines of the Bible in a confession of faith.

1. The Progressive History of Graphe Drives us to Doctrinal Summary

Faithfulness to the Bible as the Word of God, singular in its meaning and authoritative for mind and heart, means that creedal formulas of doctrine serve the cause of real biblical knowledge. They neither detract from it nor substitute for it. When all the varieties of biblical literature are put together, from historical narrative to closely reasoned doctrinal instruction, the confidence of the biblical writers themselves….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.