The Bible’s Authority in the Lives of Christians

By Christopher Scott

The Bible provides Christians guidance about how to live a Godly life in a fallen and corrupt world. But, why do Christians do this? Why submit not just to God but also to his Word? Here are seven reasons Christians believe the Bible is authoritative and accurate. 

It’s breathed out by God. The first reason the Bible is authoritative and accurate is because the Bible contains the words of God, “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV). This means the words are literally the words spoken by God through the writers of the Bible. 

Hundreds of “thus says the Lord.” In the Old Testament the Lord directly spoke to prophets who delivered his messages. In the New American Standard Bible “thus says the Lord” occurs 419 times and “the Lord said” occurs 233 times. God is authoritative and the things he says are authoritative.

God speaks “through” prophets. One example of this is in the book of Jeremiah. God told the prophet Jeremiah who then told the nation of Judah that if they did not turn from their sins they would be conquered. “But neither King Zedekiah nor his attendants nor the people who were left in the land listened to what the Lord said through Jeremiah” (Jeremiah 37:2). Yet, the people did not listen. As a result, they were conquered by the Babylonians and taken into captivity in 586 B.C. 

New Testament authors cite Old Testament verses as authoritative. The New Testament authors cite the Old Testament as authoritative. A couple of examples of this are when Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32 in Acts 2:17-22 and Paul quotes Deuteronomy 25:4 in 1 Corinthians 9:9. 

God never lies. For God to speak in Scripture and not speak the truth would be against God’s holy and perfect character. In other words, God cannot lie, “This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began.” (Titus 1:2). 

God’s words are true and without error. Numerous times throughout the Bible we learn that God’s Words are true and without error. “Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). 

Words are the ultimate standard of truth. Jesus prayed to God the Father in heaven for his disciples on earth by saying, “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.” (John 17:17) As Jesus was about to be arrested and killed, he asked the Father to teach his disciples the Word—which is truth—and that Word would make them holy.

I hope to have given you a strong case that the Bible is the ultimate and final authority in the life of believers. While it is good to read other books, seek advice from friends, and have mentors to guide our lives, the ultimate authority for the Christian is the Bible. We go to the Bible for the final standard of what we should do in life. Since the Bible is the authority that Christians follow, we should make a habit of reading it, studying it, and meditating on it daily.

Christopher Scott is small groups pastor at Rocky Hill Community Church in Exeter. He may be reached by calling 559-730-1906.

Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church. 

This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.

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