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THEOLOGY > Bible > Authority > Understanding Authority    


Authority is the power of Truth! It is that which captivates and challenges man. Authority causes man to know that what he reads and hears is the Truth; and because it is Truth, the Truth reads the man. Authority insures that man not only reads and hears with his intellect but also with his moral self, that the perusal of Scripture and confrontation with Scripture is not only an academic exercise but a searching of the soul. Authority is the invasion of the Lord God into the life; it is the embrace of God.

Authority makes the Word of God “living and powerful” and “sharper than any two-edged sword”; because of authority the Scriptures penetrate “even to the division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow” and is “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). Authority transforms the written word into a “fire” and a “hammer” (Jer. 23:29) and guarantees that God’s Word will not return to Him empty but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it (Isa. 55:11). Authority keeps the Bible from being a dead book and falling on deaf ears. Authority assures that the Word of God will grow and multiply (Acts 12:24). Authority is Truth making claims. Authority is the power of Truth unleashed, the power of Truth proclaimed, the power of Truth read, memorized, and meditated upon.

The authority of Scripture is ultimately the authority of God,
for His authority is mediated through the Truth He revealed.

To read Scripture is to read the words of God; to hear Scripture is to hear the voice of God; to believe Scripture is to believe the Truth of God; to obey Scripture is to obey the commands of God. Since the words of Scripture are the words of God, there is within the words divine authority, the force, the power, the conviction of God. They are not mere words; they are the words of God (see: Revelation was Verbal).

Of Jesus it was said that “His word was with authority” (Lu. 4:32); the authority of the message flowed from the nature of the One speaking. Because of who Jesus was and because of who He is, the God-Man, what He said had authority—“he taught them as one who had authority” (Matt. 7:29). What is true of the teaching of the Son is true of the Truth revealed by the Father: the authority of the teaching of the Son and the authority of the Truth of Scripture is the authority of God. Man merely acknowledges this authority as he experiences its working in his life; he is not responsible for establishing it. Authority is not contingent upon man’s approval and acceptance of it but on God, who invested His Truth with absolute authority.

Understanding authority results from growth in the things of the Lord. As the believer moves from milk to meat, an awareness of the grace that has come into the life becomes more comprehensive. An understanding that the right to become a child of God has been conferred upon the unsuspecting and undeserving child of Adam is grasped by the maturing believer. To understand authority is to know that you have been “Embraced by Truth.”

And they were astonished at His teaching,
for His word was with authority.
Lu. 4:32

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