What is your final authority in life? Before you answer too quickly, think about it for a few moments. When you're cornered, when you're facing an intimidating obstacle, when you're forced to deal with reality, upon whom or what do you lean?
There can be no more reliable authority on earth than God's Word, the Bible. This timeless, trustworthy source of truth holds the key that unlocks life's mysteries. It alone provides us with the shelter and protection we need in times of storm.
But we need to understand why. Why does this book qualify as our final authority?
God's Book Is God's Voice
Scripture is God's Word (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Think of it this way: if our Lord were to make Himself visible and return to earth and speak His message, it would be in keeping with the Bible. His message of truth would tie in exactly with what you see in Scripture. When you rely on God's voice—His very message—you are standing on a sure foundation; you have trustworthy truth.
God's Word Will Endure
Do you realize there are only two eternal things on earth today? Only two: people and God's Word. Everything else will ultimately be burned up. Kind of sets your priorities straight, doesn't it? The stuff we place on the shelf, the things we put frames around, the trophies and awards we shine and show off—it's all headed for the final bonfire
(2 Peter 3:7, 10–12).
But not God's truth! It "endures forever" (1 Peter 1:25). Grass will grow and then it will wither; flowers will bloom and then they will die. But God's written message, the truth, will abide forever (Isaiah 40:7–8). His Word will endure!
God's Word Is Inspired
But wait. How can we get so excited about something that was written by men? We have no problem with the Giver of truth. He gave it . . . but wasn't the truth corrupted when He relayed it to earth through the hands and minds of sinful men?
This is the perfect moment for you to become acquainted with three doctrinal terms: revelation, inspiration, and illumination.Revelation occurred when God gave His truth. Inspiration occurred when the writers of Scripture received and recorded His truth. Today, illumination occurs when we understand and apply His truth.
The critical issue—your confidence in the Bible—is directly related to your confidence in its inspiration. How then can we be sure that God's Word is free from error, absolutely true, and therefore, deserving of our complete trust? Paul provides great help in answering this question:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)
When God revealed His truth for human writers to record, He "breathed out" His Word. But did the writers of Scripture simply take dictation?
When we read the Bible, it's clear that Peter doesn't sound like John; John doesn't sound like David. Somehow each writer's personality was preserved without corrupting the text with human weakness and error. That rules out the notion of dictation.
So how did God cause this to happen? Second Peter 1:21 gives us a further clue: "For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."
The English phrase moved by is translated from a Greek nautical term describing ships at sea. When a ship has lost its sails and is at the mercy of the winds, waves, and currents of the sea, it is "moved by" a power apart from its own. That's the word used here. When writers of Scripture received God's Word, the Holy Spirit supernaturally guided their writing instruments as they were "moved by" His leading to write His truth.
God's Word Will Hold You Up
Our conclusion is this: in the Bible we have the preservation of a completely dependable, authoritative, inspired text. So we must ask ourselves: Can I rely on it, especially when I go through chaotic experiences in life?
My answer—and I pray it is your answer—is absolutely and unequivocally YES!
The wonderful thing about relying on God's Word is that it gives you stability. It gives you that deep sense of purpose and meaning. No other counsel will get you through the long haul. No other truth will help you stand firm in the storms of doubt and uncertainty. No other reality will give you sufficient strength for each day and sure hope for tomorrow. No other instruction has the power to give new meaning to your life.
Copyright ©2014 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide.
Would you like to dive deep into the ocean of God's love, forgiveness, and provision of fellowship within the church?This volume will help you: 1) Understand God's grace in Galatians and His love for the church in Ephesians 2) Discover the cultural context as you peruse charts, maps, photos, and key terms 3) Apply God's Word as you read articles on key themes in Galatians and Ephesians