2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
Throughout my biblical education (both undergrad and in the seminary), the topic of Scripture came up very often. We discussed questions of inspiration and dialogued frequently on the topic of the inerrancy of Scripture. One topic that was brought up that we didn’t frequently debate was the issue of authority. The authority of Scripture should be assumed, right? It was for me, but for many today it is not assumed. In fact, the authority of Scripture is at the very foundation of many cultural issues that are being discussed.
In our self-sufficient, independent worlds, we are not naturally fans of having to submit to authority. God is clear that one of the marks of a follower of Christ is submission to authority (Romans 13:1-7), so Scripture here flies in the face of our natural reason and experience. Yet if we are honestly reading Scripture, we see that God is our ultimate authority. And since we believe that Scripture is “breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16), and we deny the authority of Scripture, then we are denying God himself. We must hold to a High View of God’s Word, which means we hold to its inspiration, inerrancy, and especially its authority over all matters that pertain to life and godliness.
I recently heard an acronym that is helpful as we discuss the place Scripture has in our lives. We must hold to it as being sufficient, necessary, authoritative, and clear in all things. S-N-A-C is how we are to remember these important points. It is sufficient, necessary, authoritative, and clear.
It is interesting to see how the culture largely rejects this in issues that are prevalent in our day and age. For many people, they look at a hot topic issue that Scripture speaks strongly against, and they say that Scripture is obviously out of date since it was written such a long time ago. With it being out of date, they are declaring it is not their authority. They would also say that since there are so many disagreements over difficult issues, Scripture is not clear and is therefore not to be trusted.
For a second, think about one of the major hot topics of our day. Many say that because their very identity is driven by their “naturally felt” same-sex attractions, they must re-interpret Scripture to permit their “natural” lifestyle. Or take the example of divorce and remarriage for one moment. Someone who is in the place of having been divorced in an unbiblical way may feel very strongly the desire to remarry. When they look at Scripture and see that Jesus and Paul taught that remarriage after an unbiblical divorce is adultery, they elevate their reason and experience and reinterpret Scripture to coincide with their feelings and desires.
I believe that God’s Word is to be seen as our authority. It is God’s very Word given to us. We must hold to Scripture as our authority and not have it be one of many voices which inform our understanding of truth. It is THE moral truth. It is to be THE objective standard. Guard yourselves from bringing your presuppositions into your study of God’s Word. Guard yourselves, therefore, from re-writing Scripture in a way that you are comfortable with.