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What is Your Authority?

This past month I had the wonderful privilege to walk through and teach on the Doctrine of Scripture. This was a great time of learning and worship. At times the study felt very information heavy and I’m sure the teens could feel that weight at times also. However, the basis for the study is still resonating in my mind, “What is your authority?”

What is Your Authority?

The Bible is unlike any other written document:

  • the Bible documents have withstood the most scrutinizing analysis ever imposed upon any manuscript and have emerged with compelling authenticity and authority.
  • No other ancient literature demonstrates such a high degree of accuracy
  • The power of the Bible is evident… remember the Word of God is alive, it is not just Words on a paper…it impacts life, like nothing else…through the Spirit of God, the Bible changes lives completely.

This Crazy World

With news headlines including terrorism, citizen/police brutality, homosexual policies, reality TV star scandals, and transgender acceptance–we are a society that has drifted quickly away from any moral point of reference.

This is no new thing for mankind, however. In Matthew 11 the heart of our herd-like instinct is revealed. When John the Baptist shared his message, the people didn’t like it because it was too strict. But when Jesus came onto the scene the people hated His message because He was too accepting. Here is the reality, anything that challenges the way people live has often, if not always, been met with rejection.

With a society (as far as America goes) that seems to be slipping into a moral-ditching, sin-lusting trend it can make true followers of Christ feel like the odd man out. And we are! We are facing a society in which being “Christian” isn’t normal. If we are going to stand for what the truths of Scripture actually upholds, then we will face ridicule and persecution in a variety of forms.

So how do I talk with those I care for, about God and the Bible?

Talk it Through

It is our job as followers of Christ to:

  • Proclaim the Word of God
  • Stand for the Word of God
  • Live out the Word of God

“Our job is not to run from and isolate ourselves from our culture, as some do–it is our job to boldly face it, and like Jesus, be different with the goal of sharing true hope, that is, the Gospel.”

The women Jesus met at the well in Samaria had been living her life running to empty wells that would not fulfill. And Jesus led her to the well that is only found in a relationship with God.

Get to know the person so that you can help take them from their empty well, and lead them to what will last for all eternity.

Start a conversation that will point to God and the Bible:
What are their fears? (Does God have an answer?)
What misconceptions (false-views) do they have of God and the Bible? (Can you clarify from Biblical examples?)
How has God shown Himself evident in your own life? (Share it!)

If our authority is anything other than The Bible then our moral point of reference can be anywhere. Why is it important that we be strict followers of the Bible? Because the world demands it. Okay, so maybe not in an audible cry, but by the examples that have been portrayed just in the news the last few weeks, society is searching in so many empty wells and they will only find destruction. Unless, we take them to the well found in the pages of Scripture and introduce them to the Living Water, Christ!

“We can trust in the Word of God for not only the life we are living now but for the hope we have after death. It is our awesome responsibility to carry this message to the world around us…are you sharing this great work, The Bible?”

Jesus Knows, Pt. 3

The final part to this series was probably the most direct in challenging each of us to act on what Christ did for us by humbling submitting to the Father’s will.

Text: Matthew 27:32-56

Things to take away:

1. Our redemption through Christ is secure

“God’s Word makes it clear that the life touched and tainted with sin is a forfeited life. The soul that sins shall die. The wonder that we will never fully understand is that God wanted to save our forfeited lives. So He allowed the blood of the divine Savior to be offered on our behalf. Notice that there must be a blood atonement because blood and life have a vital, mysterious relationship.

The blood of Jesus Christ is of infinite value. The pouring out of blood indicates the termination of life. Because the blood of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, the Lamb of God, was poured out, our acts of sin may be pardoned.

We need to give this spiritual truth all the reverence and contemplation it deserves. Do we talk too loosely about the price of our redemption? I confess that I cringe just a little when I hear someone speak about Christ paying our debt—buying us back. Sometimes we make it sound like nothing more than a business deal. But I do not like to think of God redeeming us in the way we might redeem a cow or a horse at some livestock show. In God’s plan for redeeming us there is something higher and holier, more sweet and beautiful.” AW Tozer

2. Choosing Christ may result in…

  • Abandonment from those closest to us
  • Mockery
  • Suffering

However, even with suffering there is a hope that makes the suffering to pale in comparison.

I Peter 4:13 “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”

We share in the joy of what Christ paid for, this hope is only found and experienced through a relationship with Christ. All the suffering is worth the risk of sharing Christ. Their soul is in the balance of either heaven or hell. Our job? Go and tell! (Matthew 28: 16-20)

The Gospel gives life. The pain and suffering that Jesus went through was temporary. If He had not endured that for us, then there would be no hope after death, there would be no direction in life. We would be blind dead people wandering around aimlessly in life…and we all once were:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10

What Christ did for us gives us hope in our eternal future but it should also drive us away from the paralyzing effects of fear and our selfish excuses, so that we reach out to our friends and family with the only thing that truly matters in this short life, The Gospel.

“But drops of grief can ne’er repay that debt of love I owe. Here, Lord, I give myself to Thee. ‘Tis all that I can do” (Isaac Watts)

Praying for you all!
Pastor Josh