The Authority of God's Word
God's word is simply what God has communicated to us and wants us to believe and obey. This assumes that God communicated the Bible, as generally understood, as His word. Questions on exactly what books should be considered the Bible, such as the apocrypha and other books, are not discussed here.
Is scripture an authority in our lives? In Old Testament times, people were punished and even executed based on laws and punishments in the Old Testament. I suppose we could ask them if it was any kind of an authority or not. ;-)
Our older sibling might be an authority in our lives, and the general ordering a soldier into battle is an authority in our lives. It seems pointless to state the obvious, that God's word is an authority in our lives. A more fruitful question is: exactly how is God's word to be an authority in our lives? Psalm 119 gives an extensive answer.
General Verses Illustrating How Scripture is our Authority
God's word is truth. John 17:17.
We don't know all about infinite God, but we proclaim what He has revealed. Ecclesiastes 3:11; 11:5; Deuteronomy 29:29; Romans 10:14-5; 11:33-4; 15:14; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16; Job 38-42:6; Ephesians 1:9; 1 John 5:20;Mt28:20
To say God tells lies is a serious sin. Hebrews 6:18, 1 John 1:4; 5:10; Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2
Don't add to or go beyond God's Word. Proverbs 30:5-6; 1 Corinthians 4:6-7; Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18; Ecclesiastes 12:12
"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 2 Peter 1:20-21
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." Romans 15:4
John 5:39 the (Old Testament) scriptures bore witness to Jesus
The scriptures would be fulfilled. Matthew 26:54,56; John 2:22
Luke 24:25-27 Jesus rebuked the disciples for being slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.
How Scripture is Authoritative Based on Psalm 119
The Power and Authority of God's Word from Psalm 119
God's word is eternal, it stands firm in the heavens. Psalm 119:89
God's law /word is true. Psalm 119:142b,151,160
All God's commands are trustworthy. Psalm 119:86 and fully trustworthy. Psalm 119:138b
God's laws are right. Psalm 119:137b,138 and forever right Psalm 119:144a
All of God's precepts are right Psalm 119:128, all His commands are righteous Psalm 119:172
These words were not just idle words, they are your life. Deuteronomy 32:4.
God's word gives light and understanding. Psalm 119:105,130
God's word directs our footsteps. Psalm 119:133
God's commands make us wiser than our enemies. Psalm 119:98
Keeping God's statutes makes you blessed. Psalm 119:2
God's word strengthens us when we are weary with sorrow. Psalm 119:28
God's law sustains us. Psalm 119:175
We find comfort in God's laws. Psalm 119:50,52
God does good to us and preserves our life according to the promise of His word. Psalm 119:25,37,38,65,107,116,149,154,156,170
God's word helps a young man keep his way pure. Psalm 119:9
Our Attitude from Psalm 119
"The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold." Psalm 119:72,127
"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Psalm 119:103
God's word is a lamp to our feet. Psalm 119:105
We should stand in awe of God's laws. Psalm 119:120 and tremble at His word. Psalm 119:161b
We should rejoice and delight in following God's law/statutes/commands. Psalm 119:14,24,35,47,70,77,92,111,143b,162a,174b
Set our heart on keeping God's decrees. Psalm 119:112
We should love God's commands/precepts/law Psalm 119:47,48,97,113,127,159,163,165; and long for God's laws. Psalm 119:20,40,131
We should love God's promises. Psalm 119:140b
We are to trust and hope in God's word. Psalm 119:42,43,74,81,114,147.
God's law has wonderful things in it. Psalm 119:18,27,129
We are to believe in God's commands. Psalm 119:66
God's decrees are the theme of our song. Psalm 119:54a
We should seek out God's precepts. Psalm 119:45,94, not like the wicked who do not. Psalm 119:155
We should want to be taught and understand God's laws, and ask God for understanding. Psalm 119:27,125,135b
We should hide God's word in our heart that we might not sin against Him. Psalm 119:11.
Our Practice from Psalm 119
We should obey God's decrees. Psalm 119:8,17,67,88,100,101b,115b,134,145b,146b,167,168, not forgetting, departing, straying, turning away from His commands. Psalm 119:10,51b,61b,93,102,109,110,141b,153,176b
We should desire to obey God's decrees, with all our heart. Psalm 119:5,33,34,56,69
God's laws, His precepts, are to be fully obeyed. Psalm 119:4, promptly Psalm 119:60
Our lips should recount all of God's laws. God's laws come from His mouth. Psalm 119:13
We should speak God's statutes before kings. Psalm 119:46
We should meditate on God's decrees. Psalm 119:23,27,48b,78b,97,99, even at night Psalm 119:62,146
We ponder God's statutes. Psalm 119:95b
New Testament Testimony of the Authority of the Old Testament
Jesus said: "scripture cannot be broken" in John 10:35.
Jesus answered Satan's attacks by quoting scripture and saying "it is written" or "it stands on record". Matthew 4:4,7,10
Jesus and the New Testament calls the Old Testament scripture. Matthew 21:42; Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 3:16
Jesus said not even the smallest part could be broken. Matthew 5:18
Hebrews 5:12 calls the written record the oracles of God
Old Testament scriptures are: sacred (2 Timothy 3:15), holy (Romans 1:2) inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16), need to be read (Matthew 21:42); Sadducees should not be ignorant of (Matthew 22:49).
New Testament Testimony of the Authority of the New Testament
2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is breathed of God and is profitable for teaching, correction, rebuke, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be equipped for every good work."
Paul said his words to them were the Word of God 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 4:1; 2 ~Corinthians 5:20
Paul spoke not in words taught him by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit 1 Corinthians 2:13
Important not to add or subtract from the words of this prophecy (Revelation) Revelation 22:18-19
But for Old Testament believers, there will be something more. Jeremiah 31:31 prophesies there will come a time when God will make a new covenant. Daniel 12:4,9 says that some words are sealed until the time of the end. Knowledge will be increased.
The New Testament says some Old Testament commands have been fulfilled and are not to be done.(eating pork, sacrifices, etc.) Acts 10:9-16; 15:1,5-29; Mark 7:19; Galatians 5:2-4; Hebrews 8:13; 9:9-10;10:18; Jeremiah 31:31
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by Steven M. Morrison, PhD.