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Scripture Reading:  Colossians 2:18-23

(Part 3)

God Has Spoken: A Study of Bible Authority

[False (Human) Sources of Authority]


1.  Matt. 21:25:  Heaven:  Father-Son-HS-Apostles-Word (NT).

2.  Man as source of authority, Col. 2:8, 18-23:

  a.  Dogma:  “an authoritative conclusion, a binding proposition.”

  b.  “According to the commandments & doctrines of men” (2:22):

    1)  Deprive of heavenly reward, 2:18.

    2)  Deceptive source of knowledge, 2:18.

    3)  Not holding fast to Christ…growth is not “from God”, 2:19.

    4)  Perishable (subject to corruption), 2:20-22 (cf. 1 Pet. 1:22-23).

    5)  False appearances of wisdom, 2:23.

    6)  Fails to conquer the flesh, 2:23.

3.  Men have developed many rationales that serve to satisfy millions that their religious & moral actions are authorized by God when in truth, God rejects them, Matt. 7:21-23. (Examine some of these.)


I.  IT WORKS:  The end justifies the means.  

  1.  Do evil that good may come, Rom. 3:5-8.

    a.  “You can’t argue with success!”  (Whose definition of success?)

    b.  Such reasoning is condemned by God, Rom. 10:1-3.

  2.  Saul & the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15):  God’s command, 15:3; Saul’s confidence, 15:13; “It worked”, 15:15; Saul’s rationalization; 15:19-21; God’s judgment; 15:22-23.

  3.  Do you want to base your salvation on the same logic Saul used?


II. TRADITION:  It has been practiced for so long.

  1.  Human tradition does not establish divine commands, Mk. 7:1-13.

  2.  Tradition is wrong: When given binding power (7:4, 8) & when it nullifies God’s commands (7:13).

  3.  By binding the tradition they were rejecting God’s commands.

  4.  Elevates human decisions above God’s law.


III. THE SILENCE OF THE BIBLE:  The Bible doesn’t say not to.

  1.  Be content with what Christ has revealed, 2 Jno. 9 (Deut. 29:29).

  2.  Heb. 7:12-14:  If proper standard of authority, men of Judah could be priests under the law of Moses; “Moses spoke nothing” – not approved.

    a.  God said what He wanted (Levi…sons of Aaron), Num. 3:10.

    b.  Silence does not give consent!


IV. NUMBERS:  Surely so many people cannot be wrong.

  1.  Jesus says the majority is wrong, Matt. 7:13-14.

  2.  Once, entire human race was wrong (except 8), Gen. 6:5-6.

  3.  Only 2 out of millions entered Promised Land, Num. 14:28-30.

  4.  It was the majority that crucified Jesus.

  5.  This view bases salvation upon man, pure & simple.


V. LITTLE THINGS:  Those issues are not important; and/or, If I do some important things right, these other things won’t matter.

  1.  Did belief make up for not confessing Jesus?  Jno. 12:42-43

  2.  Did their good make up for their lie?  Acts 5:1-4

  3.  Did God misunderstand?  Ezek. 18:21-24 (Must live by all of God’s word; if we sin our good does not eliminate judgment.)

  4.  Uzzah kept the ark from falling; why didn’t his good outweigh this one “little thing”?  2 Sam. 6:6-7 (1 Chrn. 15:13-15)

  5.  Anything done without God’s approval is a big thing; it is sin.


VI. KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES’S:  They are doing it and so can we.

  1.  Not content with God’s way, 1 Sam. 8:4-7, 19-20.

  2.  “Look at what the denominations are doing…we have to be like them or we won’t survive.”  (cf. Rev. 3:1-3)


VII. EMOTIONS:  It makes you feel good, so it must be right.

  1.  That is a description of justifying sin, Heb. 11:25 (Jas. 4:3).

  2.  For something to seem right doesn’t make it right (Prov. 14:12; 28:26).


VIII. LOSING TOUCH WITH REALITY:  I’d rather do it wrong than do nothing.

  1.  Would this logic work in sports?  2 Tim. 2:5

  2.  Another alternative: Do God’s work in God’s way (1 Cor. 15:58).



1.  Every human source of authority puts greater value on man’s thoughts, desires, emotions, etc., than on what God says.

2.  NT is our authority; we must have NT authority for every belief, teaching & practice to be right with God; & give it up to be right.