Topical Sermons Power Point Show
Scripture Reading: Joshua 1:5-9
God Has Spoken: A Study of Bible Authority
(The Nature of Bible Authority)
1. The pattern of truth has been revealed by God & we are to hold fast to it (Heb. 8:5; 2 Tim. 1:13).
2. God has revealed His authority by commands, apostolic approved examples & necessary inferences.
3. The nature (traits) of Bible authority is vital to properly applying truth in our lives – cf. 2 Cor. 5:10-11.
4. Two kinds of authority are revealed in the Scriptures; generic & specific. Illus. Building a house – Blueprints specify 6 rooms (excludes any other number of rooms). But the generic authority to “build” includes tools needed to build house (even though tools not mentioned).
5. Understanding generic & specific authority will help avoid extremes & rightly divide God’s word of truth.
I. THE TWO KINDS OF REVEALED AUTHORITY.
A. Generic Authority: Inclusive in Nature.
1. It includes the means & methods for carrying out the authorized action (although they are left unstated).
2. Allows choices because God has not specified (Rev. 22:19).
3. Examples of generic authority:
a. “Go” – Matt. 28:19. How? (All available kinds of transportation)
b. “Assemble” – Heb. 10:25. Where? (All available places)
c. “Apparel” – 1 Tim. 2:9. (Includes all that is modest)
B. Specific Authority: Exclusive in Nature.
1. It excludes all things except what has been specified.
2. Removes choices, because God says specifically what He wants (Rev. 22:18).
3. Examples of specific authority:
a. “Build an ark” – Gen. 6:14 (Excluded all other structures).
b. “Sing” – Eph. 5:19 (Excludes all other kinds of music).
c. “Lord’s Supper” – 1 Cor. 11:23-26 (Excludes all other elements).
d. “Modest apparel” – 1 Tim. 2:9 (Excludes all immodest dress).
II. EXPOSING & AVOIDING TWO EXTREMES ABOUT BIBLE AUTHORITY:
A. Everything is Acceptable unless it is Specifically Condemned.
1. “It doesn’t say not to!” Approval based on God’s silence: “Silence gives consent.” (cf. Parents & children)
2. Silence does not give consent; it constrains, restricts & prohibits, Heb. 7:13-14.
3. This extreme looses where God has bound, 1 Cor. 4:6.
B. Nothing is Acceptable unless it is Specifically Approved.
1. Ignores generic authority & necessary inferences.
2. Inconsistent: “GO” – Couldn’t use plane, train, car.
3. This extreme binds where God has loosed.
C. We must have Positive Authority from Scripture to Please God, (expressed either generically or specifically), Heb. 13:21.
1. Josh. 1:7-8 – No deviation to right or left (pattern to follow).
2. Isa. 8:20 – If not according to “this word,” no light in them.
3. 1 Ths. 5:21 – Test all things (implies an objective standard).
4. 1 Cor. 4:6 – What is written is the fullness of God’s affirmation (positive authority).
5. 2 Jno. 9 – The doctrine of Christ is the line of demarcation.
1. Without Christ’s authority supporting it, all we say & do is sin, Col. 3:17 (cf. Acts 4:9-12).
2. What must I do to be saved? Specific authority:
a. Believe Jesus is Son of God (Jno. 8:24).
b. Confess faith (Rom. 10:10).
c. Repent of sins (Acts 17:30).
d. Be baptized for remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
3. Next lesson: How we scripturally tell the difference between something that helps us obey God’s word & an addition that violates God’s word.