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Scripture Reading: Colossians 2:18-23

Bible Authority, Part 4


Human (False) Standards of Authority



1.  Matt. 21:25: Heaven:  Father-Son-HS-Apostles-Word (NT) - See Part 3.

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

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

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

    1)  Deprives 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 and 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 and 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) and 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 LOM; “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 ~2 million entered Promised Land, Num. 14:28-30.

  4.  It was the majority that crucified Jesus.

  5.  This view bases salvation upon man, pure and 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 only authority; we must have NT authority for every belief, teaching and practice to be right with God.

3.  Must give up everything that is not from NT to be right with God in Christ.