17 May 2010 (Shanee/Matzah)|
Day #63, 5934 AM
How Do I Establish It?
There are many believers who have difficulty in defending the authority of Scripture. Many go to great lengths and use considerable time in trying to prove to sceptics - both nominal believers and atheists, that the Bible (Protestant Canon) needs to be defended against the assault from liberals.
I heartily disagree. Those who don't want to believe the Bible is authoritative won't be convinced no matter how brilliantly intellectial you are or how much historical and prophetic proof you bring to bear. They will always offer you an 'explanation', for example, to disprove prophetic scripture by claiming that multiple authors were involved and that at least one of them wrote after the event. There actually is plenty of evidence in support of the integrity and inspired nature of Scripture but only the honest in heart will be moved by it - the rest are only out to justify a choice against God that they made long ago, and to guard their investments in sin.
So what is the best defence of the authority of the Bible? Assert it and preach it! When the power of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) manifests through a preacher expounding the Word, then hearts are moved and a differene can be made. Charles Spurgeon hit the nail on the head when he said:
I suspect the reason that some give for the need they have to defend the Scriptures against attack is that some part of them hasn't been fully converted to them yet. There is an element of unbelief. They're in agreement with the sceptics but don't know it. And that is because they are seeking to defend it first and foremost intellectually. Scripture is best defended when it is preached and taught. Scripture is best defended when its use changes souls, casts out demons, heals the sick, and causes spiritual revolutions in people. Because when that happens, the God of the Scriptures is revealed, which is what it is all about. That, more than anything else, establishes its authority, not what relgious men or scholars may have said about it.
"There is no need for you to defend a lion when he is being attacked. All you need to do is open the gate and let him out!"
There is nothing in all this planet which best explains our world situation today than the Bible. When you look at the state of the average 21st century man or woman today, in spite in the advance of science and technology, what do you see? Is he better than he was, say, 100 years ago when horse-drawn waggons were still being used, or even 60 years ago as the dust settled after the horror of the Second World War? Has the rejection of Christianity and the embracing of atheism improved the condition of man? Is he healthier? Is he happier? Are his relationship-building exercises more successful? Is he more content with life? If we are to believe the philosophy of the materialists, then he should be, but he is not. And the only explanation for it is the biblical doctrine of sin. And it is only in this light of truth than you can understand the whole march of history. By rejecting sin, guilt and moral accountability, the pundits of liberalism and humanism proclaimed that man would get better and better.
They have had over a century to prove themselves right, during which they have largely held political power. They have failed.
However, it is not enough to admit, as a result of facing this truth, to admit that there is a God. It is not enough. You cannot release the power of God into people's lives without first acknowledging the authority of His Word and abiding by His precepts. We must accept the doctrines of the Bible precisely because the Bible teaches them and because they are the very mind and heart of the living Elohim (God). And not only that, but we must accept the historical settings too. The ancients may not have been as scientifically advanced as we are but they were by no means culturally, socially or morally inferior. In fact, when they lived the Word they were superior to us. When they didn't, they were no different.
No, there is no greater authority of Scripture than in asserting rather than defending it. It proves itself in this way, and in this way only. The teachings have to be applied, lived and demonstrated. We are not out to win a theological or a philosophical debate but we are to apply the theology and philosophy of Yahweh's Truth in authentic, Ruach-empowered life. This cannot be 'reinterpreted' or 'reinvented' doctrine but "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3, NKJV). Yahweh's teachings have not changed. They remain true in every age.
So what should you do? Go and preach and teach it exactly as it is written.