Saturday, April 05, 2008

A Couple of Quick Questions of Authority

Does scripture ever, at any point, say that God has vested authority in scripture?

He has given it to His Son, to His Son's followers, to leaders, even in a limited way to Satan for a time. But to scripture? Ever?

If not, where do some folks get that idea?

14 comments:

laymond said...

At least nine times in the New Testament, "for it is written"

mmlace said...

You know, I've never thought of that before.

Keith, you've just been full of good questions the past few days.

Keith Brenton said...

Granted, laymond; but does that phrase indicate that scripture holds that authority ... or that it reveals God's authority and will for us?

I counted 59 times the phrase is used. Of those, I can only see about eight in an imperative, "command" phrasing - what God wants FROM us. The rest are promises, predictions or history - what God wants FOR us.

The eight I found are:

Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. (Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8)
Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord. (Luke 3:23)
The testimony of two men is required to be valid. (John 8:17)
Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people. (Acts 23:5)
Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:31)
Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain. (1 Corinthians 9:9)
Be holy, because I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16)

So what God wants FOR us, or wants us to remember from history, outnumbers what He wants FROM us four-to-one in the places where "it is written" in the New Testament.

Of those nine, how many do we keep as commandments today? "Worship the Lord, and serve Him only," we hear from time to time. If scripture has the authority of God, why do we not obey and preach the rest as command?

But if scripture only reveals the authority of God, is it possible that He has now given ALL of it to His Son (Matthew 28:18-20), who gave it to His followers in order to do His work in this world - guided by scripture and the Spirit who inspired it; empowered by that Spirit to do good works that testify to the goodness of the gospel - yet NOT so that scripture must be constantly referred to as a book of laws which must be interpreted to constantly limit the avenues by which we do those good works or speak that gospel?

So, I guess my next question would have to be, "Did Christ come to bring a new law, or to fulfill the old one when no one else could follow it?" (Galatians 2:16)

David U said...

Keep going, Keith. Keep going!!!!

DU

laymond said...

Keith No law written or spoken has authority, unless it is fulfilled/enforced.

Keith Brenton said...

The New Testament implicitly calls a part of itself "scripture" (2 Peter 3:15-16), but does it ever refer to any part of itself "law," though?

laymond said...

Keith, I have heard it said that the word "OTHER" was added to what Peter actually said. you might want to look at the original.

2Pt:3:16: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

laymond said...

Keith, If the word "Other" was removed from 2:Pt: 3:16 , what other evidence is there that the new testament is "The inspired word"?

(other)
loipo--1) remaining, the rest

a) the rest of any number or class under consideration

b) with a certain distinction and contrast, the rest, who are not of a specific class or number

c) the rest of the things that remain

We know that there were words added to what John said to make the "Trinity" more plausable.

Keith Brenton said...

laymond, I'm not a Greek scholar nor do I play one on TV, but I'll go with Young's Literal Translation (word-for-word Greek to English) on this verse, which includes the word "other."

TCS said...

NT wright has a great article called "how can scripture be authoritative " it is on his website.

Keith Brenton said...

And that would be, I think, here.

preacherman said...

Keith,
Wonderful post brother as always.
Scripture us the ultimate authority. It is God's story of how much he loves us and wants to have a relationship with us. The Scripture tells has always been relevant to everyday life. It is wonderful to see the extreme love and grace God has for us. The only commandments he wants us to follow in the Bible is about love. Loving God first and loving people second, especially your enemies. It is about treating others with honor and respect as Christ lived.

Keith, I see that we are about to see a 2nd reformation and I am so excited. As ministers and leaders we must understand that society has changed and we need to change the way we do ministry. The message never changes but method must! We are living in or about to live in a post-Christian society. Generations who don't know the Bible, God, Jesus or the Church. We must reach out to these "emerging" generations. We need to be the church of the 21st century not the first century. Lets make a difference now. The way I see it is Christians and the church made a differnce their way and in their own century. I think we shouldn't idolize the first century church and Christians. We need to understand that they were sinners just like us, yet were striving to be like Christ. Lets move on...As Paul tells us in Philippians 3:16-ff "I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out to Christ, who has so wonderoursly reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward0 to Jesus. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back."

As 21st Century Believers we need to do the same. Lets run the race. Let's enjoy the kingdom now on earth. Let's be as emerging as we can. Striving to get others to run the race with us and enjoy the kingdom. Salvation. On of the best books that I am currently reading is "They Liked Jesus But They Hated The Church" by Dan Kimball. If we go to church and think we have worship God for an hour or in some churches an hour and half and left feeling good with the programs we are missing the point.

In Dan Kimball's book "They Liked Jesus But Not The Church", he says: "Emerging generations don't have a basic understanding of the story of the Bible, and they don't have one God as the predominant God to worship. Rather, they are open to all types of faiths, including new mixtures of religions. No longer are Christian pastors and ministers looked at "good guys" in films and media. MOst church leaders mow actually feel embarrassed to tell people they are pastors. Some even choose titles other than pastor so they aren't dismissed by people outside the church. Some people aren't even comfortable say they are Christian but come up with new terms such as "Christ follower" to avoid negative and distorted associations." p. 15

I want you to know that word is living and active! It has authority for our lives. It changes people to become more and more like Jesus Christ. I believe that yes it is important to know the Bible and know aboutd Jesus. But there is a difference in knowing about than actually knowing.

When I was in the hospital I kept quoting in my mind "I can do all things through God who gives me strength." I started getting better. The first thing I wrote down in occupational therapy was that verse. It was powerful! I could feel it! We need to share the message this emerging generation now! We need to understand the power that we have in us and in his word to change the society instead of society changing us.

God bless you brother you are wonderful influence in my life. You have given me strength and hope that I have needed. I want you to know that they prayers have helped. I still struggle with neuropathy and migraines. That may be my thorn in the flesh but I glory in Christ.

I am sorry this is so long but there is one more thing I want to share is that I as a minister thought I had surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I hadn't. In ICU I totally surrendered everthy over to him: everything in my life, my family, my ministry, finances, everything. A nurse came in and asked if he could pray for me. I said I would love it. I was having a horrable migraine. He placed his hands on my head and prayed in the SPIRIT. He prayed the world WORD OF GOD OVER ME. He prayed psalm 103:1-3 "O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I bless his holy name! O my soul, blessed God, don't forget a single blessing! He forgives your sins- every one. He heals your diseases-every one." As he prayed that scripture over me I could feel a supernatural warmth from his hands and going through my body. God was working through his Word and promises.

He continues to heal ever today.
I believe that a 2 restoration is comming to America soon and it is going to be exciting. Let us embrase it. Let us not reject the Holy Spirit and his working in peoples lives through gifts. Let us be missional!

preacherman said...

Sorry about the mis-spelled words. I am hurting pretty bad right now. But I hope you get my point.
I love you brother.
Kinney Mabry
Aka,
Preacherman! :-)

preacherman said...

God bless all you are doing and the topics that you bring out in the open that are so important.
You are always in my prayers brother.
In Him,
Kinney Mabry