Articles and Sermons
We invite you to consider these articles and sermons in light of God's word, that you be considered "noble-minded" by Him.
Everyone, no matter what their personal beliefs are, accepts that there is a higher standard or authority in life, to which they can appeal. This is seen every time someone say "it's not fair". When a person utters these, or similar words he or she is either consciously or subconsciously acknowledging that there is an unwritten law which governs behaviour and to which we can appeal. When we identify something as cruel or unjust, we are saying that it does not match up with the idea of what is right.
When we talk about an 'authority' we mean,
"The power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge...An accepted source of expert information or advice: a noted authority on birds; a reference book often cited as an authority." (The Free Dictionary)
The unwritten law, we could call 'the natural law' or 'law of right and wrong' and it is innate to humans. Different societies, cultures and religions may have different views on what is acceptible, but they all do have the underlying concept that there is conduct which is good and conduct which is bad. For instance, murder and treason are regarded as bad, whereas bravery and generosity are regarded as good across different cultures, societies and religions. The fact that there is this unwritten moral law should cause us to ponder where the law comes from. Such a law requires a law giver, who is the ultimate authority in all matters.
We do not see evidence of the same moral law in animals. Animals rely on instinct and do not consider moral aspects: A dominant male lion does not debate whether killing the cubs of a weaker male lion is a moral thing to do, nor does it agonise after doing so.
We are created in God's image (Genesis 1:26) but this does not refer to our physical state, for God is Spirit (John 4:24) and a spirit does not have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). What it means is that we are moral beings, just as God is. The fact that we are created in God's image, shows us that we are very important to Him (John 3:16) He wants us to have a relationship with him. It stands to reason, since God is perfect and we are not, that we need to go to Him for guidance and that the relationship should be one where we do what God says (1 John 5:3).
Ecclesiastes 12:13 puts it this way,
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all."
The word 'fear' is not the kind of fear one might have of an unreasonable or tyrannical person, but it is the respect an unrighteous person has for a perfectly righteous and all-powerful judge.
If God wants us to obey him, it only makes sense that he would give us the information we need to do so. The unwritten law is enough to enable us to know that there is right and wrong, but is not enough for us to know the specifics of how to follow the law giver. This is why we have the scriptures, they carry the weight of His authority.
The scriptures point out that people's thoughts about how they should behave are insufficient without God's guidance (Proverbs 16:25).
The Bible both carries the power to judge, command and give expert advice on spiritual matters. It is the authority on spiritual matters.
In Psalm 119:105 we read, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the apostle Paul writes,
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
The words 'given by inspiration' are one Greek word theopneustos, which literally means 'God breathed'. They come from God as if literally breathed from his mouth.
We do not need to wonder how to please God, we can go to his word and read of the things he wants us to do and it will thoroughly equip us. This means we need no other information than that which we find in the Bible.
Since the Bible is all we need to know the will of God, we should not add or take away from the Bible.
Deuteronomy 4:2 shows God's thoughts in the Old Testament times:
"You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."
Likewise we see the words of Jesus:
" For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
The Bible and specifically the New Testament tells us all we need to be pleasing to God, we must read it and do it, no more and no less.
The Bible is the authority in religion.