Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 23, 1956

The Authority Of God's Word

Floyd Thompson, Santa Ana, California

The basis and seat of all religious division is the failure to recognize and act upon God's word as authority.

Some may think, "all know that, hence there is no need to teach it." Or some may say, "it is too late to shout such truths. Harm has already been done and division in some quarters has resulted." It is never too late to preach and teach the truth.

In II Chronicles 14:6 this statement is found: "And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no wars in those years; because the Lord had given him rest." Now is the time for us to build "fenced cities" against the day of attack of false doctrine. Get firmly fixed in the hearts of men that the basis and seat of all religious division is the failure to recognize and act upon God's word as authority — and our major problem is solved.

In The Word Of God We Learn That:

1. Christ claimed authority. "All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matt. 28:18.) If "all" is "all" there can be no more. Christ claimed "all authority."

2. God declared that his Son had authority in these words: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." A tabernacle was not to be built for Moses nor Elias. Whatever authority had ever been delegated to them was now taken away. God's own testimony being the proof.

3. Mary, the mother of Jesus, recognized that with her Son resided authority. At the feast of Cana of Galilee, when they had no wine, Mary told those present, "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." This they did and they had wine. If we could only get people to do "whatsoever he saith unto you, do it"! How many quibbles would never be brought up! How many questions would be answered! How many problems would be solved!

4. The centurion believed and knew the principle. A remarkable story of faith is told in Matthew 8:5-10. In Capernaum Jesus met a centurion that was a foreigner, not an Israelite. This centurion told Jesus of his servant that was at home sick. Jesus told him he would come and heal him. Now note the centurion's answer. "The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed." That shows the centurion's faith, but notice the next verse and see that he understood the principle. "For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me; and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." Jesus marveled and said "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." I am afraid there have been many times when he has not found so great faith in his church?

The centurion believed and knew the principle..The Apostles taught the authority of God's Word.

Paul: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Tim. 3:16, 17.)

Peter: "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God . . . ." (1 Peter 4:11.) "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness ...." (2 Peter 1:3.)

John: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." (2 John 9.)

James: "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain." The context of this verse demands that one bridle his tongue to what God's word teaches.

5. The Prophets taught the authority of God's Word.

"I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." (Deut. 18:18, 19.)

Let us build a fence against false doctrine around our hearts and around the hearts of as many as will hear on the basis of God hath spoken. God's word is authority. Without that authority we have no right to proceed.