Route 4 - Bible Authority - Matthew 21:23-27
Sometimes it is necessary to enter into a study about Bible authority. We do this because most folks with whom we
study have accepted the idea that tradition, denominational authority and human opinion are acceptable standards
in determining religious practice. They have been taught that they need something in addition to the Bible. In a
previous series we marked a "route" showing that we could understand the Bible; now we want to demonstrate that
the Word of God is the only authority to be accepted in religion.
Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
4 - Matthew 21:23-27
- The chief priests and elders recognized that true religion is under the authority of God, the Father in Heaven.
Jesus concurred with their premise and challenged their conviction regarding it by asking His question
concerning John's baptism. Jesus succeeded in exposing these Jews as being men who give only lip service
to the concept of respecting divine authority in religion.
- Many today are just like them. They profess their respect for the Bible, but when asked for the passage that
authorizes many of the practices they observe, their silence are deafening.
- Where do we get our authority for what we do in religion?
4 - 1st Corinthians 15:27
- Supreme or ultimate authority resides in God, the Father. He is the first link in the "chain of authority." There is
no authority higher or equal to that which He has. All other authority is derived from Him.
4 - Matthew 15:1-9
- These Jews questioned Jesus about His disciples' failure to observe one of the religious practices of the day -
washing hands before eating. There is absolutely nothing in the Law of Moses that required such a practice;
the Scriptures were silent about the matter (see Deuteronomy 4:2). They had elevated opinion and tradition
to the status of divine law
- Furthermore, their disdain for divine law was such that they regarded it as having no authority.
- Jesus pronounced His judgement on such contemptible behavior - hypocrisy, rebellion and vanity.
- We should learn that we must respect what God has appointed in religion and not exalt our human opinions
and traditions in its place. To do so is to make our religion ineffectual and an abomination to God.
4 - Matthew 28:18-20
- Once the Father raised Jesus from the dead He gave Him all authority over all things as the King of Kings and
Lord of Lords. The Father is not subject to Christ, but everyone and everything else is.
4 - Ephesians 1:19-23
- This text specifically attributes to Jesus authority in all things respecting the Church of Christ. It is His
prerogative by the authority given Him of the Father to rule over the Church - work, worship, organization, terms
of membership, etc. There is nothing respecting the Church that is under human jurisdiction.
4 - John 16:13-16
- Jesus assigned the Holy Spirit the responsibility of revealing His Truth to men - not some of it, but all of it (see
4 - John 15:26-27
- The purpose for this ministry of the Holy Spirit was to equip the Apostles to be Jesus' designated spokesmen
4 - Acts 1:8
- This passage indicates the nature of the relationship the Holy Spirit had with the Apostles. It demonstrates that
when they were speaking under the Spirit's influence they were necessarily speaking with the authority of Jesus
4 - Matthew 19:27-28
- The period of the Apostle's authority was "the regeneration,", that is, "the new birth," which is, of course, the
church age. See also John 3:5, Titus 3:5, and 1st Peter 1:22-23.
4 - 1st Corinthians 4:17
- The authority of the Apostles extended to all the churches. See also 1st Corinthians 7:17.
4 - Acts 2:42
- What the Apostles taught regarding the Church was to be steadfastly observed by every disciple.
4 - 1st Corinthians 14:37
- The authority which Christ gave to the Apostles through His Spirit inheres in the written word also (inheres: to be
4 - 2nd Timothy 3:16 - 2nd Timothy 4:4
- The Spirit inspired scriptures as revealed by the Apostles are sufficient and adequate to supply every man of
God unto all good works. We are directed to preach it alone and urge men not to be turned aside to that which
is without divine authority.
4 - 2nd John 9-11
- Acting contrary to and without the authority of the written word results in sin and a loss of fellowship with God.
To encourage or uphold those who act contrary to biblical authority is to be a partner in their sin.
4 - 1st Corinthians 4:6
- The person who goes beyond the Word, or "the things which are written" (American Standard Version)
is condemned and so is he "who thinks more highly of men than he ought" (King James Version). We must
let the Word of God by our only guide.
4 - 1st Peter 4:11
- We are admonished not to go further that the Word but to speak as the oracles of God. This can be done only
by abiding in, remaining within, the Word of God.
4 - Galatians 1:6-10
- The anathema (curse) of God rests upon any man or angel that would change or alter the words of Christ. We
cannot be Christ's servants if we alter that word to please men.
4 - Colossians 2:7-8
- We are spoiled (cheated) and have departed from Christ if we go after the traditions and speculations of men.
See also Colossians 2:18-23.
4 - 2nd Thessalonians 2:11-15
- The belief and practice of anything other than the written Word is the practice of unrighteousness and results
in the damnation of the soul
4 - James 1:21
- It is the Word that is able to save our souls, not tradition or opinion.
4 - 1st Timothy 4:16
- It is our teaching of and obedience to the Word of God that will save ourselves and those that hear us - not
tradition or opinion.