Inspired, Sufficient, and Authoritative
We live in a time when American culture has embraced postmodernism (absence of absolute truth). As a result, everyone struggles with belief because we are told it’s intolerant to tell others what to believe. We must affirm all people. A generic form of love, void of sacrifice or covenantal commitment, has become the American religion. “Do what you want, do what feels right.” This is our cultural mantra.
Needless to say, it’s an interesting historical moment to be a Christian who believes in the authority of the Bible. Many socalled Christians have disregarded the Bible as being made up or at best, contextually irrelevant. Paul is struggling with similar problems as he writes his letter to Timothy.
Paul writes, “13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” What is Paul concerned about? Who are the evil people and what are they doing? Paul is referring to the false teachers. The false teachers were changing the gospel of Jesus to benefit themselves.
To this Paul charges his apprentice Timothy, “14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Paul is reminding and encouraging his friend not to waver in the gospel even though many around him have compromised their faith. Like today, it would’ve been easy for Timothy and other early church leaders to bend the truth of the gospel and make it more palatable to their listeners.
Paul reminds Timothy of the authority and inspiration of the Bible when he writes, “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” As Christians, we must submit our lives to the authority of God’s Word. We must ask ourselves, “do my actions and decisions line up with the Scriptures?”
Theology Professor Owen Strachan reminds us, “today, we have many heroes, but so little heroism… True heroes stand against cultural ideology, not with it. (1)” We live in a time when it’s becoming more difficult to stand up for our faith. Paul reminds us, “12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…”
We mustn’t succumb to the selfish enticements of our world. Jesus said we must lose our lives if we want to find true life (Matthew 10:39). Don’t buy into the form of Christianity that affirms sin, denies the power of God, and allows you to do whatever you want.
by Pastor Wes Thompson
(1) Strachan, Owen. “Many Heroes, So Little Heroism.” First Things. N.p., 5 Feb. 2015. Web.
- In what ways have you experienced a form of Christianity that denies the authority of the Bible?
- What struggles do you have in reconciling cultural ideals with Biblical truth?
- Do you see the Bible as ultimate authority or a book of suggestions?
- Does your life line up with what the Bible says or do you take and leave what you want?