DRILLING BIBLE BASICS: ESTABLISHING BIBLE AUTHORITY Introduction 1) The understanding of the need for authority and the ability to establish Bible authority is one of the most fundamental things that every Christian should master 2) Unfortunately, it is one of the most neglected and untaught subjects today – this has contributed to a generation that does not know God and His will today (cf. Judges 2:10 – only takes one untaught generation to have an abandonment of truth) 3) The failure to instill a need for establishing Bible authority will bring rebellion and apostasy against God’s ways (ex – Israel of old, secular history, recent times) 4) Many have grown up without understanding Bible authority, thus we hear more about a lack of respect for the authority of Scripture and examples of apostasy among us today I) The Need for Bible Authority A) Jesus recognized the need for authority and seeking its proper source (Matt. 21:23-25) B) Jesus now has all authority (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:22) C) We must have divine authority for all that we say and do (Col. 3:17; Acts 2:42; 1 Pet. 4:11) D) We must not go beyond what has been revealed (2 Jn. 9; 1 Cor. 4:6) 1) Divine authority is found in what God has revealed on a subject, not in what is “not said” E) We should demand divine authority and be ready to give authority for what we say and do II) How Jesus Demonstrated Divine Authority A) God’s word is the guide to divine truth (Matt. 4;4; Jn. 17:17) B) Statements of Fact (Matt. 19:3-6) C) Commands (Lk. 10:25-28) D) Approved Examples (Lk. 17:32; Jn. 13:13-15) E) Necessary Inferences (Matt. 22:31-32) III) How Divine Authority was Established in Acts 15 A) Conflict over whether Gentile converts should be circumcised to be saved (vv. 1, 5) B) Peter appeals to the necessary inferences drawn from the approved example of the conversion of Cornelius (vv. 7-11) 1) Necessarily inferred facts: God acknowledged the Gentiles and made no distinction between the Jew and the Gentile as to how they were saved (by faith) 2) Necessary conclusion: God did not make circumcision and keeping the Law of Moses a requirement for their salvation, so why should we? C) Barnabas and Paul offer approved examples of God confirming their work among the Gentiles; James re-emphasizes Peter’s first work among the Gentiles (vv. 12-14) 1) They did not preach any requirement that Gentiles must be circumcision to be saved, yet “God had worked through them” D) James quotes a statement of fact from the prophets (Amos 9:11-12) that was in agreement with the work of Peter and the others – Gentiles would be called by God in the rebuilding of the tabernacle of David (vv. 15-18) 1) James concludes that they should not trouble the Gentiles concerning circumcision (v. 19) 2) Why? No Divine Authority to do so! (v. 24) E) Direct command that circumcision is not to be required of Gentiles to be saved (v. 28) Conclusion We should not depart from God’s divine pattern of authority. Whatever God has taught in the New Testament by statement of fact, command, approved example, or necessary inference is to be believed and practiced. We must avoid all unauthorized activities.