Anyone who faithfully and correctly proclaims the Word of God will speak with authority.
It is not our own authority. It is not even the ecclesiastical authority attached to the office of a pastor or teacher in the church. It is a still greater authority than that. Insofar as our teaching accurately reflects the truth of Scripture, it has the full weight of God’s own authority behind it. That is a staggering thought, but it is precisely how 1 Peter 4:11 instructs us to handle biblical truth: “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.”
Of course that is a profound threat to the tolerance of a society that loves its sin and thinks of compromise as a good thing. To speak boldly and declare that God has spoken with finality is neither stylish nor politically correct. But if we truly believe the Bible is the Word of God, how can we handle it any other way?
Many modern evangelicals, cowed by post-modernism’s demand for latitudinarianism, claim they believe Scripture, but then shy away from proclaiming it with any authority. They are willing to give lip service to the truth of Scripture, but in practice they strip it of its authority, treating it as just another opinion in the great mix of post-modern ideas.
Neither Scripture nor common sense will allow for such a view. If the Bible is true, then it is also authoritative. As divinely-revealed truth, it carries the full weight of God’s own authority. If you claim to believe the Bible at all, you ultimately must bow to its authority. That means making it the final arbiter of truth — the rule by which every other opinion is evaluated.
The Bible is not just another idea to be thrown into the public discussion and accepted or rejected as the individual sees fit. It is the Word of God, and it demands to be received as such, to the exclusion of all other opinions.
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