Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Authority of God’s Word in the Christian School

by Ron Livesay, September 2008

"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward (Psalm 19:7-11, NKJV)."

In a Christian school setting, and among Christians as a whole, it is very important to establish the authority for what we do. If we operate a Christian school without a firm foundation, our efforts become mere human efforts doomed to failure. What is our authority for what we do? Without apology, we state that our authority comes from the Bible – the unchanging, infallible, inerrant Word of the Living God. Students need to learn the importance of the authority of God’s Word over their lives. Teachers and students alike need to be sure that we base all we do on God’s Word.

”Authority” is not a popular word today. Much of society has rejected authority, and many believe all authority is illegitimate. “Who is to say what’s right and what’s wrong?” Many also take a very selfish approach. “I will do what I want. No one can tell me what to do.” Man does not naturally accept authority. For example, when airline regulations were made to prohibit smoking on all flights, one passenger commented that she didn’t have a problem doing without a smoke for three hours, but she just didn’t like the idea of anyone telling her what she could and couldn’t do.

Without authority, there is no morality and no absolutes, which results in anarchy. Without morality and absolutes, anarchy results. Man knows this. He has traffic laws, rules for games, etc., but man naturally rebels against authority. Some say rebellion among teenagers is “normal.” In reality, it is not “normal,” but it is ”natural.” These are not the same thing. “Normal” implies right. Not everything that is “natural” is normal or right. Sin is natural, but that doesn’t make it right.

Even more than not wanting to submit to the authority of other humans, man does not want to accept God’s authority over his life. However, there are no other options. Man either accepts God’s authority or becomes his own authority. He either accepts by faith the Word of God (who knows everything) or he accepts by faith the word of man (who knows nothing).

While Psalm 19:7-11 refers directly to Old Testament Law, by broad application it also refers to all of God’s Word. It teaches us many things about the authority of the Bible over our lives.

· God’s Word is perfect. It is absolutely without error. A being less than perfect is not God. He who is perfect can do nothing that is less than perfect. God’s Word is perfect because it is His Word. He is the one who does not lie or make errors. Therefore, we must accept all of the Scriptures as God’s Word, and it has total authority over us. Thou has magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name. (Psalm 138:2)

It is ludicrous to reject any part of the Bible (such as literal creation as described in Genesis) and then try to use the rest of it. Rejection of part of the Bible ultimately leads to rejection of the entire Bible. Every man becomes his own authority. If there is no Creator, there is no Redeemer.

· God’s Word is sure. It never changes. Man changes. As we see in Acts 17, man is always looking for something new. Paul presented the unchanging Creator-God to these people.

· God’s Word is right. As Creator, God is the One who determines what is right and what is wrong. Moral truth comes from the very character of God. He didn’t just “make it up.” Man has rejected creation and come up with evolution as a way of removing God from the picture, but truth doesn’t change because we deny it. We need never fear that science will prove the Bible wrong in any detail. Honest science supports the Bible, because what God says is right. But man is not honest. He accepts his anti-God, anti-Bible beliefs by faith. We will never prove the Bible to unbelievers. To try to do so is a waste of time.

An atheist scientist once said, “Even if they find a big boat up on Mount Ararat and drag it down Main Street, I won’t believe that there was a worldwide flood.” This is not a surprise. The Bible says that even if a man were to come back from the dead, people would still not believe.

· God’s Word is pure and clean. Man’s empty philosophies are empty and depraved. Man has turned the world into a sewer. He has made everything into something dirty. But God’s Word is pure and clean. It will guide us away from the garbage of this world.

· God’s Word is true and righteous. The Bible is a true and accurate record of all we need to know about God and His dealings with man. The central subject of the Bible is Jesus Christ. He is the truth (John 14:6), and He is our righteousness. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

· God’s Word converts the soul. The Bible gives us the message of salvation through Christ. …that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15)

· God’s Word makes wise the simple. “Intelligent” and “wise” are not the same thing. Proverbs tells us to “get wisdom and understanding.” 1 Corinthians 1:17-29 teaches us that the educated man who rejects God’s Word is a fool, but the Christian who knows God’s Word is truly wise. It is more important to be wise than to be clever.

· God’s Word causes the heart to rejoice. People lack joy and try to fill the void with all sorts of excitement. Only Christians truly know the inner joy of sins forgiven and the certainty of a home in heaven.

· God’s Word enlightens the eyes. The world is in darkness. The unbeliever looks at the world and it makes no sense. Some say, “Life has no meaning.” The believer is enabled, through God’s Word, to see clearly and understand that God has a purpose in all that happens. We need a biblical worldview, which means we need to view the world through “Bible glasses.”

· God’s Word warns us. God’s Word instructs us in daily living as Christians. It warns us by pointing out dangers and pitfalls.

· God’s Word leads to rewards. As we obey His Word, He blesses us. He also promises that we will receive rewards in heaven.

· God’s Word is more desirable than gold. People can spend their lives going after money, but money can’t buy true happiness during this life, and money can’t buy salvation. …what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36) By contrast, there is great joy in knowing we have something on which we can depend – something permanent. Since God’s Word is our absolute authority, we know we can trust it. This is far more valuable than money – which can be lost.

· God’s Word is sweeter than honey. We all enjoy pleasures in this life. The sweetness of honey illustrates this, yet such pleasures are temporary. God’s Word is sweeter yet – because we know it will last forever.

As we analyze our daily actions, it is important to remember that God’s Word is the only legitimate authority for the Christian school and for the Christian’s life. BCS will only remain secure as a truly Christian school as we continue to stand firm of the solid foundation of the Word of God.

1 comment:

  1. The American idea of "freedom to do as I please," is a myth. I tell my children they will be ruled by something. Scripture is clear on that score. If the Christian schools will not be ruled by the authority of Scripture, they will be ruled by the vain philosphies of this world. When that happens, parents might as well save their 4K and send their kids to public school because the end result will be the same.


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