The Christian’s Authority
Before I became a believer in Jesus Christ, God’s Word did not make sense to me. I occasionally tried to read it during my high school and college days, but found it boring. Finally, I concluded that no really intelligent person could believe the Bible.
Then I became a Christian.
My life was transformed, and my attitudes concerning the Scriptures changed. I realized the Bible was truly the holy, inspired, and eternally authoritative Word of God.
Not only is God’s Word divinely inspired, but it is also the basis of our belief as Christians. It gives us God’s perspective on how we should live and how we can be fruitful witnesses for our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible is God’s love letter to man. From Genesis to Revelation, it tells of God’s great compassion for us and of his desire to fellowship with us.
Furthermore, the Bible reveals God’s attributes. It tells us that he is holy, sovereign, righteous and just; that he is loving, merciful and kind; that he is gracious, patient and faithful; that he is powerful, wise, and constantly available to his children.
And the more we read and meditate upon his precious Word— and allow his Holy Spirit to control our lives—the more fruitful we become for our Lord. Because God’s Word is truth and “sharper than a two-edged sword,” it is impregnated with the power of the Holy Spirit to speak to today’s world and our own personal needs and circumstances.
Ultimately our views of the authority of the Bible and of the incarnation of Christ are related. In John 10:34–36, for example, Jesus taught that the Old Testament was totally accurate. In Matthew 4:4–7,10, he quoted it as being authoritative.
In addition, he taught his followers that he was speaking God’s own words (John 3:34), and that his words would not pass away but would be eternally authoritative (Matthew 24:35).
He even told us that the Holy Spirit would bring to mind what he said so that the disciples would preach and write accurately, not depending upon only memory or human understanding (John 16:12–15).
A high view of inspiration should be related to personal Bible study and meditation. As you study this lesson, I urge you to apply the principles that you will learn about God’s inspired Word to your life. Let God speak to you and invite the Holy Spirit to transform you into a joyful and fruitful Christian.
Lesson Objective: To understand the role and the power of the Bible in our daily Christian lives
Read Psalm 119:97–104
Before you consider the many verses below, be sure to read the Bible passage listed above.
If you click on the verses in the study below you can see the entire verse! If you are not on-the-go, consider opening a physical Bible and looking up the passages.
Biblical Claims of Authority
- What were the attitudes of the following prophets concerning their writings?
- What were the attitudes of the following authors toward other writers of Scripture?
Paul (Romans 3:1,2)
Peter (2 Peter 1:19–21)
The writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 1:1)
- If these writers had this high regard for Scripture, how should we view the Bible? What part should God’s Word have in our lives and in the way we evaluate and react to circumstances and events?
Purpose of Personal Bible Study
- Name some practical results of a thorough study of the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:15–17). What changes have you seen in your life from your study of the Bible?
- In Acts 20:32, Paul says that the Word of God is able to do what two things?
- What should be the effect of reading the Bible on your own life (James 1:22–25)? Think of a difficult circumstance in your life. In what ways is reading and meditating on God’s Word helping you cope with the situation? How are you applying God’s Word to your problem?
Preparations for Personal Bible Study
- Set aside a definite time.
When did Moses meet with God (Exodus 34:2–4)?
When did Christ meet with God (Mark 1:35)?
When is the best time for you?
- Find a definite place.
Where did Christ pray (Mark 1:35)?
What is the value of being alone?
- Employ these tools:
Modern translation of the Bible
Notebook and pen
How can you use these tools in your Bible study?
Procedure for Personal Bible Study
Using Psalm 119:57–104, go through these three major steps of methodical Bible study:
- Observation: What does the passage say? Read quickly for content. Read again carefully, underlining key words and phrases.
- Interpretation: What does the passage mean? Ask God to give you understanding of the passage. Consult a dictionary or modern translation for the precise meaning of words.
Ask: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
- Application: Ask yourself, What does the passage mean to me and how can I apply it to my life?
Make a list of the following:
Attitudes to be changed
Actions to take or avoid
Promises to claim
Sins to confess and forsake
Examples to follow
Other personal applications
- Do you understand the role and the power of the Bible in your daily Christian life?
- Study Luke 19:1–10 and apply the Bible study method you have just learned.
What does the passage say?
What does it mean?
How does this apply to you?
How effective will this method of Bible study be for you now with other Scripture passages?
- What changes in your life do you expect as you proceed with more in-depth Bible study?
- Plan your Bible study time for the next four weeks. Write down the time, the place, and the passages to be studied.
Memory Verse: “Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 NLT)