Tabletalk Subscription
You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining.You've accessed all your free articles.
Unlock the Archives for Free

Request your free, three-month trial to Tabletalk magazine. You’ll receive the print issue monthly and gain immediate digital access to decades of archives. This trial is risk-free. No credit card required.

Try Tabletalk Now

Already receive Tabletalk magazine every month?

Verify your email address to gain unlimited access.

{{ error }}Need help?

Luke 7:1–10

“Say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it” (vv. 7b–8).

As we move through our study of the Wisdom literature, we will have the opportunity again and again to consider the role of the Word of God in developing wisdom. This will be especially apparent as we study a few sections of Psalm 119 each month, this psalm being one of the most important passages on Scripture found in the Bible. Developing a sound doctrine of Scripture is a key part of fearing the lord and developing wisdom, for God has spoken and continues to speak to His people through the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16–17). For the next few days, Dr. R.C. Sproul will help us consider what the Bible says about itself and its authority as we base our studies on his teaching series Hath God Said?

Every generation of Christians has confronted challenges to the authority of Scripture. In recent years, we have seen many institutions and individuals who profess to be evangelical but question the traditional evangelical doctrines of biblical authority, infallibility, and inerrancy. In so doing, they follow in the footsteps of liberal “higher criticism” that has done its best to cast doubt on the trustworthiness of the Bible for more than two hundred years. Assaults on the authority of God’s Word continue in the theological traditions of Roman Catholicism and eastern Orthodoxy, both of which place church tradition on the same level of authority as the Scriptures.

Questions regarding biblical authority are not secondary matters, for our understanding of Scriptural authority determines where we look for God’s will, the final standard of right and wrong, and so on. As we begin our study, let us note that church history itself argues in favor of the Bible’s teaching that it is the sole infallible source of authority for the church. Church councils have erred and contradicted themselves. Mistakes have been made in Christian tradition. These resources cannot be trusted as infallible sources of doctrine and practice, for only Scripture can fulfill that role. Being God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16–17), it is not susceptible to sin and error. Tradition can help us understand the Bible, but it must finally submit to Scripture.

The authority of Scripture pertains to its right to impose obligation. Today’s passage illustrates the right to impose authority, as the centurion makes reference to how soldiers are required to follow the commands of their superior officers. To confess biblical authority is to affirm that we are obligated to follow the teaching of Scripture.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

Church history testifies that the church is healthiest when it is committed unwaveringly to the final authority of Scripture for faith and practice. Moreover, we will please God only to the degree that we affirm biblical authority, for if we doubt its authority, we will doubt its truth and relevance to our lives. Let us pray that the Lord would develop in us and in our congregations a firm commitment to the truth of His Word.

For Further Study
  • Deuteronomy 5
  • 2 Chronicles 34:8–33
  • Acts 17:10–12
  • James 1:22–25

Rest Indeed

Divine Authorship and Authority

Keep Reading Labor and Rest

From the February 2015 Issue
Feb 2015 Issue