Friday, February 25, 2022

Authority of Christ (Matthew 4:1-4)

"But He [Jesus] answered, and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’ ” (Matt. 4:4).

The question of the authority of the Bible is in essence a question of Christology. When you deny the inspiration of Scripture, you deny the very authority of Christ because He held a high view of Scripture, proclaiming it to be the truth of God. In the final analysis, we put our confidence in Christ Himself.

To discern Jesus’ view of Scripture, we must turn to the Bible. Critics may say this is begging the question; it is a circular argument—seeking to know what Jesus thought of Scripture by relying on Scripture. The argument, however, does not have to be circular. To make it linear, we begin with the validity of Scripture as a historical document. First, the Bible is of paramount historical value. Even among secular scholars, Luke is considered one of the finest historians of antiquity. Second, as a historic figure Jesus is considered to be a prophet. His teaching is transmitted to us through the Bible. Of all the passages in Scripture, those that include the teachings of Jesus are most widely accepted. Jesus taught that the Scriptures are the Word of God. He frequently alluded to the Scriptures, giving them God’s mark of authority—as did all true prophets before Him. He said we are to live by every word that comes from the mouth of God, and He called God’s Word truth.

Though skeptics may agree on the reliability and validity of Jesus’ teachings, they still reject His view of Scripture. They say that Jesus was not omniscient in His human nature. Because He didn’t know everything, He erred when He spoke of the authority of God’s Word. While it is true that Jesus’ human nature was not omniscient, this does not mean He was untruthful. Jesus did not have to be omniscient to save us—He did have to be sinless. If He had claimed to know more about the authority of Scripture than He actually did, He would have sinned. This would have disqualified Him as our redeemer.

Everything Jesus taught was true, and He taught that the Scriptures were truth. He declared that those who receive the teachings of the apostles receive Him. To deny the authority of Scripture is to undermine the authority of Christ. At stake in the debate over ultimate authority of the Bible is the Lordship of Christ.

What would you say to someone who claims to believe in Jesus but does not believe the Scriptures are the truth as revealed by God? Why must you embrace the truthfulness of Scripture in order to believe in Christ?