The Authority of the Bible – Part 4

Yesterday my family and I finished reading Chapter 4, “The Four Characteristics of Scripture: (1) Authority,” of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology in our after breakfast Bible reading time. I introduced the chapter; we read from the third of its four sections, which is on the truthfulness of the Bible; and my wife sang the hymn with which the chapter closes.

God cannot lie or speak falsely.
– “in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began” (Titus 1:2, ESV; ; all Bible quotations are from the ESV)
– “And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant [David].” (2 Samuel 7:28)

Therefore all the words of the Bible are completely true and without error.
– “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5)
– “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoke, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19; Balaam to Balak)

God’s words are the ultimate standard of truth.
– “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17; Jesus to the twelve)

Since it is impossible for any facts to contradict the Bible, when a new fact is discovered that seems to contradict the Bible we should reexamine the Bible to see what it really teaches. For example, at one time people thought that the Bible taught that the sun goes around the earth. However when astronomy demonstrated that the earth goes around the sun, reexamination of the relevant passages in the Bible showed that it didn’t teach that the sun goes around the earth.

We omitted the second and fourth sections of the chapter in our reading of it. The second section brings out that since the Bible is God’s words, to disbelieve or disobey the Bible is to disbelieve or disobey God. The fourth section brings out that it is the written Bible, not our interpretation of it, that is the final authority.

The hymn with which Grudem closes the chapter is “Standing on the Promises” (R. Kelso Carter, 1886):

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let his praises ring;
Glory in the highest I will shout and sing
Standing on the promises of God!

Chorus

Standing on the promises that cannot fail
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Chorus

Standing on the promises I now can see
Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
Standing on the promises of God.

Chorus

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.

Chorus

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call.
Resting in my Saviour as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

Chorus

The chorus is:

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Saviour;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

The new school year’s having begun, we have less time for our after breakfast Bible reading and so won’t be reading as much from Grudem’s “Systematic Theology.” Thus, since my current posts are based on our family reading, my posts will usually be shorter.

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