Jottings About the Bible: The Supreme Authority of the Bible

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
GOD has spoken in His Word. Our duty is to hear and obey. The Bible is not simply a book of opinions; it is not only true, it is THE truth, absolute and final. Nothing is to usurp its functions or authority; nothing must be suffered to become its rival. Man’s reason and word lead to darkness and infidelity: man’s word mixed with God’s is superstition; God’s Word alone is the exact truth, from which there is no appeal.
Whatever this Book repudiates is heresy; whatever it condemns is sin; whatever it is silent on is not essential to salvation. Of all preached from the pulpit, spoken from the platform, read from the press, the prescription is, “TAKE HEED WHAT YE HEAR.” Of all spoken by the Lord, recorded by the Spirit, written in the Bible, the injunction is, “TAKE HEED HOW YE HEAR.” The first may be truth mingled with error, and the duty is to sift it, and to separate what is precious from what is vicious. The last is the pure truth, and the duty lies, not in discriminating where there is nothing to discriminate, but in the posture of mind we maintain toward it.
To allow the Book to have supreme sway over us is a vital point. Obedience to the Word as we come to know the Word is an essential element in Bible study. “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself” (John 7:1717If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (John 7:17).) This “obedience is the organ of spiritual knowledge.” Singleness of heart to please God is the grand inlet for further knowledge. He that honestly uses the light he has shall have more light, and still more. “Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord.” He who refuses to do God’s will, as he comes to know that will, need not be surprised if in process of time the Bible becomes to him a sealed book, and the light that was in him becomes darkness.
The Bible touches all human knowledge. But for the Bible we would know nothing of the origin of the universe. This Book, only, unfolds the sublime panorama of creation, in which we behold worlds roll from the plastic Hand of the Creator, and begin their mighty revolutions. The Bible utters the first syllable in the history of the human race. Neither human history nor human nature can be explained except in the light of Scripture; unless man was at first holy, then fell through sin, and now has a Redeemer, we fail to comprehend how or what he is. Philosophy has stumbled just here: she has omitted to notice that he is in an abnormal state: that his soul is disturbed by a malign influence, and, “like sweet bells, jangled and out of tune,” no longer gives forth it pristine harmonies. Apart from the Bible, man knows nothing of his origin. The wisest of the Ancients failed to indicate the source of the stream of humanity, but indulged in wild, vague guesses. It is only in this Book we learn that God created man in His own image, that his body was formed of the dust of the ground, and that God breathed into him the breath of life.