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Authority

40 Items

The Scriptures Are Understandable

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The Scriptures Are Understandable Mike Johnson Have you ever heard someone say, “I just can’t understand the Bible?” Unfortunately, many people look at the Scriptures in this way.  They think of it as a deep, dark, mysterious book that few can understand.  However, people should not look at God’s Word in this way. Ephesians 3:3-4 […]

The Same Standard

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The Same Standard Mike Johnson Suppose a person goes into a hardware store and asks for one yard of rope.  Imagine the confusion if the salesman felt that a yard is 20 inches instead of 36.  Much turmoil is avoided in our society because we have a set standard of measurements — we all go […]

Biblical Authority 1 (The Need for Divine Authority)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (1)  The Need for Divine Authority (Introduction) Mike Johnson “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” These questions were asked of Jesus in the Jerusalem temple by certain Jewish chief priests and elders (Mt. 21:23). Although not sincerely motivated, these questions bring out two vital principles. […]

Biblical Authority 2 (The Authority of God)

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A Study of Bible Authority (2)  THE AUTHORITY OF GOD Mike Johnson Everyone is subject to authority today. Employees, for example, are subject to the rule of their employers. We are all under the laws of our government, whether we want to be or not. There is authority we put ourselves under by choice, and […]

Biblical Authority 3 (The Authority of Christ)

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Biblical Authority (3)  The Authority of Christ Mike Johnson Many people today do not understand the importance of having Bible authority. In previous articles, we have noted that we must follow divine authority instead of trying to direct our own steps. We discussed the authority of God and noted that God certainly has the right […]

Biblical Authority 4 (The Authority of the Apostles)

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Biblical Authority (4)  The Authority of the Apostles  Mike Johnson Many acknowledge the authority of God and Christ, but do not accept or understand the authority of the Apostles. Some people today say we only need the words of Jesus to guide us. Some who take this position place a great deal of emphasis on […]

Biblical Authority 5 (Obedience and the Old Testament)

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A Study of Bible AUTHORITY (5)  Obedience and the Old Testament Mike Johnson One of the most vital questions involved in the study of Christianity is the question of authority. During the life of Christ, the chief priests and elders raised this question when they asked Jesus (Mt. 21:23), “By what authority are You doing these […]

Biblical Authority 6 (The New Testament: God’s Message)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (6) Authority and the New Testament Mike Johnson The Scriptures teach the authority of God, Christ, and the apostles (Ps. 50:10-12; Heb. 1:1-2; Mt. 16:19, 17:5, 18:18; 2 Cor. 5:20; Phil. 4:9).   Also, the Holy Spirit played a role as He guided the apostles “unto all truth.”  Consider now the authority of the […]

Biblical Authority 7 (Adhering to the Gospel Message)

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Biblical Authority (7) Adhering to the Gospel Message Mike Johnson From the Old Testament, it is clear that God intends for the Scriptures to be followed and not deviated from in any way (Deut 4:1-4, 5:32-33; Josh. 1:7; Num. 22:18, 24:13; Pb. 4:26-27, 30:5-6; Lev. 18:4-5).  Consider now the same concept from the New Testament. Jude (v. […]

Biblical Authority 8 (Direct Command)

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Biblical Authority (8) Direct Command Mike Johnson How do we establish Bible authority?  It seems clear from the Scriptures that God intends for us to determine biblical authority in four ways.  These are direct command, direct statement, approved apostolic example, and necessary inference.  (Sometimes, direct command and direct statement are combined.)  A broader classification of […]

Biblical Authority 9 (Direct Statement)

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Biblical Authority (9) Direct Statement Mike Johnson Along with the approved example and necessary inference, the Bible teaches that direct commandments serve as a form of biblical authority.  Additionally, various kinds of statements do not occur in the command form, but they still serve as our guide. These statements have the same force of authority […]

Biblical Authority 10 (Approved Example)

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Biblical Authority (10) Approved Example Mike Johnson What should be our attitude toward the concept of “example” as an acceptable form of Bible authority? There are three possible attitudes one might have. First, a person might say that all examples are binding. However, this attitude is unlikely, and, as we will see later, this would be a […]

Biblical Authority 11 (Necessary Inference)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (11) Necessary Inference Mike Johnson Three forms of Bible authority govern us today. These are direct command or statement, approved examples, and necessary inference or conclusion. Most are willing to accept direct commands or statements as forms of Bible authority. Some may question the concept of approved examples, and a growing number challenge […]

Biblical Authority 12 (Generic and Specific Authority)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (12) Generic & Specific Authority Mike Johnson Many have failed to understand the concept of generic and specific authority. These people may realize the need for a direct command or statement, approved example, and necessary inference for Bible authority. However, confusion can undoubtedly result if they do not understand the concept of generic […]

Biblical Authority 13 (The Silence of the Scriptures)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (13)  The Silence of the Scriptures Mike Johnson What should be our attitude regarding the silence of the Scriptures?  What should we do regarding situations in which the Lord says nothing?  These questions are critical.  Disagreement on how to regard the silence of the Scriptures has caused much division over the years.  If […]

Biblical Authority 14 (Incorrect Standards)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (14)  FALSE STANDARDS Mike Johnson Why is there so much division and confusion today in the religious world?  Why are there so many different doctrines and so many religious groups?  One reason is that many have never received teaching or have never learned the importance of Bible authority.  Some may acknowledge the need […]

No More, No Less (Rev. 22:18-19)

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NO MORE, NO LESS (Revelations 22:18-19) Mike Johnson   “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this […]

Adherence to the New Testament

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ADHERENCE TO THE NEW TESTAMENT Mike Johnson From the Old Testament, it is clear that God’s Word was intended to be followed and not deviated from in any way (Deut 4:1-4, 5:32-33; Josh. 1:7; Num. 22:18, 24:13; Pb. 4:26-27, 30:5-6; Lev. 18:4-5). Consider now the same concept from the New Testament. Jude (v. 3) told the early […]

They Were Simply Christians

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THEY WERE SIMPLY CHRISTIANS Mike Johnson If someone asked me what I am religiously, I would say, “I am a Christian.” The person might look at me in a puzzled way and ask, “But what kind of Christian are you?” Many religious groups today wear names to refer to themselves other than a name, which […]

What Is Truth?

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WHAT IS TRUTH? Mike Johnson What is truth?  This question is critical.  Pilate asked it at Jesus’ trial in connection with the accusation made that Jesus was a king in a civil sense and thus a rival.  It seems he asked it with scorn rather than with a quest for knowledge. Regardless, this question is […]

The Authority of the Apostles

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The Authority of the Apostles Mike Johnson Many acknowledge the authority of God and Christ, but do not accept or understand the authority of the Apostles. Some people today say we only need the words of Jesus to guide us. Christ certainly has authority (Mt. 28:18, 17:1-8), but we must understand the authority, which also […]

The Authority of the Bible

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The Authority of the Bible Mike Johnson The Bible teaches about the authority of God, Christ, and the apostles (Ps. 50:10-12; Heb. 1:1-2; Mt. 16:19, 17:5, 18:18; II Cor. 5:20; Phil. 4:9).   Also, the Holy Spirit played a role as he guided the apostles “unto all truth.”  Consider now the authority of God’s Word, the […]

Divine Authority

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DIVINE AUTHORITY  Mike Johnson “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” These questions were asked of Jesus in the Jerusalem temple by certain Jewish chief priests and elders (Mt. 21:23). Although not sincerely motivated, these questions bring out two vital principles. First, there is a need for authority in religion, […]

The Authority of Christ

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The Authority of Christ Mike Johnson Many people today do not understand the importance of having Bible authority. In previous articles, we have noted that we must follow divine authority instead of trying to direct our steps. We discussed the authority of God and noted that God certainly has the right to reign over humanity. […]

Adding to or Taking Away From God’s Word

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Adding to or Taking Away From God’s Word (Revelation 22:18-19) Mike Johnson Revelation 22:18-19 says, “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, […]

The Authority of God

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The Authority of God Mike Johnson Everyone is subject to authority today. Many are employees and are subject to the rule of their employers. We are all under the authority of our government, whether we want to be or not. There is authority we put ourselves under by choice, and there is authority we find […]

Do Not Preach Any Other Gospel

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Do Not Preach Any Other Gospel! (Galatians 1:6-9) Mike Johnson In Galatians 1, Paul said he marveled because the Galatians were “turning away so soon” to “a different gospel.”  He also pointed out there were some who had troubled them and wanted to pervert the gospel of Christ.  Then (v. 8) he warned, “But even […]

Applying God’s Word

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Applying God’s Word Mike Johnson People often hear the Word of God but are not willing to obey it.  Some may intend to obey, but they never seem to get around to it.  It is not enough to be a hearer only or to know God’s Word: we must be willing to obey it. Notice […]

Following Elders into Error

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FOLLOWING ELDERS INTO ERROR Mike Johnson Elders have a vital function in the Lord’s church. They are to oversee the flock— they are to feed, or shepherd, the local congregation of which they are a part of (Acts 20:17, 28; I Pet. 5:1-2). Elders are to watch for grievous wolves (or false teachers) who threaten […]

Is Conscience A Safe Guide?

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IS CONSCIENCE A SAFE GUIDE? Mike Johnson “Always let your conscience be your guide.”  “Just do what your conscience says.”  The statement expresses many people’s attitudes when determining what is right or wrong religiously.  Many think they are correct as long as they follow their conscience, on some doctrinal matter or even on a moral […]

The Health Inspector & Authority

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The Health Inspector and Authority Mike Johnson Many years ago, I worked in a meatpacking plant.  One responsibility I had was to roll a vat containing tubular molds of lunch-meat to an ice bin and then fill the container with ice.  The instructions were to use a stainless steel shovel, used exclusively for this task.  […]

The Importance of Truth

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The IMPORTANCE OF TRUTH Mike Johnson What is truth?  This is a very good question.  Pilate asked it in John 18:38.  He may, however, have asked the question with scorn rather than with a thirst for knowledge.  Nevertheless, it is still a significant question. Jesus said in John 17:17 in his prayer to God, “ […]

Truth Is Narrow

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TRUTH IS NARROW Mike Johnson Truth is narrow.  This concept is easy to see, and most people understand it.   Consider an illustration from science.  We know under ordinary conditions, water freezes at 32 degrees at sea level.   Suppose a scientist says, “I am very broad in my scientific beliefs.  I am not one of you […]

Can We Understand the Bible Alike?

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CAN WE UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE? Mike Johnson If we can understand the Bible at all, we can understand the Bible alike. The Bible is truth, and truth does not contradict itself. If two people disagree on a Bible passage, both cannot be correct, as the Bible does not teach two different and conflicting concepts. We may misunderstand the […]

Words of the Apostles and Jesus

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WORDS OF THE APOSTLES AND JESUS  Mike Johnson Are the words of the Apostles of equal authority with the words of Jesus? Some people view the words of Jesus as being that which a person must accept while viewing the words of the Apostles, and other writers of the New Testament, as less important. Some […]

By What Authority?

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BY WHAT AUTHORITY? Mike Johnson “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority“?  These two questions, asked in Matthew 21:23, were asked of Jesus by certain chief priests and elders of his day who were trying to trap him.  Their motives were not good, but their questions showed they […]

Respect for God’s Word (Rev. 22:18-19)

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Respect for God’s Word Mike Johnson Revelation 22:18-19, a passage found near the end of the Bible, is a very significant passage.  It says:  “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written […]

Is Ignorance An Excuse?

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IS IGNORANCE AN EXC– USE? Mike Johnson Some people seem to think that if a person is ignorant about what the Bible teaches, God will not punish him. However, many passages teach that ignorance is not an excuse (Hos. 4:6, Rom. 10:1-2). The Bible even commands us to add “knowledge” (II Pet. 1:5), and it […]

I’m Not as Bad as He Is

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“I’M NOT AS BAD AS HE IS” Mike Johnson Consider a case where an officer pulls someone over for speeding.  He then approaches the stopped car, and the driver responds by saying, “I know that I was going over the speed limit, but I have probably been passed by three hundred cars in just the […]

God’ Inspired Message

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GOD’S INSPIRED MESSAGE  Mike Johnson In I Thessalonians 2:13, Paul wrote, “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively […]