“Blogging the Institutes” is my on-going attempt to paraphrase John Calvin’s work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion. You can find out more about the series in the Introduction. For all the posts in this series, check out the Master List.
Scripture’s Authority Rests on the Holy Spirit
Before we go any further, let’s talk about the authority of Scripture so that we can submit to its authority with reverence.
When God’s Word is actually acknowledged to be God’s Word, no person will refuse to give credit to God for speaking, unless a person lacks common sense. Now, we know that God doesn’t whisper into our ears from heaven every day. Rather, He has committee the truth to the written word—the Bible. The Bible’s authority isn’t truly appreciated unless we believe that it is God’s Word, as if God spoke all the words of the Bible in heaven and then had them written down. We’ll get into this more later.
Now, some people will object to the authority of Scripture. Their objection goes like this: The Scriptures depend upon the church. In fact, the church determined which books of the Bible would be included in the canon of Scripture; so therefore, the church has a higher authority than the Scriptures. Some even take this logic to the extreme and claim that the church can do just about anything, since she determined the length and scope of the Bible.
What is my response? Think about this: Who can assure us that the Scriptures came from God? Who can guarantee that they are accurate and haven’t been tampered with? Who can persuade us to treat the Scriptures with reverence? Only the Holy Spirit! Furthermore, what is going to happen to people who are looking for solid answers of how to obtain eternal life, but then they find out that the promises of eternal life in the Bible are only backed by the opinion of mere people? Won’t they doubt and have their confidence shaken? Our faith will be mocked and derided if it rests on the mere opinion of people.