Pastor Greg is teaching a seven-part Wednesday night series on the seven core values of our church and all of his life ministry.
This week is Core Value #1: Biblical Authority
Refers to Thoughts, Beliefs, Opinions, Core Values
Harmony, Cooperation, Collaboration, Unity, Teamwork. It seeks the harmony of bringing people to an agreement. It seeks a spirit of cooperation or collaboration. It’s all about an experience of unity and teamwork.
Mana’o Lōkahi: Shared core values that we can have as brothers and sisters in Christ and especially as we function here as Waikoloa Community Church.
My first core value was to determine that Scripture was going to be the final authority on EVERY area of my life. My parenting, my sex life, my marriage, my work, my calling, my leisure activities, my thoughts, my speech, everything. I also determined that I would build that same value into every church I pastored. All decisions in the church should be made on the authority and wisdom of the Bible.
If you treat the Bible as just one collection of “advice” amongst many different collections and sources of advice in your life then the Bible is not the authority of your life, YOU are the authority of your life. You have made yourself your own god. There is a difference between something you see as AUTHORITATIVE in your life versus something you see as THE AUTHORITY of your life.
AUTHORITATIVE means it is one of many good options out there for me to consider.
THE AUTHORITY means it is The FINAL WORD in my life. It alone is 100% reliable.
Jesus did absolutely NOTHING on His own authority.
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” – Matthew 8:5-9 (NIV)
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets (essentially most of the O.T.); I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:17-19 (NIV)
Jesus is making it crystal clear that He, the Son of God, the Word of God made flesh, is still under the authority of the already revealed Word of God. Jesus placed Himself under the authority of THE SCRIPTURES .
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”….. “By Myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is just, for I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me.” ~ John 5:19, 30 (NIV)
Jesus repeatedly made it clear that …He only came to DO what the Father told Him to DO and He only came to SAY what the Father told Him to SAY. He is the Word of God made flesh. He is the Son of God and yet He willingly chose to live His human life under the authority of the already revealed WORD of God and the ongoing WILL of the Father while Jesus was on earth. Jesus placed Himself under the authority of THE FATHER.
If the Scriptures are good enough to be the undisputed authority for the human life of the Son of God, they are good enough for me. What about you?
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NIV)
Yet we still don’t make much time for God’s word. We so often approach life like we are still toddlers. I do it myself! Don’t tell me what to do! We are winging our life instead of navigating through life according to God’s road map. As a result we make a mess of things over and over again. We sin the sin of pride again and again. Isn’t it true, that the greatest regretful action in your life, could have been avoided, if you had been fully living under the authority of God’s word at the time?
Is the Bible just a good book to you? Would you even call it THE GOOD BOOK, better than all the others but still just a book, that you can pick and choose from, agree or disagree with? Or do you share my Mana’o Lōkahi, this shared core value of Biblical Authority, where the Bible is the one and only standard of right living, standard of behavior, standard of thinking, for your entire life, for all of human existence? Are you spending time, every day, reading and studying and discussing what you find in the Word of God?
I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” ~ Psalm 119:104-105