Authority and Power of God’s Word

John 8 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Do you know someone who seems to know a lot about the Word, but is still in bondage?

Many look at verse 32 and really don’t realize the requirement that is needed in order to fulfill that promise. It is possible to know the truth and  still be in bondage. There are many people who know the truth and answer on how to get out of an issue, but they won’t initiate it because knowing the truth by itself will not make you free. That is deception. You can know the truth on how to lose 100lbs and still have not lost it. You can know the truth about how to cook a good meal, but still not cook. Knowing and recognizing the truth alone will not make you free. You can have a lot of knowledge, and still not be free. Satan is depending on that. Even Satan gives you some truth to manipulate you.

Verse 31 says IF you continue to abide (living in not just visiting) in his word. You have to be consistent (abide, continue, remain) in the Word, and be disciplined (disciples).  Consistency is the key to the breakthrough. It’s not what you do one time, but what you are willing to do today and tomorrow until Jesus comes back that will knock the wall of containment down.

Truth without consistency is deception. You are going to have to continue in it, abide (live) in it in order to be made free.

The Word of God is applied in the bible and to Jesus Christ. Each is called the Word of God. There is an identity with Jesus and the Word. The bible is God’s written word, and Jesus is Gods personal Word. If we want to be rightly related to Jesus, we need to be rightly related to the Word. You cannot love Jesus more than you love His word, because they are the same thing.

John 1:1-3, 14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Authority = Author, The authority of any work is the authority of the author. We need to know who the author of the bible is, who is the author of scripture.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: What would you say to someone who says “The Bible is just a book written by man.”

 2 Timothy 3:16 -17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So if we as men want to be thoroughly equipped for every good work, the source of it all is Scripture. Paul says all scripture is given by “inspiration of God”, (the Greek word is God Breathed), the word for Breath and the word for Spirit are identical. All scripture is in-breathed by God. In other words, the authority behind all scripture is the authority of the Holy Spirit. He is ultimately the author. He used many different channels and instruments but behind them all is the authority of the Holy Spirit, who is God Himself. So when we confront the scripture we confront the authority of God Himself. The scripture says, ALL SCRIPTURE, the Holy Spirit says, ALL SCRIPTURE is profitable. All scripture is important. Don’t just focus on some points of scripture. In order to be equipped, you need to use the whole scripture. It will take you many years, but it’s progressive. You will move from strength to strength as you meditate and apply the word by hearing and doing the Word.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: How has the Word of God equipped you in your life?

Interpretation – There is only one authorized interpreter, and that is the author. If you look at any book, the only one who would be able to explain it to you is the author. If you want to know what any passage means, consult the author.

2 Peter 1  20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Again, Peter points out, the authority and source is the Holy Spirit. The men who wrote the bible in many cases were weak and fallible. The bible records many of their sins. It records the sins of the people who wrote it. No author hides his sins. Even David’s serious sins were recorded. How can the bible be infallible if the people who wrote it were fallible? This proves that the ultimate author was the Holy Spirit.

We need to consider the attitude of Jesus Himself toward the Bible because for us who are His disciples, He is the pattern. How did He relate to the bible?

John 10 35If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

Here Jesus gives to the bible the 2 titles which his followers have used the most ever since.

  1. The Word of God = Proceeds from God (not man)
  2. The Scripture = That which has been recorded in writing.

God said many things which are not recorded in writing, but those which are recorded in scripture are for our special benefit. They contain all we need to know for our salvation. So that was the attitude of Jesus, summed up in that phrase. Nothing can express the authority of scripture more completely than that simple phrase:  the scripture cannot be broken

Say this out loud: The Scripture cannot be broken. Now remember, God holds you accountable for what you said. He expects you to accept the authority of scripture in every area of your life.

Let’s look at how Jesus himself used scripture and here again he is a pattern: When Jesus was in the wilderness and tempted by Satan.

Matthew 3: 16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.

17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

We might think that Jesus has it easy by then with the endorsement of the Father, the Spirit, and the prophet John the Baptist. But that wasn’t so, the next thing that happened was he was in the wilderness, fasting for 40 days and being tempted by Satan. Please don’t imagine that God’s blessing will always make life easy for you.  In fact, in a certain sense, it might make life more difficult. Satan much more strongly opposes those whom God has anointed. And in Luke, it says that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, but at the end of the 40 days he came out in the power of the Holy Spirit. Those are 2 different things. One thing is to be led by the Spirit, another thing is to move and operate in the power of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus did not do that until he had his conflict with Satan, and won. And in some degree or another, that will apply to each one of us. We will have to overcome temptation and opposition in order to move in the power of the Holy Spirit.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Why was Jesus able to overcome temptation?

DOUBT: Now when the tempter came to him in Matt 4 (Satan), the first temptation was to doubt, and this is nearly always the initial approach of Satan. He will not immediately deny the Word of God, he will question it. He will cause you to doubt it. This has worked so many times in church history that he never has had to find another tactic because it always seems to work. So don’t let it work with you. So you notice the first thing he says is:

Matt 4:  3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Now, remember, God just spoke out of heaven and said: “This is my beloved Son”, but Satan was challenging Him to doubt what he heard from God. If you are the son of God, then do something to prove it!

4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

All the 3 answers Jesus gave to Satan were given from the book of Deuteronomy. It’s interesting that neither Jesus nor the Devil ever questioned the authority of the book of Deuteronomy, so why waste your time doing it?

So that’s how Jesus dealt with temptation. This is very important. He dealt with temptation by meeting it with the written Word of God. “It is written” Don’t think that you are clever enough to argue with the devil, he is much more clever than you are, and he’s been in this business a long time. Don’t try to convince him with your arguments, just meet him with the scripture. When Jesus said it is written, Satan changed the subject. He knew he had no answer to the scripture. So don’t be tempted into trying to overcome Satan with your philosophy or your theology, just answer him with the written Word of God. Jesus didn’t make the mistake Eve made. If you go back to the beginning,

Genesis (NLT) 3: 1  1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

Notice he tempts her to doubt. Remember this: DOUBT -> DISBELIEF -> DISOBEDIENCE

4“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

Notice the devil begins by questioning, but then he goes on to deny. And if you look at church history, for the past 100 years, you find that wherever Satan has persuaded theologians, preachers etc., to question scripture, he has always brought them to a point where they actually deny it. DON’T START ON THAT SLIPPERY DOWNWARD PATH! The scripture is authorative, it’s the Word of God, Accept it, live by it, answer the devil with it. He cannot answer the written word of God.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Have you ever doubted the Word of God?

Ephesians 6: 17 …. and take the sword of the Spirit (REMA), which is the word of God. There are 2 Greek words for the Word:

1. LOGOS- The total eternal council of God

2. REMA – The spoken Word of God (used in Ephesians 6:17)

When you meet the devil, you meet him with the SPOKEN word of God. You need to SPEAK IT! You have to take it in your mouth, and say it for yourself. Then it becomes a sharp sword from which the devil backs off. He has no answer for it.

The Authority of the Written Word Matthew 5 (KJV) 17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

The words JOT and TITTLE, JOT – the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and tittle, is a little curve out on a letter to distinguish it from another letter. Those are the 2 smallest items in written scriptures text, and Jesus says not ONE of them will ever pass away. This clearly indicates that Jesus acknowledged the absolute authority of the Written Word of God. He wasn’t talking about the spoken word at this point, because the words jot and tittle only apply to that which is in writing, so Jesus absolutely endorsed the total authority the written Word of God.

In Matt 22 He deals with the Sadducees who were the liberals of that day who did not accept the authority of all scripture, but rather only the first 5 books. They were challenging the teaching about the resurrection of the dead, and they came to Jesus with a smart question, but this is how Jesus answered them: 31But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,  32I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Notice how Jesus applied that. Those words were written by Moses over 14 centuries earlier. Words were spoken by the lord to Moses, but Jesus said, have you not read what was SPOKEN UNTO YOU BY GOD. The scripture is never out of date, never just the record of human cleverness, it is God. It is still God speaking to YOU, TODAY! THAT’S THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE!

Credit: Derek Prince Ministries