The authority that God has given


Question 2Question 2 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What authority from God directs us how to glorify and enjoy Him?

The answer given is, “The only authority for glorifying and enjoying Him is the Bible, which is the word of God and is made up of the Old and New Testaments.

I do spend time reading Scripture, but often it is not with the level of anticipation that is warranted by the nature of the Bible. If I really believe that Scripture is the only reliable guide as to how I can glorify God and enjoy him, I should be more anxious to read it than I am.

In Luke 24, we have the story of the two men on the road to Emmaus who unknowingly meet Jesus along the way. Luke tells us that Jesus “explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27). Later the men said this about that encounter, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while he was explaining he Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).

We the the same Scripture which we call the Old Testament and in addition with have the New Testament. If our hearts are not burning as a result of reading it, the failure does not lie within the Scriptures.

One of the dangers in reading Scripture is that we can read into it what we want to be there. I hesitate to point out examples of this because I am subject to the same tendency. Like the man with the beam in his eye, it would be ridiculous for me to point out the speck in my neighbors eye. A general warning must suffice.

Because of our tendency to read into Scripture, Biblical interpretation must be a team sport. We need the fellowship of other believers around us to challenge us in our blind spots and to assist us in drawing from Scripture the principles we need to make sound choices in life.

We need believers around us to sharpen our understanding of Scripture and sharpen our application to life in this culture at this time.