Saturday, November 17, 2018

Pastor Arlin Sanford

Journeys in Faith

The Question is: Who’s in authority?

The captain on the bridge of a large vessel saw a light ahead on a collision course.
He signaled, “Alter your course 10 degrees south.”
The reply came back, “Alter your course ten degrees north.”
The captain then signaled, “Alter your course 10 degrees south. I am a captain.”
The reply: “Alter your course 10 degrees north. I am a seaman third-class.”
The furious captain signaled, “Alter your course 10 degrees south. I am a battleship.”
The reply: “Alter your course 10 degrees north. I am a lighthouse.”
In this illustration, the captain needed to cede his proclaimed authority and submit to the immovable authority. This is exactly where we are as true believers in Christ. We represent the movable — He represents the immovable. Even though we are inclined to make self-authoritative proclamations, in reality, we are commanded to lay aside our self proclamations; to “deny self…and follow Him.” (Mt.16: 24)
Jesus Christ, who, indeed is God, the second person of the Trinity (Jn. 1:1-4, 14), came to earth, taking on the form of a man (Eph. 2:5-9), with full authority from the Father (Jn. 17: 1-4). Along with being absolute truth (Jn. 14:6), He is immutable (Heb. 13:8); meaning, it is impossible for Him to change. When the Bible names Him as being the Word; it is stating that He, God the Son, authored the Bible, Scriptures, along with God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. The Lord God (Elohim) is One (Isa. 43: 10-12).
This is vital to understand - for the Bible makes the following proclamation. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…(II Tim. 3:16) The pages of the Bible are filled with ‘inerrant’, and ‘infallible’, and ‘divinely God breathed’ dialogue written as a love letter to His children, and those who will come to faith in Christ Jesus as their Savior. You notice it says ‘ALL’, therefore we can not pick and chose what we will deem as ‘truth’ - or disregard as fiction.
Thus, since Jesus is ‘immutable’ - then, His Word is immutable. So, when the Scriptures make proclamations contrary to our thinking (opinion), who is required to ‘alter their course’? We are!
If the Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (Jn. 3: 16). It forces me to make a choice. Do I believe and receive the statement, or do I reject the statement. If I accept what God is saying and walk in His authority, I am walking in His will, and experience the blessings of doing so. If I opt to reject His voice of authority, I have made a decision to walk in my will, (making myself the authority), and, therefore, subjecting myself to the consequences of that decision. According the Bible, my authority; following His will leads to eternal life. Rejecting His will leads to eternal damnation.
Now I realize, there are those who will say, “Well, that’s your opinion.” I also realize, a person can come to any opinion they chose.
However, in all honesty, my belief is not in my “opinion” — but in God’s truth. One can also say, “It’s really not such a big deal because there is no eternal damnation (hell).” You see, it doesn’t really matter what a person says, truth is not based on what people say, only what God says.
I trust any who are reading this article can see that our church follows God’s word to the nth-degree. The Holy Scriptures are not only an authority for our lives, but our sole authority.
My encouragement to you is to join a team that regards God’s Word, the Bible, as non-negotiable truth. Not every person standing behind pulpits would agree with these reflections. My advice: Make sure the one to whom you are receiving eternal truth from has experienced eternal truth themselves.