Loose Hinges

Biblical Authority

by Steve Ham on October 1, 2010; last featured January 4, 2012
Featured in Answers Magazine
Audio Version

If a door is not securely fastened, it doesn’t take long before the hinges will come loose. The same is true of faith. If faith is not firmly attached to biblical authority, the slightest pressure can unhinge us.

Have you ever seen a door about to fall off its hinges? If the hinges are not fastened securely to the frame, trouble always ensues.

I remind myself of this every day as I enter my office. On my office door is a small yellow sticky note that simply says, “Strong Hinges.” The hinges remind me that my faith in Jesus Christ must be secured to the authority of His Word. When my faith is founded on the Bible, it is solid and defendable, and my hope is certain.

Why is it so important to attach our faith so securely to biblical authority?

Reason One: The Gospel is Hard to Believe

We cannot deny the omnipotent work of the Holy Spirit in opening our hearts to the very essence of His truth. But we also cannot deny that many aspects of the gospel challenge our mortal minds. Yet these very elements are the essential components of the message. Let me list just a few.

  1. God became human.
  2. He was born of a virgin.
  3. God placed Himself under the condemnation of a criminal’s death.
  4. He rose from the dead.
  5. All humanity is essentially evil because of sin.
  6. We all face judgment because of sin.
  7. To accept Christ we must deny ourselves to follow Him.
  8. No matter what we want to think or believe, there is only one narrow way of salvation.

If you are ever going to share this message, you’d better have it on very good authority. If someone asked you today why they should believe such a message, what would you say?

Simply to say that you have “experienced Christ” is subjective and does not answer the question for anyone but yourself. Who is to say your experience is genuine? The gospel surely has to be linked to a source of ultimate authority and objective truth.

Reason Two: The Gospel Message Comes From the Bible

“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14–15).

When the apostle Paul was writing to Timothy, he was reminding him that we find the message of salvation in the Holy Scriptures. Timothy would have been taught as a child from the Old Testament alone because it was the entire Bible at the time. Paul was emphasizing that all Scripture points to the message of our Savior, Jesus Christ. In fact, the basis of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the Old Testament.

The Bible also testifies that we obtain the gospel from God’s Word. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

If the gospel is the message of the Bible, shouldn’t we be able to demonstrate that the Bible is an appropriate authority? Do you have good reason to claim that God’s Word is the authoritative source of the gospel? Can you show that your faith is truly attached to a solid frame?

Reason Three: The Bible is Being Attacked

Each believer needs to be equipped with answers that strengthen the hinges attaching our faith to the doorframe of biblical authority.

The adoption of anti-biblical practices is evident in society’s rejection of the absolutes of Christian truth. With biblical teaching taken out of public schools, entire generations of children are receiving an education that is based on atheism. Evolution is the dominant philosophy of our time, and it is being dogmatically taught to most children as the explanation of life’s origins. Even within the church, most ministers and parishioners today accept the humanistic doctrine that the world is millions of years old and have reinterpreted God’s Word to place man’s word in authority over it.

So the authority of the Bible is under attack not just from without but also from within the church, with the most ferocious attack pointed squarely at the historical foundations in Genesis 1–11. The world is saying that this enormously documented and proven book cannot be trusted, and the church is compromising with the world’s false view of Scripture. Yet this is the very book that claims to be God’s Word and contains the one and only message of salvation.

All believers need to be equipped with answers so we can show that the Bible is true and strengthen the hinges that attach our faith to the doorframe of biblical authority. Have you securely anchored your “reason for the hope that is in you” to God’s Word (1 Peter 3:15)?

Discussion Questions

  1. In John 3:12 Jesus says to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” How does this question relate to the questions posed in this article?
  2. In Colossians 2:8 the apostle Paul warns of being taken captive by vain human philosophies. Can you describe some ways that the attack on biblical authority from human philosophies has infiltrated the church?
  3. Think through each of these verses about the “hard to believe” elements of the gospel. What sort of questions would you expect a nonbeliever to ask about each of them? Genesis 6:5; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Corinthians 1:18; Matthew 16:24–25; Acts 4:12
  4. Search the Scriptures to see three Old Testament examples of the gospel of Christ and three New Testament descriptions of the gospel of Christ. (For example, compare Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:20-23.) Discuss the consistency of the gospel message throughout the Bible.
  5. Read through 1 Peter 3:15 and consider how this verse correlates with the need to strongly attach our hinges to the Bible’s authority.
  6. What things can you be doing right now to attach your hinges more strongly to God’s Word? Think about how you might put a plan together to do so.

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