II. IT IS THE FINAL COURT OF APPEAL.
It is not a question of what I think, or of
what any one else thinks - it is, What saith the Scriptures? It is not a matter
of what any church or creed teaches - it is, What teaches the Bible? God has
spoken, and that ends the matter: "Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in
heaven." Therefore, it is for me to bow to His authority, to submit to His
Word, to cease all quibbling and cry, "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth."
Because the Bible is God's Word, it is the final court of appeal in all
things pertaining to doctrine, duty, and deportment.
This was the position taken by our Lord Himself.
When tempted by Satan, He declined to argue with him, He refused to overwhelm
him with the force of His superior wisdom, He scorned to crush him with a
putting forth of His almighty power - "It is written" was His defense for each
assault. At the beginning of His public ministry, when He went to Nazareth
where most of His thirty years had been lived, He performed no wonderful
miracle but entered the synagogue, read from the Prophet Isaiah and said, "This
day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears" (Luke 4:21). In His teaching upon
the Rich Man and Lazarus, He insisted that "If they hear not Moses and the
prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead" (Luke
16:31) - thus signifying that the authority of the written Word is of greater
weight and worth than the testimony and appeal of miracles. When vindicating
before the Jews His claim of Deity (John 5) He appealed to the testimony of
John the Baptist (vs. 32), to His own works (vs. 36), to the Father's own
witness - at His baptism (vs. 37), and then - as tho they were the climax - He
said - "Search the Scriptures ** they are they which testify of Me" (vs.
This was the position taken by the Apostles. When
Peter would justify the speaking with other tongues, he appealed to the Prophet
Joel (Acts 2:16). When seeking to prove to the Jews that Jesus of Nazareth was
their Messiah, and that He had risen again from the dead, he appealed to the
testimony of the Old Testament (Act 2). When Stephen made his defense before
the "counsel" he did little more than review the teaching of Moses and the
prophets. When Saul and Barnabas set out on their first missionary journey they
"preached the Word of God in the synagogues of the Jews" (Acts
13:5). In his Epistles, the Apostle continually pauses to ask - "What saith
the Scripture?" (Rom. 4:3, etc.) - if the Scripture gave a clear utterance
upon the subject under discussion that ended the matter: against their
testimony there was no appeal.
If the Bible is the Word of God - then