Three Positions: Below Scripture

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, May 20, 2016 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

In the last two weeks, I have discussed issues with people who are above Scripture and those who consider themselves equal to Scripture. Today I wrap up this mini-series with the place we should put ourselves: below Scripture.

To truly get what God intended to say, we need to consider ourselves not above Scripture, not equal to Scripture, but below Scripture. We look up to Scripture. We let it interpret itself. When it gives commands we listen to it, and we mold ourselves to fit around what it says. Bible scholars like to throw around big terms like “exegesis” and “eisegesis” in regards to reading Scripture. Exegesis is the proper way to read any document, especially Scripture, and one is not capable of reading with exegesis without putting themselves below Scripture. How can we carry this out?

First, we take the plain meaning of the text. How would you read any other document? It’s the same concept. If anything is confusing or seems weird, then you look around the document for clues on how to work it out. Stay within the context. The vast majority of Scripture is easily understood this way.

If we are below Scripture, we will not take outside ideas and examine Scripture with them as our guidelines. One of my peeves about Old Earth Creation, the Emergent Church theology, and the Homosexual “Christian” movements is that they take what our culture currently dictates and makes the Bible conform to what the culture says. In Christianity, however, we are to take the Bible and use its principles to guide and shape the culture. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the moral of society.”

If we are below Scripture, we will allow the thermostat of God’s standards determine the atmosphere of our lives. If we are above Scripture, God’s standards can do nothing more than measure the temperature. Where are we? Are we above Scripture, dictating to it what it should say? Are we equal to it, being friendly with it, but not listening to what it has to say if we don’t want to? Or are we below Scripture, where we let it dictate to us what we should do?

Today, nobody like the idea of someone else having control over us. That is a big part of why so few want to put themselves below Scripture. However, it is very clear we are a slave to someone, a slave to Christ or a slave to self. Those who refuse to submit to Christ are slaves to their sinful-self-seeking self. They think they are free, but are they? What the world says will free you, the Bible says will enslave you. What the world says will enslave you, the Bible says will free you. Who do you believe? The world, or the Bible? I love how Paul Washer describes it: “The freest man on the face of the earth is the one who makes himself a slave to a perfect master.” (10:47 mark). When we put ourselves below Scripture, we allow God’s Word to tell us how to live, and it is liberating. We live by a higher law that is above that of the world. We live with a greater freedom than the world can offer. We live in a greater dimension than the world has to offer. The Christian literally thinks in more dimensions than anyone in the world, because we have access to the spiritual side of things. Satan can offer spiritual insight, but he thinks as the world thinks. Jesus overcame the world. People like to follow the strong, and there is none stronger than Jesus. There is none wiser, and none can escape his rule.

People tell me that they do follow Jesus, but the Bible is below him. They are saying, “I believe Jesus, but I do not believe the book that reveals who he is.” Jesus repeatedly said that the Scriptures (the Old Testament at that time) pointed to him. He even said that Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy) spoke of Jesus. Every part of the Bible points to Jesus. It is the Word of God. But, Jesus is also the Word of God. How is that possible? The Bible is the revealed Word of God put down in text form. So we have a written record of what God has revealed. Jesus is the revealed Word of God made flesh. If you took everything that the Bible talks about and personified it in one singular person, it would be Jesus. Jesus was not merely the one the Bible is talking about. He is also the full personal enunciation of it. He is the living, breathing Word of God. So anytime someone says to me, “I follow Jesus, but not the Bible,” they are diminishing who Jesus is. The Christ those people worship is not the risen Savior, but another Christ of their own making.

Do we listen to God’s commands? Do we submit to the authority of Scripture? Do we place the Bible as the ultimate authority upon which all other authorities must be judged? We can all use different standards. Science has one standard. Our governments have another. Our families have another. But no standard can be considered true unless it measures to the one TRUE standard: the Bible. Any ruler we use can be used, but unless it matches the standard definition of a foot, yard, meter, it is a faulty ruler. Can we still use it? Yes. But it’s not a true ruler, because it does not match. The Bible is the standard upon which all other standards must be measured. That includes our own judgement on different issues. We must judge with righteous judgement, by Biblical standards. Not by our own standards.

When we put ourselves below Scripture, we allow Scripture to mold us, shape us, and form us. That is what Christianity is all about: being conformed into the image of Christ. God will take us as we are, that is true. But he will not leave us as we are. If we are not wanting to be changed, we have not submitted to Christ and the legitimacy of our salvation should be examined. Put yourself below Scripture. Let it have the first and final say on all matters. And when it says something, believe it and obey it. Let it determine what it says and if you disagree with it, change yourself to make yourself agree with it. That is the true mentality of a born again believer as he/she studies the Bible. If you are not below Scripture, find out where you are putting yourself above it or equal to it and, in humility, confesses that arrogance and ask the Lord to be the ruler of your life in that area. That goes for me as much as anyone else. This is the position I aspire to have. I don’t always take it and when I don’t I am wrong. But that is the mentality I seek to have. I hope that you will too.

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