An Authority in Itself

by Joanna Pierce on July 03, 2019

You want to know one of my favorite places in the world? The library. There’s something about camping out at a table, surrounded by stacks of books, and settling in for a long afternoon of research. Why? Because it’s an amalgam of so many things I love! It’s quiet, it smells great (the books of course), I get to read, and it’s a learning frenzy!

As a researcher, there’s something about finding the key resource that surpasses any other. You can always find great tidbits of information here and there in various resources, but there’s something about finding just one. After shuffling through dozens of books and rifling through hundreds of pages, when you finally find it, something inside your mind exclaims, “This is it!” It’s the ultimate authority.

When writing a paper, my “this” is a source I can cite multiple times. When compiling a sermon, it’s the apex of the oration. For a business case, my “this” is the information quantifying ROI that seals the deal. Regardless of scenario, this core resource supports something I’m trying to prove to be accurate, helpful, or life-changing. When I find that one resource, it’s irrefutable against everything else. No other argument, theory, or research stands a fighting chance.

But Saul increased in strength more and more, and continued to perplex the Jews who lived in Damascus by examining [theological evidence] and proving [with Scripture] that this Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) (Acts 9:22, AMP).

Saul was educated by many scholars and theologians of his era. However, even after undergoing hours of religious and doctrinal schooling, he was erroneous in his view toward the disciple’s doctrine and persecuted them unmercifully. He made this mistake only because he used the wrong resource. He consulted the wrong authority.

On the road to Damascus, Saul had an encounter with the Lord, who changed his life and his mindset. Afterward, it was time to share his testimony and newfound truth, but would people believe the words of the man who had just been on a Christian killing-spree? He needed a resource to authoritatively prove his claims. What would he use? Anointed and equipped, Saul went into Damascus and began to preach the same Jesus he had once refuted. And the ultimate authoritative resource Saul used to confront the religious authorities? The Word of God.

When I read this Scripture, I reflected for quite some time. Often in our witness/teaching of the Gospel, we look to other key resources for support. We reference theological resources (evidence) as pertinent resources to prove God.

After Paul’s conversion, he didn’t head back to the earthly libraries and scholars of his day. He didn’t spend hours among books trying to scope out the best rhetoric. Unlike us, Paul realized God’s Word alone was the only key resource he’d need to attest Jesus was the Christ. Being knocked down on the Damascus road jolted something loose in his head. When he looked at the Word, he came to his own exclamation that “This is it!” He found the one resource that was irrefutable against everything else.

I pray today whether we’re preparing for a study, a sermon, our testimony, etc. we look to the Bible as the one, key, authoritative resource to assist us. We don’t need supplementary research, no matter how scholarly, convincing, or reputable it may look or sound. God’s Word is great enough to stand on its own and be the key piece of research (and evidence) we need for any conversation. We’ve already got it at our very fingertips. Pick up the Bible and prove with the authority of the Scriptures that Jesus is Lord!