The Authority of the Word of God in Your Life

by Joanna Pierce on April 05, 2018

The Struggle to Submit

Many of us say we believe in the Word of God, we study it, and know it’s true. But, there are those who still refuse to submit to the Word when it speaks into our life. There’s a difference in saying something is true compared to actually submitting ourselves to that truth. Because of this conundrum, we struggle with the Word having authority in our life. When the Word violates our personal sovereignty—what we’ve decided is right, convenient, or appropriate—disobedience arises. The same occurs when the Word starts to dig into where we’re deficient in our life. It’s easy to submit when we’re stronger in a particular spiritual area, but more difficult where we need help or see a gap.

Submitting to the Authority of God’s Word Means…

Believing it’s Promises and Consequences

We believe in and embrace authority because we believe in consequences. Whether secular or spiritual, this concept holds true. With God, Scripture tells it’s impossible to please God without faith, but He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). It’s easy to embrace God’s authority His promises say we’ll be healed or He will never leave or forsake us. But, even though it’s more difficult, it’s just as necessary to embrace authority when Scripture warns of consequences. Those who submit themselves to the Word of God will enter into His Kingdom (Matthew 7:21). Those who don’t will be told to depart from Him. When we look at the story of Saul, he didn’t obey the Word of the Lord because he didn’t believe in consequences. He decided to sacrifice instead of obey and kill all the livestock (I Samuel 15:13–26). God is looking for someone who’s completely submitted. We must allow the Word of God to get into every part of our living: decisions, behaviors, etc. If we believe or preach anything different than submission to God’s Word, we will be accursed (Galatians 1:8).

Believing it’s Necessary for Salvation and Christian Living

Salvation doesn’t end after repenting, being baptized in Jesus name, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. All of those elements are just the beginning! With the infilling of the Holy Ghost, we enter another spiritual dimension: we learn to submit to the authority of the Word of God in our life, which means becoming more like Him. Sanctification is a process of being made holy and more like God. It defines a separation resulting in a changed lifestyle. Paul told Timothy to continue in the things he had learned. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (II Timothy 3:14–17). The Word is present to sanctify us, and we must submit to it so it can complete its perfect work in us. Sanctification is a process; therefore, we must receive the Word with readiness of mind, and make a decision to submit to it’s authority.

Knowing its Identity

The Word of God isn’t just literature—it’s alive! The Word is God Himself (John 1:1). So, if reject the Word, we’re not just rejecting some philosophy, we’re rejecting God. Jesus even noted to the Pharisees they had “searched” the Scriptures, but they truly had rejected what they said they believed because they rejected Him (John 5:39–40). We cannot deny what the Word represents. No prophecy is of any private interpretation. We have a more sure word of prophecy than ever before (II Peter 1:16–21). If we’re going to be able to submit to God’s Word, we have to know what it is.

Going Against this World’s Culture

As humans, we have a tendency to fall to the “norm” of what culture or society is doing. We follow “group think,” and don’t stand out against the crowd. But, submission to God’s authority isn’t going to be mainstream, and we’ll find ourselves pushing against the flow of what the world deems appropriate. We’re admonished in Scripture to be instant in season and out of season and not turn to cunningly devised fables (II Timothy 4:2–4). We must know the God we serve, His truth, and submit to it instead of everything else. We must be careful God doesn’t allow us to believe in false delusions and experience a famine of hearing and understanding His Word (Amos 8:11). Stay true to the Word. Submit to its authority.

3 Teachers that Foster Submission to the Authority of God’s Word

The Bible

The Bible is the foremost authority that will help us learn submission. It uses 2 kinds of truths: explicit and implicit. Explicit statements are very clear (e.g., thou shalt not…). There’s no possibility to misinterpret when God says not to do something or when we should do something. Implicit principles helps us apply concepts to any time, regardless of culture. Being told to ensure no unclean communication comes from our mouth is an implicit principle. The words culture deems inappropriate have changed over time, but the principle still holds true.

God’s Human Leaders

God provided the five-fold ministry to help lead and guide the church: preachers, teachers, apostles, prophets, and evangelists (Ephesians 4:11–15). These leaders have 6 distinct areas in which they help the church and the members within: 1) contribute to the spiritual growth and completion, 2) training for other’s ministry, 3) encouragement, 4) teaching and promoting unity, 5) deepen other’s knowledge of Jesus (giving insight into God’s Word), and 6) providing spiritual stability and protection against false doctrine. Their responsibilities are significant, as they cannot add or take away from God’s Word, they must explain and apply the teachings of Scripture, as well as base all authority on the Word (not personal preferences or opinions). All of these members of the five-fold ministry play an important role in the spiritual development of the church, and help with submission to God’s authority.

Holy Spirit

The Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) will never contradict the Word of God. Scripture teaches us that God is a Spirit, He is the Word, and He will never contradict Himself. The anointing of the Holy Ghost will live in us and help us learn and follow truth as He has taught us (John 16:13I John 2:27). We have a built-in teacher to help us follow God’s authority!

Improper Alternatives to the Word of God

We cannot submit to tradition instead of truth. This is not an option for the child of God! We must follow after what has been taught to us through God’s Word (II Thessalonians 2:15). And, we must be careful not to submit to ungodly human figures. We’re challenged to try the spirits and determine if they’re of God (I John 4:1). We must be diligent in what we give our heart and mind to. Let’s submit to the right things—the Word of God—and see what powerful changes it can make in our life.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on April 04, 2018 with Pastor Nave