The Great Question
What is your highest authority? I mean, when it gets down to it all, what exactly is your base line or foundational authority that influences all your decisions. What exactly is that chief authority in your life from which you measure everything?
Perhaps it is Logic or Reasoning
I don’t think this is the case for most. But perhaps you fall in this category. When you are deciding on: what is right or wrong, what is true and untrue, what you will submit to and rebel against, you always make your basis from reason. But then, if reason or logic is your final authority, what is your logical reason for why murdering the innocent is wrong? Here is a great mystery that you know it to be wrong but cannot give a logic or reason based explanation.
Perhaps it is Practical or Results Based
Do you find yourself measuring the rightness of a practice based upon the results it yields? This parenting method is right because of the results. This law is bad because look at all the division it has caused. This church is doing it right because look at their success. But then, what do you do when your goals and someone else’s conflict? And how do you know your desired results are the right desired results? Here is a great mystery that you deeply long for good results and yet have no solid basis for how to discern a good result from a bad result.
Perhaps it is Emotions or Feelings
This is where I believe the large bulk of most humanity begin. When you hear something that makes you angry have you ever considered why that made you angry? When someone behaves in a way that upsets someone else, do you conclude the one who is hurt to be a victim? When you are upset, hurt, angry, offended do conclude the offender to be automatically in the wrong? Do you base a right choice from a wrong choice based upon how it “jives with you” or feels? But if emotions are your final authority, how do you reconcile that your emotional responses not only differ from other people, but that your emotional responses are not even consistent within itself? Here is a great mystery that you feel greatly about so much yet have no way to measure right emotional responses with wrong emotional responses.
The Similarities Among All These Standards
What intrigues me about all of these standards is that all of them ultimately are making one’s self the highest authority. All these standards are really just a front for making yourself your own master and lord. It would appear at first glance that we are putting the ultimate authority on something outside of us, but in reality we are claiming ourselves to be god. Is this not what the Bible warns and instructs would happen given our fallen state? Is this not the epitome of what sin is? Everyone doing what’s right in their own eyes. In other words, when we seek to establish any other lord other than the One True God of the Holy Scriptures then we unleash absolute chaos. Here is a great mystery that in seeking our freedom from the Lordship of Jesus Christ we become slaves to everything.
The Final and Highest Authority
Because God is the creator and sustainer of all things He is also the Lord of all things. But if God is the highest authority from which all things are measured, how do we know what God is like. It is here that we understand why King David spoke of God’s Word as more precious than gold or silver. Because in God’s Word we see God revealing Himself to us. And so, when we learn about God we have a solid basis for measuring, right from wrong, truth from lie, wisdom from foolishness. And it is in God’s Word that we learn that God has fully revealed Himself to us in His Son Jesus Christ. Here is a great mystery that Word of God has taken on flesh and dwelt among us. And that this God-man has come to reconcile us to the Father. Therefore, if we trust in Jesus Christ by submitting ourselves to Him and His teachings we will be saved!
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. -Matthew 7:24-29 (ESV)