Authority has Two Arms


Over the years many arguments have raged over the matter of authority. The authority of the Bible, the authority of the church, and dreadful threats have been issued by the various devotees who have sought to prove total external infallibility of their particular authority, by excommunicating all those who refused to submit to their particular view of that authority.
Instead of trying to balance one with the other, all I can offer you at this moment, is a picture and a passage.
The picture is one of the only supreme authority, God, who is in Jesus Christ, who says, “All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me”.
Now Christ has two arms. One is the Bible and the other is the Church, and without the living power of Christ, without the living Holy Spirit of God, each of these can become an idol worshipped instead of worshipping God. The living Christ uses one arm, the Word, the Bible, to judge the church, to feed it, to guide it, to inform it, to correct it. He uses the other arm, the Church, which is the people of Christ, to interpret the Bible, to transmit it, to embody it. But Christ alone is the supreme head, the Authority.
The Bible and the Church are His two arms, and together they enfold the willing people in the authority of self-giving grace and that’s the authority of God. That is the picture,
The passage to read is the beginning of John Chapter 15.

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