When a ship is crippled in naval warfare, it becomes hors de combat or “out of the fight.”  Its masts broken, with sails shredded and hull or rudder damaged, the ship is at risk of being boarded and taken by the enemy.

“Without absolutes revealed from without by God Himself, we are left rudderless in a sea of conflicting ideas about manners, justice, and right and wrong, issuing from a multitude of self-opinionated thinkers. We could never know who God is, how He is to be worshiped, or wherein true happiness lies…”

John Owen

God safeguards Christians from becoming hors de combat by His Word, the Bible.

“…the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Years ago as I thought through how to explain why I believe the Bible is God’s Word, I decided the starting point was the truth that the New Testament is an accurate historical document attesting to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (see Eyewitnesses).  Anyone can go to the New Testament Gospels, read them and gain reliable knowledge about Jesus Christ.  As we read, we each decide our answer to the question:  who is Jesus?  (Eyewitnesses).  Even if we lay aside the Bible and read it no more, that decision reflects who we think Jesus is.

For those who become Christians (Believe, Two Chairs), and confess Jesus is Lord, we are inexorably drawn to examine and read His words in all matters, believe Him and obey Him.  Not to do so is a denial of our confession.  Of crucial importance is our understanding of His teaching and use of the Bible.

As you read the Gospels, you see Jesus’ continual use of the Hebrew Scriptures, our Old Testament, as authoritative to define and validate His teaching regarding God and man, and His own person and ministry.  He clearly regarded the Hebrew Scriptures as the authoritative and inerrant Word of God.  He claimed God’s authority for His own words and told His Apostles the Holy Spirit would come to further teach them, thereby giving the promise of God’s revelation of His Word in what we now call the New Testament.

We can clearly determine:  Jesus taught that the Bible is the truthful and authoritative Word of God.  Those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord are thus compelled to conclude, “When Scripture speaks, God speaks.”

The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky, Public Domain via Wikipedia.
Admiral William Henry Smyth, The Sailor’s Word-Book, 1867.
John Owen, Biblical Theology: The History of Theology from Adam to Christ, p. xl.

5 thoughts on “Steerage

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s