KNOWLEDGE, AND AUTHORITY
The above title indicates that there are three very important things that we need to consider when it comes to religion. These three absolutely indispensable things are truth, knowledge and authority.
God's truth is His word which is revealed to us in the Bible (John 17:17). It is absolute. It is objective. It stands on it's own. Responsible human beings are capable of knowing it. Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32).
God's truth is necessary. By that, I mean that without God's truth one cannot be saved from sin, know how to live to please God, and be able to live in Heaven forever. Every responsible person must know God's truth and obey it in order to be saved (Hebrews 11:6; John 8:24; 20:30-31).
God's truth is exclusive. Obedience to it is the only way a responsible person can be saved (Matthew 7:13-14; 21-23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
God's truth is powerful. It is powerful enough to save our souls, enable us to know how to live a faithful life on this earth, and to be saved forever in Heaven (Romans 1:16-17; Mark 10:28-30; 2 Peter 1:5-11; Philippians 4:4-7; Revelation 2:10).
God's truth is valuable. It is worth any price one has to pay to learn it, obey it, and teach it to others. It is more valuable than the whole "world" (Matthew 16:26; Mark 9:43-50; Proverbs 23:23).
To say that one has knowledge is to say that one is so certain about a thing that he cannot possibly be wrong about it. We can know what to do to be saved by studying God's truth (the Bible). We can know from our study of God's truth that we must believe in, love and obey Jesus Christ (John 8:24; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 13:3, 5; Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 8:26-39 etc...). It is only by our coming to a knowledge of the truth that we can be made free from the consequences of our sins (John 8:32). Thus, when we come to a knowledge of God's truth (the Bible), we don't have to guess about our salvation, we can know that we are saved and we can know how we were saved. There is no "guess work" or "probability," but true, full, knowledge.
When any responsible person comes to a knowledge of God's truth (the Bible), and obeys it, he can be certain beyond any possibility of being wrong that he has received salvation (1 John 5:13).
God's truth (the Bible) is the authority in religion. In order to please God and receive the salvation that only He can give, we must only do what He authorizes in the Bible. There is no other book we can use to find the absolute true answer to the questions, "what must I do to be saved?" and "how am I to live to be able to go to heaven?" God's truth (the Bible) is the only book that answers these questions with absolute truth.
There are some people today who, while claiming to believe in the Bible, answer the above questions with different answers than what the Bible gives. There are others who reject the Bible as the authority in religion and substitute another book or other teaching from some other source. God has never allowed man to write his own Bible. He has never allowed man (with His approval) to do just as he pleases. To be pleasing to God, man must do what God has told him to do in His word. To be pleasing to God, man must not do what God has told him not to do. Human beings do not have the right to add to God's word, subtract from it or substitute something in it's place (Deuteronomy 4:2; 1 Chronicles 15:1-15; Leviticus 10:1-2; 2 John 1:9-11; Revelation 22:18-19). We do not have a right to bind on others what God has not bound (Galatians 2:3-5), or to forbid others to do what God has allowed (1 Timothy 4:1-5).
Christianity is the religion of Bible authority. It is based upon God's truth. Our salvation is based upon our knowledge, acceptance of and obedience to God's truth.
Understanding truth, knowledge and authority are absolutely essential. We must come to a knowledge of the truth and respect it's authority in our lives if we are to be saved.