Banking on the Authority of God’s Word



The CCCC is a family that treasures the Word of God– there are no two ways about it. Many of our family members have come from different streams into the Conference, some of whom have had to fight to defend and hold to the Word’s authority. I am one of those. The words of our first faith statement, “We believe the Bible consisting of the Old and New Testament, to be the only inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God written,” give me both great comfort and challenges me to action.

I don’t know about you, but there was a season when I unwittingly flirted with some dangerous ground. I was so consumed with the articulation and defense of sound doctrine that I was becoming ineffective as a pastor. I spent more time arguing about the Faith than I did applying it– and the lack of kingdom fruit was noticeable. Then came the day when God spoke to my heart about the Word’s authority, and everything changed. I’m reminded of the great quote from Charles Spurgeon, “Defend the Bible? I would as soon defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself.”

In my life, my pastoral ministry, and now my work in both Church Development and Church Planting, I have come to realize that my role is not to defend the Faith or to argue the Word as much as it is to exercise it in all its authority and let it produce its own fruit. The Word of God is authoritative. It is, as the writer of Hebrews attests, “…living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, ESV).

I certainly still respond to questions, make clarifications, and correct erroneous ideas with the Word, but I now do so in the process of helping people to literally live out its teaching in their own lives. As I hear people espouse the Word, I’ve learned to listen and ask “to what end?” I’ve met many Christians, pastors and whole congregations that joyfully declare their allegiance to Christ and His Word, but who in the next breath express concern that they do not see people coming to Christ, can’t seem to overcome conflicts, and/or are otherwise worried about the future of their churches. It is one thing to give mental assent to the Bible’s truth; it is entirely another to live according to its authority. How that changes everything! We pray expecting God to answer and actively watch for it. We witness anticipating the Redeemer will draw people to himself. We preach, teach and discipline fully presuming that the Holy Spirit will align people’s hearts with his own. We mediate and reconcile in the power of God-sourced forgiveness. We rear leaders confident that they will not default to a “holy board of directors” but rather will actually propel the church into Christ’s harvest field. We bank on the Word’s actual authority.

I am so thankful for the CCCC family and her commitment to the Word of God. But we are more than just a community that espouses the Bible’s truth: we live it with full expectation regarding its transformative power. And praise Jesus – it has never lost that power!


The Bible's Truth Works Out in Real Life
Constant and Consistent in the CCCC