Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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THE AUTHORITY OF THE APOSTLES
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.
1 John 1:1
The declaration of the church comes to us on the authority of the apostles. See 2 Peter 1:16. Our only authority is the apostolic witness, and our gospel is based upon what they have said. In the opening verses of 1 John, John keeps on repeating it. Three times he talks about having "seen" it, twice he says, "we have heard" it, and he also says, we "have handled" it. He emphasizes and repeats that because it is the whole foundation of the preaching of the church, and there is no message apart from it. The message is what the apostles have seen, what they have witnessed, and what they have experienced and shared together.
Now, one of the first things we must recapture is the essential difference between witness and experience. What is our fundamental authority as Christian people? There are large numbers today who would say that it is experience. A man once wrote that he had been listening to a radio discussion between a Christian and a modern scientific humanist. During this discussion the scientific humanist asked the Christian, "What is your final proof of the reality and the being of God?" "And," said the writer of this article, "the Christian failed badly, in my opinion. He tried to produce certain arguments, but he should have turned to the scientific humanist and said, 'I am the proof of the being of God.'"
I would have been entirely on the side of the Christian in that argument, for I am not a proof of the being of God, nor is my experience. The only reality of the being of God is the Lord Jesus Christ. Experience is of value in confirming, in supporting, in helping me to believe these things, but I must never base my position upon it.
A Thought to Ponder
The declaration of the church comes to us on the authority of the apostles.
From Fellowship with God, p. 48.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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