Study 2: The Spirit of God
Definition | Inspiration | Gifts of the Holy Spirit | The Withdrawal of the Gifts | The Bible The Only Authority | Digressions (Is the Holy Spirit A Person?, The Principle of Personification, Calvinism, "Ye shall receive the . . . Holy Spirit", "These signs shall follow") | Questions

2.5 The Bible The Only Authority

From what we have seen so far in this study, God's spirit refers to His mind and purpose, and to the power by which He puts those things into operation. We have emphasized that that spirit is expressly revealed to us in the pages of God's Word. The many problems of contemporary Christianity all come down to a dire lack of appreciation of this. Because it is hard to believe that such great power is vested in one book, parts of which we find hard to understand, it is tempting to feel that there is some other form of God's revelation to men, other than the Bible. Because our fundamentally faulty human nature (Jer. 17:9) finds the pure truth of God's Word (Jn. 17:17) so hard to stomach, many have given in to this temptation by claiming other forms of revelation which are more attractive to the natural mind. A few examples are now given:-

Religion Other form of revelation claimed Human advantage/attraction of this
Jehovah's Witnesses Publications of the Watchtower Society,which are treated as inspired. No personal effort required to think out the correct interpretation of the Bible; an answer for everything.
Roman Catholicism The pronouncements by the Pope and opinions of priests,which they claim are automatically the true reflection of God's mind. No need for personal Bible reading - in the past, Catholicism has discouraged and even forbidden this. Trusting in men rather than having to make the effort to verify things for oneself.
Mormons The Book of Mormon Takes away the need to believe in Biblical doctrines which are hard to accept - the Book of Mormon offers a chance of universal salvation, whilst the Bible says that there are many people who live and die with no hope through not being called to a knowledge of the Gospel.
Charismatic Christianity An 'inner light' which is claimed to be the Holy Spirit. They believe whatever they feel is right as, it is thought, God's Spirit is guiding and inspiring them in ways unconnected with the Bible

All this underlines the need for a fundamental acceptance of the Bible as God's Word, and to search its pages for the true message. The question, "One Bible, Many Churches - Why?" is largely answered when it is appreciated how each church has, to some degree, claimed another form of revelation of God's Spirit, i.e. His will, doctrine and thinking, in addition to that of the Bible.

If you wish to find the one true church, the one true faith and the one true baptism (Eph. 4:4-6), the call must be coming to you loud and clear - "Back to the Bible!"