Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | September 20, 2006

Who’s to Say? – Part 2

Today we continue in our review of Article 5 of the Belgic Confession, which affirms the authority of the Scripture to bind our lives and beliefs to itself.  Another thing to consider when we are affirming the authority of Scripture is: why should we submit to its authority?  As we’ve discussed previously, when special revelation was given it was affirmed through signs and wonders Hebrews 2:1-5.  These miracles were interruptions of the laws of nature that could only be performed by agents who were speaking on behalf of God with His authority.  Unless these acts of supernatural power and divine intervention accompanied the message being proclaimed, God’s people were not bound to follow it.  We see in his Institutes, Francis Turretin advocating this position: 

Nor would God have employed his omnipotence in working so many and such great miracles both under the law and the gospel, for the purpose of inducing a belief in the divinity of the Bible, if it had been a mere figment of the human brain.  2.4.8

Our affirmation of the authority of Scripture is possible, because it was produced by authorized agents of revelation.  These authorized agents of revelation received validation from God through the use of signs and wonders.  The importance of signs and wonders is also expressed in the following statement by Turretin: 

If Moses was an imposter and wished to deceive the Israelites, he undoubtedly hoped to make them believe his falsehoods and deceptions.  But how could he for a moment suppose that he could make them believe so many and so great miracles reported to have been wrought either in Egypt or in the wilderness, if no such things had taken place – especially as he was writing to these who would have been ear-witnesses or eye-witnesses of them?  The things of which he wrote are reported to have been done not many ages before, but in their very day; not secretly and in a corner but openly and publicly before six hundred thousand men (and even before his most bitter enemies) who could have convicted him of falsehood.  Could he hope that no one would be found among the people to doubt these things or to inquire of the Egyptians concerning their truth?  2.4.19

This has serious ramifications for: (1) how we define what a miracle is? (2) who we qualify or expect to be able to perform a miracle? (3) our expectation of miracles to be performed today?  In this entry we will discuss ramification 1 and 2, however defer discussion of 3 until we get to Article 7 (and hopefully invite some dissenting opinions to contribute to the discussion). 

How do you define a miracle?  Some people would qualify the birth of a child, answered prayer, or the salvation of a soul as a miracle.  However, the examples just given are things that happen almost everyday.  Should something ordinary (happens every day) be qualified as a bonafide miracle?  Some would appeal to the Scriptures to support the concept that miracles occur every day.  Although, there are numerous miracles recorded in the Scriptures they were performed during a period of 1,500 years.  Furthermore, the majority of the miracles were performed during concentrated periods of time (i.e. the Exodus, Jesus’ earthly ministry, and the Acts of the Apostles).  We would argue that the ordinary examples given are not miracles.  No, we would argue that miracles are extraordinary events that do not occur every day.  We would define a miracle as an extraordinary act designed solely to validate the agent of special revelation that God provided for His covenant people (real-versus-false-revelation). 

If our definition of a miracle is accurate, then the answer to ramification 2 is simple.  The only qualified or expected person who could perform a miracle would be an authorized agent of special revelation.  This would preclude an unauthorized agent, including but not limited to Satan.  Otherwise, God’s people would be in the dangerous position of possibly assigning authority to a message that does not find its source in their Covenant God. 

We are natural beings that conduct our lives within a natural world that is bound by laws, such as gravity.  When these laws are interrupted, suspended or defied something extraordinary is happening.  The Supernatural Being who possesses the power to perform acts contrary to these laws possesses a special authority that we must be bound to.  The Scriptures were produced by agents that were endowed with the ability to perform such wonders that could only come from that Being.  Thus, they (the Scriptures) possess the authority of that same Being who we must bind our allegiance to.

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Responses

  1. […] How timely to have a debate going on here in light of our current topic?  Today we will continue to examine the implications of our belief in the sufficiency of Scripture as outlined in Article 7 of the Belgic Confession.  In our last entry we discussed the cessation of the apostolic office, today we review the cessation of miracles and more specifically the gift of tongues.  (For more on miracles in general see this entry whos-to-say-part-2).   […]

  2. […] the fact that Jesus had demonstrated His power to perform miraculous signs assigned credibility and authority to His teaching within the covenantal context.  We will also have the opportunity to consider the […]

  3. We are natural beings that conduct our lives within a natural world that is bound by laws, such as gravity.

    —–

    Yes that’s true we are all contain by the law.

    “I am the WORD spoken by the most high. I covered the earth like a mist.” – Sirach 24:3

    “Alone I walked around the CIRCLE of the SKY and walked through the ocean beneath the earth.” – 5

    “WISDOM is the LAW…” – Sirach 24:23

    “I help kings to govern and rulers to make GOOD LAWS” – Proverb 8:15

    “For the Son of man is LORD even of the sabbath day.” Matthew 12:8

    but sabbath day is a part of the law.

    Therefore Jesus Christ is the Lord of Law.

    why?B

    Because all laws in the universe are made in order to support life which is the product of the expression of love of God Most High.

  4. We are natural beings that conduct our lives within a natural world that is bound by laws, such as gravity.

    —–

    Yes that’s true we are all contain by the law.

    “I am the WORD spoken by the most high. I covered the earth like a mist.” – Sirach 24:3

    “Alone I walked around the CIRCLE of the SKY and walked through the ocean beneath the earth.” – 5

    “WISDOM is the LAW…” – Sirach 24:23

    “I help kings to govern and rulers to make GOOD LAWS” – Proverb 8:15

    “For the Son of man is LORD even of the sabbath day.” Matthew 12:8

    but sabbath day is a part of the law.

    Therefore Jesus Christ is the Lord of Law.

    why?Because he is:

    “I WISDOM dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.” – Proverb 8:12

    “… I am UNDERSTANDING” – Proverb 8:14

    All laws in the universe are made in order to support life which is the product of the expression of love of God Most High.

    Because all laws are the product of UNDERSTANDING.

    “The Lord by wisdom hath FOUNDED the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens” – Proverb 3:19

    and you will ask why FOUNDED?

    and the answer is:

    why can’t you not notice that the other planet in the solar system has a natural sattelite also like earth.

    In short there is a pattern in making the universe and that is also an another law or wisdom.

    “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”- John 1:3

    “Wisdom is a breath of God’s power – a pure and radiant stream of glory from the Almighty” – Book of wisdom

    “A perfect mirror of God’s activity and goodness” – Book of wisdom

    EYES(eyes2eyes.wordpress.com)


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