"The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous." — Psalm 19:9
The word authority has two common meanings. An authority can be a person who has extensive expertise that can be relied on. Authority can also include the right to make a decision, to direct or control something. In the Protestant Reformation, the teaching about Scripture alone made a claim based on both of these meanings.
The Reformers claimed that since the Bible was "God-breathed," it was speaking God's message to the world. As such, it has God's authority for all humankind. Indeed, the Bible informs us that through the power of his word, God made the heavens and the earth, all things visible and invisible. God is the King of his creation, and he has the right to demand our submission.
But the Bible's authority also operates in the sense of expertise. Through his Word of truth to us, God conveys his expertise as our Creator, Sustainer, and Savior. Who can know the creature better than its Creator? Who knows all that we need, what is best for us, and how we should live in relation to him, to others, and to his creation? God does, and he uses the Bible to teach us these things.
Psalm 19 describes the amazing value and qualities of God's Word. As you read this psalm, list the ways you can submit to the authority of God's Word in your life, and commit to pleasing God in all you do and say.