Nehemiah Chapter 10
In Chapter 10, Nehemiah and the people sealed a Covenant and entered into obligations before God which raise further questions about how then should we live: Should we enter into covenants with each other? Should we invoke blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience?
To assist us to answer how then we should live, we reviewed how fathers of the reformation tackled these questions. All the reformers accepted the final authority of Scripture but held differing views on how the Scriptures are authoritative.
The four views were:
Corrective – Luther held that everything that was traditional in the doctrine and life of the Roman Catholic Church was to be retained unless it is expressly contrary to biblical teaching and example.
Regulative – Zwingli held whatever had no expressive warrant in Scripture had no authorised place in the doctrine and life of the Church.
Exemplary – Anabaptist view of biblical authority holds that the examples Scripture provided were to be followed directly.
Directional – Calvin’s directional view how Scripture is authoritative differed to Luther’s Corrective way and Zwingli’s Regulative way; and the Anabaptist Exemplary way as it seeks to understand each passage in terms of scriptural principle distilled from the whole span of Scriptural writings.
The Baptist view of how scriptural authority is applied follows the Exemplary way with the autonomy of the local church and follows the Directional view with elected Pastor, Elders and Deacons, and quarterly business meetings with a voting membership.
The central point to take from this historical review is that followers of Christ who believe in the final authority of Scripture may hold different interpretations of Scripture if they hold different views on how the scripture is authoritative.
While this allows for a difference of view among us, we should never hold to any view which makes God be a liar, invective or cruel or impugns His character in any way.
The sermon finished with a review of the wider significance of the Covenant in chapter 10.