There are many in today’s religious world (including not a few in the Lord’s church) who claim the letters of the New Testament fail to carry the weight of spiritual authority previously thought.
Such teaching leads to dangerously (if not blasphemously) supposed conclusions: Regulations pertaining to worship don’t apply because they were only cultural. Commands concerning one’s lifestyle is relegated to a position of mere historical opinion. Interpreting “Paul through Jesus, not Jesus through Paul” apparently due to a “greater level” of inspiration in the gospel letters in comparison to the remaining epistles.
So how do we know God means for his inspired word (particularly the New Testament) to carry the same authority it was meant to have the day it was recorded? It’s as easy as listening to what Jesus says when …… he settled a question that intentionally doubted the teachings of God’s word and power.
“Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God … But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”” (Matthew 22:29, 31-32 NKJV – emphasis mine)
Did you catch that? Jesus said God spoke, to the people involved in the conversation, through the scriptures which recorded something said to Moses a millennia earlier! And Jesus expected it to still carry weight.
When God gives his inspired word, he expects it to be treated as such. That includes the authority it came with when it was delivered.
“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV)