The pre-eminent authority of the Scriptures must be defined in order to take seriously what was written and thereby act confidently and obediently upon it. Erickson defines the authority of Scripture: "By the authority of the Bible we mean that the Bible, as the expression of God's will to us, possesses the right supremely to define what we are to believe and how we are to conduct ourselves." The Bible bears the stamp of divine authority and has the power to inform and guide our actions and form our beliefs. The Word of God is the final arbiter and norm for our conduct, faith and all doctrinal beliefs. Confessions, creeds, and liturgical documents must submit to its scrutiny and authority. "And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers" ( Thessalonians 2:13).
The authority of the Bible resides with the one living and true God who is the source and fountain of all truth and not man or the Church (Isaiah 46:9
). He has absolute authority over his creation and is subject to no one. He is the source, intrinsic author, and the presenter of his word to all who have ears to hear. God divinely spoke through the inspired text, which established his authority. John Stott writes: "Authority is the power of weight which Scripture possesses because of what it is, namely a divine revelation given by divine inspiration. If it is a word from God, it has authority over men. God's Word carries God's authority. It is because of who he is that we should believe what he has said."