The word "canon" is derived from the term meaning "measuring stick,' like a ruler. When we use the term to refer to Scripture we mean that an accurate understanding of the text from Genesis to Revelation needs to be the standard that determines what is true and what is false for our lives. The Bible is the standard that we must use to evaluate all of our spiritual experiences. The Corinthians were in danger of forgetting this. They were putting their own personal mystical experiences on a higher plain of authority than Jesus' inspired teaching through His apostles that we now have access to in the Bible. That's why Paul challenged the Corinthians to submit to his apostolic authority when he said, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy. Do not forbid speaking in tongues. Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.”

Prophecy, a gift from the Holy Spirit, was a strong revelatory gift in the first century as the New Testament was being written and it was important for this gift not be squelched. Today we have access to a book where God's complete revelation for us is recorded in the text of the bible from Genesis to Revelation. What a privilege to have this complete canon of Scripture and before we pay attention to our own personal "revelations" or a word from someone else, we need to be sure that we have listened carefully and understood God's inspired words in the Bible. Any true word from God today must line up with His Word recorded in Genesis through Revelation.

 

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