Conclusion

Conclusion

The canonical Scripture is thus considered by the Christian church to be the authoritative interpretation of God's revelation to Israel and the church. The divine revelation in the form of word and act is communicated and interpreted to the community of faith through the Holy Spirit's activity. As this inspired understanding of God's communication is proclaimed in oral and written form, the Holy Spirit works concursively with the prophets and writers to enable them to express accurately and authoritatively the content and significance of God's saving message. The written result of this process takes the form of Scripture. The internal testimony of the Holy Spirit enables the church to perceive the authentic inspired message of God through these writings. It is this communication that enables God's purposes of salvation to be realized in his people. In short, Scripture is considered authoritative and canonical because through it the inspired writers, working concursively with the Holy Spirit, are able to communicate reliably a spiritually valid interpretation of God's revelations in history.

To those who are receptive to the Spirit's testimony, which is God's saving work revealed in Jesus Christ, Scripture functions as a means of grace that transforms and saves those who believe and obey its message. The Wesleyan understanding of the authority of Scripture is based on a commitment to its saving function as a means of grace and on its inspired character, which is revealed by the witness of the Spirit. This basis of authority in the function of Scripture is consistent with the Wesleyan emphasis on the redemptively effective work of the Holy Spirit at every point in the faith and life of the Christian and the church.