The Scriptures themselves provide us with a marvelous understanding of how they are to be viewed. Consider the following.
- All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is sufficient for all religious and spiritual instruction. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13; Galatians 1:11-12; Ephesians 3:1-5).
- Scripture was given “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work,” and it is not to be added to, subtracted from, substituted for, revised, modified, amended, or supplemented by bishops, councils, popes, human creeds, church manuals, and/or catechisms. (Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:24-25; 1 Corinthians 4:6; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 John 9).
- Scripture must be handled aright (rightly divided), recognizing the difference between the covenant God made with Israel through Moses (the Old Testament) and the covenant He has made with all humanity through Christ (the New Testament). (2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 1:1-2; 9:15-17; 10:9b; et al).
- Scripture speaks to us in plain, explicit statements of various kinds (declarative, imperative, interrogative, hortative, etc.), by examples, and with implications from which we draw necessary inferences. With reference to inference, Paul asserts that the existence of the universe teaches us by necessary inference that there is an all-powerful, all-wise Creator (Romans 1:19-20). Jesus used inference in refuting the Sadducees’ lack of faith in the resurrection (Mark 12:24-27). If God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and if God is not the God of the dead but of the living, then it must necessarily be inferred that those Old Testament patriarchs are still alive in the spirit world, and, therefore, there will be a resurrection!
- We must honor the silence of Scripture, and not presume to speak where God has not spoken (I Corinthians 4:6 [NKJV, ASV]; 1 Peter 4:11).
- We should adhere strictly to Scripture in all matters of faith, doctrine, and practice, including what the New Testament says with reference to being saved from sin, the church, worship, and daily Christian living in all of its multiple dimensions (Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:8-9; 1 Corinthians 4:6; 2 John 9).
- A person of average intelligence can read and understand the Scriptures for himself/herself as surely as he/she can read any number of other documents and understand them (Ephesians 3:1-4; 2 Timothy 2:15).
The problems/differences we face today in the church and in the religious world at large are not so much a matter of not understanding what the Bible says as they are a matter of not believing what the Bible says. This is not to say that there are not some knotty passages concerning which good and able men have differed. But I fear that in too many instances some have allowed their social and professional peers and their religious and non-religious friends to intimidate them into compromised beliefs and positions where biblical teaching is concerned.
Paul expressed a fear that “as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). The “strait” (observe the spelling) way is too restricted for some (Matthew 7:13-14). To insist on salvation only through Christ is too “limiting” for some (John 14:6; Acts 4:11-12). To insist on immersion for the remission of sins is too “narrow” for some (Romans 6:4; Acts 2:38). To worship without the instrument is too “odd” for some (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). To insist on male only leadership in the church is too “politically incorrect” for some (1 Corinthians 14:34; 1 Timothy 2:11-12).
Some seemingly have come to the point where they are ashamed of the simple truths of the Bible. I am reminded of the words of an old preacher who said, “I would be ashamed to be afraid and afraid to be ashamed of my Lord and His words.” Jesus had some sobering words for all who fall into that category (Mark 8:38).
By: Hugh Fulford, From Hugh’s News & Views, via Facebook- submitted by Jerry Sturgill