We Have A Whole Book Full Of Truth
By: Brian A. Yeager
Have you ever noticed that among so-called Bible students, teachers, Christians, etc. many have only certain parts of the Bible they like to study or talk about? Some like to study and talk about God being a loving God. Others spend most of their efforts on the vengeance of God. Some spend their time talking about what God did not say. Others spend all of their time just on the subject of what is authorized. Some like to talk about praising God. Others like to expose those who praise God in unscriptural manners. Some like to talk only about the false concept of unity in diversity. Others like to spend most of their time marking those who are false teachers and false congregations.
The list above contains many truths. God is love (I John 4:8 and I John 4:16). On the other hand, God is also vengeful (Psalms 94:1 and Romans 12:19). The balanced student of the Bible realizes, studies, and even teaches both the goodness and the severity of God (Romans 11:22). We should never speculate outside of what the Bible says (Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:5-6, and I Corinthians 4:6). On the other hand, we do not need to always spend every moment of our studies on what we’re authorized to do and not authorized to do. We can spend time in studying things that do not apply to us today (i.e. the Old Law – Romans 7:1-6, Ephesians 2:11-17, Colossians 2:14, and Hebrews 9:15-17). Even though the Old Law doesn’t directly apply to us for our source of authority today, we can learn a lot from the things written therein (Romans 15:4 and I Corinthians 10:1-11). While we should certainly expose false teachers (Romans 16:17-18 and Ephesians 5:11), we should also spend time praising God and studying about praising God (I Chronicles 16:25, Psalms 104:33, and I Peter 4:11). Rather than always pointing out the false doctrines taught from Romans 14, some would do well to focus on the brethren they work with to be sure they are of the same mind (I Corinthians 1:10, Philippians 2:2, and Philippians 3:16). My point is this; I have known many who like to talk about the false doctrine of unity in diversity while they themselves are practicing it (Matthew 7:1-5).
Brethren, there is a lot to learn in the Scriptures. The ignorance that abounds around us is due to the fact that so-called “Christians” have become very narrow in their studies of God’s word. They’ve memorized the “five steps of salvation” (missing that we’re saved by more than just five things), but they know very little about the details concerning our Lord’s death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven (Matthew chapters 26-28, Mark chapters 14-16, Luke chapters 22-24, John chapters 17-21, Acts 1:1-11, etc.). People who proclaim to be our brethren know for sure that mechanical instrumental music is not authorized in the New Testament (Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26, Acts 16:25, Romans 15:9, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 2:12, and James 5:13), but they have no idea that they’re also supposed to understand the words they sing in worship to God (Psalms 47:7 and I Corinthians 14:15). In addition to that, these same individuals will often want false teachers marked, false doctrines exposed, false brethren withdrawn from, etc. However, they will not acknowledge that by singing songs that contain false doctrine they’ve taught error over and over again. They’re ignorant to the fact that we do teach by way of song (Colossians 3:16). These are just a few examples of how being stuck on a few biblical subjects leave people erring in many different ways. What we need to understand is that the Bible is not just a book used to learn to worship God or teach the plan of redemption, but the Bible is also a book that teaches us how to live!
The Bible Contains Many Lessons About Living
If you want to expose denominationalism, you can easily show there is only one church (Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 1:22-23, and Ephesians 4:4-6; cf. Romans 16:16). If you want to show someone that you cannot be saved by faith only, you can easily show them we need to do many works to be saved (James 2:14-26). Yet, those who know the Scriptures that expose error often do not know the Scriptures that teach us how to live as God’s people. The Apostle Peter said: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Peter 1:3-4). Did you notice, in what the inspired Apostle Peter wrote, that God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness? God did not just give us everything we need to expose false doctrines or to tell people of the love of God, but everything we need to live aright.
What happens if you have a problem with carnal anger? The “church of Christ debate books” do not deal with the sin of anger (that I have ever seen). How can you overcome anger? Should you schedule an appointment with a Psychologist? Should you find some sort of anger management group to have meetings with? No, the Scriptures equip us to live aright. The Scriptures fully equip us in every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17). When you study the Bible about anger, you learn that it is not always bad to be angry (Mark 3:1-5 and Ephesians 4:26). You can also learn that by changing your focus in life, you’ll be able to put off anger as well as other carnal things (Colossians 3:1-17). By studying further you will learn that we are not all spiritual super heroes. We are all able to be tempted (Matthew 26:41). Thus, you study and learn that the key to avoiding anger or any other carnal sin is to avoid all situations that will cause you to be tempted in that way (I Thessalonians 5:22, I Peter 2:11, and I Peter 3:10-11).
Do you have problems with anxiety? Sure, one can look to the Scriptures and find that we are to cast our anxieties upon the Lord (I Peter 5:7). Yet, does that automatically remove the anxiety? No, it does not. Thus, you study more and more. As you learn about what causes your anxieties, you learn that the Bible teaches us not to be concerned with matters of which we have no control over. In fact, the same context comforts a faithful child of God by showing us that we’ll have what we need and should not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:25-34). You see, the word of God answers more than just how to combat liberalism or how to properly partake of the Lord’s Supper.
This brief study is intended to remind us that the Bible contains everything we NEED to know. People often say things like, “I just wish I had the answers.” You do! You just need to look deeper into the Scriptures to find them. Preachers and teachers are often tied to teaching on what NEEDS to be taught in a particular location (i.e. Jude 3). Sometimes lessons of repetition are necessary (II Peter 1:12-15). What we all need to remember is that we all have our own personal copies of the Scriptures and often people to help us study. Let’s remember that we have a whole book to learn from covering all we need to know!
Volume 11 – Issue 41 - July 3rd, 2011