Bible Reliability, Authority, and Sin
*Many today proclaim that the bible has flaws. It was written by men and men can make mistakes. Others say that the bible was written thousands of years ago, so it no longer applies. There is, however, truth in the Bible, and its contents are completely reliable.
-Hebrews 6:18 tells us that it is impossible for God to lie.
*1 Thessalonians 2:13 is a passage very similar to the one above. It says, “because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”
-Although the bible was written by apostles, it was inspired by a flawless, perfect God. He didn’t allow anything to be written against His will.
*So the bible no longer applies in current times? Look at Mark 13:31... “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.” 1 Peter 1:23 says, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” The word of God is everlasting. It has survived the years and will survive until the coming of the Lord. Look at it this way... would God allow His word to be corrupted or lost by men when it is the standard and rule by which we live, obey, and are judged?
*No one can deny the Bible as the inspired word of God after analyzing these passages. In addition, there is tons of scientific proof to prove the Bible as true along with countless fulfilled prophecies.
*As Christians, our only authority is the bible, the word of God. We do not go beyond it in any way, and we obey the commandments and requirements which it holds.
-Denominations do not abide in the doctrine of Christ, but in their own doctrines and creeds. This shouldn’t be so. They have rejected the authority and strayed from its truth. We will look at this in our next lesson.
*Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” In other words, our faith is drawn directly from the scriptures. 2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us to “walk by faith, not by sight.” We’ve got to walk according to the scriptures in order to please God and to have true faith.
*1 Corinthians 4:6 says, “learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.” We are not to exceed the boundaries laid out in the word of God. In other words we ought to speak where the bible speaks and be silent where the bible is silent. It is our authority.
*Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:37 that “the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” A commandment is a rule that we MUST follow. Although Jesus had since ascended to Heaven, Paul’s writings (as well as the writings and teachings of the other apostles) were inspired and commanded by God.
*Galatians 1:8,9 tells us that we are to abide in no other gospel, even if it were to be preached to us by an angel.
*In addition to 1 Corinthians 4:6, I find that 2 John vv. 9 is one of the more effective verses in dealing with the subject of authority. It reads, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” We abide ONLY in the doctrine of Christ. If we transgress it in any way, than we have lost fellowship with God.
-James 2:10 tells us, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” We’ve got to keep all the commandments and abide in the ENTIRE doctrine. If we stumble in even one point, we have still transgressed the law. Strict but reality.
-If the bible tells us how to do something and we do it another way, then we have transgressed the law. If we are told not to do something but we do it anyway, than we are transgressing the law. If the bible is silent on an issue and we make our own rules to take its place, than we have transgressed the law.
*So far, we’ve studied that the bible is our only authority. We aren’t to exceed it in any way. We’ve also learned that the word of God is entirely true and is still applicable today. Let’s look at the subject of sin.
*Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”. There’s not a sinless person on this earth, and there’s nothing we can do to actually deserve the glory of God. We can’t compare to Him.
-So, what exactly is sin?
*1 John 3:4 defines sin... “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” Sin is transgression of the law. What law? God’s law which is outlined in the New Testament. When we transgress what’s written in the bible, we commit sin against God.
-Romans 14:23 tells us that “whatever is not from faith is sin.”. As we’ve previously studied, faith is derived from the scriptures. So, in addition to the passage mentioned above, it should be obvious that when we exceed what’s written in the bible, we commit sin. This verse also applies to anything that violates our conscious. In other words, if something feels like sin to us, even though it isn’t mentioned in the bible, and we do it anyways, we sin.
*Romans 6:23 informs us of the punishment of sin... “For the wages of sin is death...” Obviously, Paul is speaking of “spiritual death”. Of course, we as Christians can sin and will undoubtably sin, but the consequences of a sinful lifestyle is everlasting damnation. Talk about tough love!
Study #2: One Church vs. Denominationalism