In Search Of Truth
As you begin your search for the truth, you need to consider the matter of authority. By “authority,” we are referring to God’s approval for our religious practices. The need for authority is clear from the discussion between Jesus and the religious leaders in Matthew 21.23-27. This being the case, it behooves us to understand how we may determine what we can and cannot do. We must make sure that our faith is in God’s word (Romans 10.17). Care always needs to be taken when handling God’s word. In 2 Timothy 2.15, we are told to “rightly divide” the scriptures. This has reference to rightly applying them. It has to do with taking statements out of context. To understand what context is, always look for three things:
Who was speaking? Was it the devil, God, or man?
Who was the audience? Was it a Christian or a sinner/ Was it only meant for certain people? For example, Noah was commanded to build an ark. Are we commanded to build an ark today? Similarly, Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to please God. Are we to do the same to our children to please God today?
What was the subject? Was a question being asked or answered? Because God’s written word can be mishandled, God has been diligent in his warnings to man. Notice from the following list the many ways that God’s word can be mishandled:
- 2 Peter 3.16: “…Wrest…the…scriptures…to their own destruction…” To “wrest” is to twist or pervert. It means the opposite of “rightly divide” (2 Timothy 2.15). There are many ways to “wrest” scripture.
- 2 Corinthians 4.2: “…handling the word of God deceitfully…”
- 2 Corinthians 2.17 - “…corrupting (peddling) the word of God…” Again, how is this possible?
- Mark 7.13: “…making void the word of God…through teaching traditions…”
- Galatians 1.6-9: “…and would pervert the gospel of Christ by preaching another gospel…”
- Deuteronomy 4.2: “…adding unto the word…”
- Deuteronomy 12.32: “…adding…or diminishing aught from it…”
- Proverbs 30.5-6: “…Add thou not…reprove thee…liar…”
- Jeremiah 23.16,31: “…speaking out of their own heart, not out of the mouth of Jehovah…using their tongues, and saying, ‘He saith’…”
- Numbers 22.18: “…going beyond the word of Jehovah my God, to do less or more…”
- 2 John 1.9-11: “…goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching…”
- Revelation 22.18-19: “…adding…or taking away…”
- Matthew 22.29: “…not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God…”
- John 12.48: “…rejecting Jesus, and receiving not his sayings…”
- Numbers 24.13; 1 Corinthians 4.6: “…going beyond the word…and, beyond the things which are written…”
You reject Jesus by rejecting his teachings. You reject his teachings by refusing to follow them. If God didn’t speak, and I act on the principle of silence, I do not do so by faith, but by presumption. Most all religious division exists because of what isn’t in the Bible