(Article for publication 3-24-2010 AD)
To the Law and to the testimony..." (Isaiah 8: 20).
As we finally conclude with our series of articles on the doctrine of scripture, I want to emphasize that the Bible is the final and infallible word for everything we believe. This was the cry of the Reformer's, "Sola Scriptura." This was the word of the old Baptists, "the Bible says." This was the cry of the Puritans and all Christians of every persuasion in every generation. Scripture alone is the final appeal on every question.
There must be a final Authority to which we appeal, otherwise it is matter of one person's opinion against another person's opinion. Man is not the final standard of all things, but God is. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12, "there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the ways thereof are the ways of death." We must have a standard higher than ourselves. That standard is God's inspired, inerrant, and infallible word.
Church councils and traditions have been proven wrong, but God's word has never been proven wrong. Our Lord told the religious leaders of His day that they made the commandments of God of none effect by their traditions. Religious leaders in our day are no better.
Our Lord quoted the scriptures alone as His authority. He asked the Pharisees in Matthew 19:4, "have ye not read?" He told the Sadducees in Matthew 22:29 " ye do err, not knowing the scriptures." Our Lord never told men to blindly accept the traditions of the religious leaders. He never told men to " let their conscience be their guide." He never told men to "follow their hearts." He never told men to do what seemed best to them. He never told anyone to go by his or her feelings. He told men to "search the scriptures " (John 5:39).
Now I want to ask you dear Reader, will your opinions and beliefs stand the test of scripture? Is your understanding of God according to thus saith the Lord? Do you know the Bible way of salvation? Are you living your life by the Bible? I call upon you to test everything by the revealed word of God.
Our world and our own culture are coming apart at the seams. Our nation is in terrible disarray, and our own state and community is not exempt from it. This is because men will not submit to the word of God. I saw in a headline today that the Congress would be voting on the socialized medicine bill on the Lord's Day. We cannot expect God to bless our nation when the leaders esteem the Lord's Day so lightly. And this is of course just one example. And the fact is it is not just the leaders, but the people as well.
I pray that our region might truly be the "Bible Belt" again, for it certainly is not now. Most of all, I pray for you my readers that the word of God might be precious to you and that you might know the God of the Bible and His Son.