It is of the utmost importance to establish a foundation and basis from which to know the will of God. If we can first establish that the Bible, and only the Bible, is the Word of God, AND that we are bound to obey and keep it, then we can study it and obey it and know that we are righteous in God’s eyes.
The Bible is the very basis of Christianity. Without it, we would have no knowledge of God or His will for us to obey. Romans 10:17 states: “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” We know that the Bible is the Word of God. We know that it is infallible. We know that it is complete and without error. Most of all, we know that God expects us to follow Him and obey His complete will by keeping ALL of His commandments.
The Bible Must Be The Only Standard
To illustrate the critical nature of establishing this first, a simple example is offered. And that example has to do with the fundamental rules of successful negotiation. Often, in negotiations, there is no basis from which to move forward and gain common ground. One of the most fundamental rules and tools in negotiating is to work to identify and establish what is called a “third party standard”, one to which both parties can agree to abide by. This is critical when there is a disagreement or simply a basic distrust of what we, or anyone else, are being told. It also removes the emotions and feelings that often attach themselves to what someone believes and, perhaps has believed for a long time.
The easiest and simplest example that can be given of using a third party standard in negotiating is when someone is buying a used car. A prospective buyer finds a car advertised in the paper and they go and look at it and drive it. It’s exactly what they’re looking for and they want to buy that car. But the owner is asking $5,000 for it. The prospective buyer, on the other hand, thinks it’s only worth $4,000. What do they do? Well, we all know that there are so called “blue books” of used car values. If both parties agree to abide by this standard, it is easy to set a fair price accordingly. They look up the make, the year, the model, the optional equipment, and so on, and it establishes a fair price. There is no controversy because both agreed to abide by a true and reliable standard. It doesn’t matter what someone might want the car to be worth. The standard has settled the issue. And one can’t say to the other, “Well, the car is blue and that makes the car worth more.” No, the standard said nothing about a specific color being worth more or less. So, the standard must be followed exactly.
This is exactly what we must do with the Bible. It is critical to establish the Bible as the only standard. And it is critical when we study the Bible ourselves or with others. We must establish the authority of the scriptures in our own hearts and minds and spirits. We must establish the exclusiveness of the scriptures. And we must establish how to read and interpret the scriptures. All of this must be accomplished by the Bible and the Bible alone. Thus we can establish the authority of the Scriptures. W.E. Vine describes authority in this way: “The power of one whose will and commands must be obeyed by others.” And that authority is God’s, and God’s alone.
All Scriptures Were Given By The Inspiration Of God
II Timothy 3:14-17 says:
“But continue thou in the things which thou has learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Hebrews 1:1-2 states:
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit.”
It is critical to establish that the Bible is the Word of God. Further, it must be established that the Bible was penned by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit and not something they wrote on their own. The fact that the scriptures are inspired by God is confirmed in II Timothy 3:16:
“All scripture is given by the inspiration of God.”
The second part, that scripture is not from men, is confirmed in I Corinthians 2:12-13:
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
II Peter 1:20-21 reiterates this point:
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation [that is, it is not by a man’s own interpretation] For the Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
How does this inspiration occur? By what process is the will of God revealed to men for them to write it down? Revelation 14:13 makes this very clear:
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours: and their words do follow them.”
Paul also writes in Ephesians 3:1-4:
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles. If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.”
By these scriptures we can know that the Bible came directly from God as He spoke to men through the Holy Spirit. We can rest assured that these are not the writings of men. And we can be confident that the inspiration came only to apostles and prophets. And that is the way men must receive it, just as Paul writes in I Thessalonians 2:13:
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
The Bible Is Complete
Once we have established that the Bible is truly from God and not men, there are those that might ask, “How do we know if we have the complete Bible?” I Corinthians 13:8-10 says:
”Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether here be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” What is Paul talking about when he refers to “that which is perfect”?
The most frequent answer that comes from the religious denominations is that it refers to Jesus and they believe that tongues and prophecies and spiritually imparted knowledge will cease when Jesus comes again. And by this, they can support their position of modern day revelation. But Jesus is not a “that which”. Jesus is a “He who”. If this passage referred to Jesus, it would say miracles would cease when He who is perfect is come. So this passage refers to a thing and not a person. And that thing, which is perfect and complete, is the perfect and complete revelation of the New Testament. We know that miracles have ceased. Tongues, or speaking in an unknown foreign language have ceased. That is, no one is able to speak in another language that they have not studied and worked hard to master. God is no longer imparting prophecy or spiritually imparted knowledge unto men. Though the religious world claims this happens frequently and to many of their members, there is no evidence to support it. Divine revelation accompanies miracles and miracles accompany divine revelation. When one exists, the other is present. When one ceases, the other ceases as well.
But most important, the revelation that religious people claim they receive is always contrary to the Bible; else they would have no need for modern day revelation. Thus, they are proven to be false prophets.
In Acts 5:34-39, even the Jews recognized how to tell if something was from God:
“Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; and said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished: and all, even as many as obeyed him were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel of this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”
Now these scriptures are a defense against those who would try to convince us that they are a modern day prophet. And basically, it says, “prove it!” Of course, our main scripture is that concerning the Bereans in Acts 17:11:
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
To anyone who would present a belief or take a stand on any issue, we must be like the Bereans and say: “prove it”. Not with hypothetical questions which cannot be answered. Not with think so’s. It must be proven by the scriptures.
How Do We Know That There Has Not Been Inspired Scriptures Besides The Old and New Testaments?
There are those of a particular religious denomination that contend that there is another testament of Jesus Christ, in addition to the New Testament that we know. To that we respond with scripture. And that must always be our response – with scripture! Jude 3 says:
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
If it was once delivered, then how could it be delivered again 1800 years later? The answer is, it can’t. Jeremiah 31:31 says:
“Behold the says come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.”
The Old Testament points to the New Testament. And, consequently, the New Testament points back to the Old Testament. Paul writes in Romans 1:1-2:
“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures).”
When God spoke, He only spoke of a new covenant – in the singular. That is, only one new covenant, not two. Galatians 4:22-24 says,
“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants.”
There are only two covenants – the old and the new – not three. These same people will contend that much of the Bible was lost or purposely altered soon after the apostles died. To that we must say, “prove it!” If the Bible was altered, then why didn’t God restore it to completion and correctness in its original form of the Old and New Testaments instead of writing another testament (which, incidentally, conflicts with the other two)? There can be no answer for that when the scriptures make no mention of such.
The Bible itself testifies of its completeness elsewhere. John 16:13 says:
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.”
Which Covenant Or Testament Are We Under?
Having confirmed that there are only two covenants, how do we determine, by the scriptures, whether we are under one covenant or the other – or under both covenants? The book of Hebrews elaborately discusses this very point at length. It makes clear that the Old Covenant has been done away with. That is, we are only to keep the New Testament. Hebrews 10:9 states:
“Then said He, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second.”
In verse 16 it says:
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.”
Earlier in the seventh chapter of Hebrews, the writer makes it clear that there has been a change in both the law and the priesthood. Hebrews 7:12-14 says:
“For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For He of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.”
And if there was any doubt about the Old Covenant being done away with and Christians no longer being under obligation to keep it, we would offer Colossians 2:13-14:
“and you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances [the Old Testament] that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”
Must We Follow All of the New Testament?
You’d think that would be enough on the subject. However, among the so called “No Exception” brethren, is a belief that nothing in the Gospels is binding. They teach that only those scriptures written after the Church was established on the Day of Pentecost are binding. The result is that everything in the four gospels is regarded as being under the old law and not required for Christians to follow. This results in a position that divorce and remarriage is not allowed for any exception as Jesus taught in Matthew 19:9 because, obviously, Jesus said this before the establishment of the church. But the key to this misunderstanding is a disregard for Luke 16:16 which clearly says:
“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”
How much clearer can it be? John the Baptist and Jesus preached that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. The preaching and teaching was to prepare for that day when the kingdom would be established. Thus, their teaching is binding. When laws are made in this country, they are written, voted on and passed long before they become effective. Well, how could we know what we needed to obey if we knew nothing about it until it was law? We’d probably be in violation from the first day. No, we learn about laws well before they become binding. The New Testament, specifically as it regards the gospels, was no different.
The Bible Alone – No More, No Less
Once we establish that the Bible is complete and we are only under the New Covenant, there remains but one task to accomplish. But it is a formidable task. We must establish how to read and interpret the scriptures. Of all the things that must be established regarding the Authority of the Scriptures, this is the area of greatest contention.
First and foremost, we must show, by the Bible, that we must not add to nor take from what we find in God’s word. The Bible is clear in many passages about this very point.
Number 22:13 says:
“I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.”
Deuteronomy 4:2 says:
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
This makes it clear that we can’t add to or take away from the Bible. Otherwise, we aren’t keeping the commandments of God! Proverbs 30:6 condemns anyone who would add to God’s word:
”Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
That’s a pretty strong condemnation for anyone who would add their own “think so’s” or anything else to the Word of God. It might sound plausible and reasonable, but if we can’t find a “thus saith the Lord” we’d better leave it alone. I Corinthians 4:6 says:
“…that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.”
Another translation says: “Do not go beyond what is written.”
Paul’s purpose in commanding this was clear. There were false teachers at Corinth who had caused terrible divisions because they were filled with self-pride – and this because of the attention they received from others. Many Corinthians looked to these men for guidance and followed them, though they often taught false doctrines. Not only did they follow their favorite teacher, but they went as far as developing hatred toward the other teachers. Such actions caused the teachers to be “puffed up” one against.
Galatians 1:8-9 says:
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which he have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that he have received, let him be accursed.”
The apostles preached it and these brethren received it. Don’t mess with it!! And that denominational cult I’ve been talking about believes that an angel delivered “another new testament”. This scripture directly refutes that, and they have no response when this is revealed to them.
II Corinthians 11:4 says:
“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Paul is chastising the Corinthian brethren here. He is afraid that they might “bear with” or allow or permit another gospel. He is telling them of his fear that they will fail to rebuke someone who has brought a false doctrine. He warns them not to let this happen.
Galatians 3:15 says:
“Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.”
Another translation puts it this way:
“Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.”
Finally, in the closing verses of the whole Bible, we find these words in Revelation 22:18-19:
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
The Silence Of The Scriptures
With such clear commandments and instructions, it is clear that we must follow God’s word and only God’s word. We need commandments and examples for everything we do. But this is not the way most of the religious world believes. And there is a battle raging regarding the silence of the scriptures. And this battle rages not only between the Lord’s Church and the apostate church and the denominations, but it has found it’s footing even among some of our own brethren.
We often cite the explicitness of God’s instructions when He told Noah to build the ark of gopher wood. By requiring gopher wood, it excluded every other kind of wood.
If God had to put in the Bible every thing He did not want, the world could not contain all of the books required to document these.
Genesis 6:22 says:
“Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”
Another translation says:
“Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”
From this we are certain that Noah did no more and he did no less.
There are many familiar examples in the Bible, which clearly show the results when men do something that God did not command. We are all familiar with Nadab and Abihu offering strange fire. Leviticus 10:1 says that they offered ‘that which He commanded them not.”
We know about Saul saving the best of the flocks for sacrifice when God told him to utterly destroy everything. He destroyed most of them, but he decided on his own to keep the best. It seemed like a good idea. What could be wrong with that? But Samuel makes it clear in I Samuel 15:22-23 what God expects:
“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”
If Saul had just followed what God told him to do and nothing else, he would have been pleasing to God. It’s as simple as that.
Another example we are familiar with is when Uzzah stayed the ark with his hand when the oxen shook it and God struck him dead (II Samuel 6:6-7). David finally figures out what went wrong in I Chronicles 15:13:
“For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.”
Another translation puts it this way:
“We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.”
But the clearest teaching on the silence of the scriptures is when God himself declares what His commandments mean and how it excludes all else. In the book of Jeremiah, God’s prophet was instructed to stand in the gate of the temple compound and urge the nation to “amend your ways” (Jeremiah 7:3). What had they done? What was their transgression? Jeremiah 7:31 says:
“and they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.”
How much clearer does it have to be? God didn’t tell them to do it. He didn’t want them to do it. In fact, He didn’t even think about what they did before they did it. It’s as if God said: “I didn’t tell you to do that! Why did you do it?”
In Hebrews 7:14 mentioned earlier, the writer is speaking about the change in priesthood and makes it clear “which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.” Moses said nothing about Judah and the priesthood, so, under the old covenant, they had no authority to change the priesthood. Only by the authority of God, under the New Covenant, did this change to Jesus Christ. Paul reasons regarding circumcision in Acts 15:24 when he says:
“Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment.”
There is one more passage that really makes it clear how God feels about not doing things exactly the way He commanded, neither adding to nor taking away. In II Chronicles 30, there were those who had not cleansed themselves in order to be sanctified unto the Lord for Passover. Some might look at this situation and say, “Well, surely that didn’t matter here. After all, the important thing was the Passover. Surely God won’t care about something as insignificant as ceremonial cleansing.” But the Bible makes it clear that it DID matter:
II Chronicles 30:18 says:
“for a multitude of the people, even Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the Passover otherwise than it was written.”
Well, they knew what they were supposed to do, but they didn’t do it. They thought it didn’t matter. They thought it would be overlooked. Surely just being at the Passover was the only thing that mattered. No, it was all important. And they are condemned because they did it “otherwise than it was written.” Another translation says that they did it “contrary to what was written.” And, lest there be any doubt about their sin regarding being cleansed, listen to the next part of the verse:
“But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, the Lord God pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.”
If they had done no wrong, if it wasn’t important, if just being there for the Passover was all that mattered, then why did Hezekiah ask God to pardon or forgive them because they were not cleansed? And why, in
verse 20 does it say:
“And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.”
They did wrong – they sinned. They didn’t keep all of the commandments of God.
In Paul’s letter to the Church at Colossae, he condemned the practice of “will worship” which is after the precepts and doctrines of men (Col 2:22-23). Vine defines “will worship” as “voluntarily adopted worship, whether unbidden or forbidden.”
The silence of the scriptures amounts to no authority to do what is not prescribed and is thus prohibitive. Could this be any clearer?
II John 9 says:
“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.”
If we did not abide by this clear Bible definition regarding the silence of the scriptures, then we would permit individual cups and loaves, instrumental music, Sunday school and church camps. We would also permit missionary societies, church supported orphanages, colleges, and hospitals. We would allow cake sales and car washes to raise money for the spreading of the gospel and the care of needy saints. There’s just no end to it.
We must hold the silence of the scriptures in equal reverence with the scriptures themselves!
We are bound to do no more and no less than the scriptures require by command and example. Indeed, we must, as men of old have said, speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.
Are Some Scriptures More Important Than Others?
There is one other danger that is lurking in the denominational world. And that is the elevation of specific scriptures to a superior position. And the thought process is that these key scriptures are above all others. If other scriptures are violated, there’s not a problem if these superior scriptures are maintained. Wasn’t this the problem in Romans 2:21-25:
“Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law; but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.”
What is Paul saying here? Well, it was simply that the Jews placed a lot of stock in the physical act of circumcision. They thought that if they kept that, the failure to keep the other commandments of God would be overlooked. They placed so much weight on circumcision that they even tried to get it brought forward into the New Testament and make it binding on Christians. But that is set straight in Acts 15:24 regarding the silence of the scriptures.
“For as much as we have heard that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls saying, ye must be circumcised, and keep the law, to whom we gave no such commandment.”
Various denominations want to elevate scriptures such as John 3:16 which, when taken alone, they say that only faith is necessary. And they cite Ephesians 2:8 when they say that they are saved by grace through faith alone. But these scriptures, among others that are placed in a superior position, along with their false interpretation, must force those of this false doctrine to ignore many other scriptures. We often cite the explicitness of God’s instructions when He told Noah to build the ark of gopher wood. But if he hadn’t used pitch to seal it, it would have sunk. No scripture is superior to another such that it permits the violation of any commandment. No scripture is in conflict with another such that we would have to choose to obey one over another. God would not put us in such a position. We have the two greatest commandments found in Matthew 22: 36-40, (1) “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (2) “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” But all other commandments fit in with these two and support these and there is no conflict. All can be kept and all must be kept at the same time.
We must always abide by a “thus saith the Lord”. And that is what the Bible says: “Thus saith the Lord”, “and the Lord said”, “the Lord spake”, and “thus saith Jehovah”. Together, these phrases are used a total of 3,808 times in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, we find the phrase “speak as the oracles of God” in I Peter 4:11. The Bible is the Word of God and inspired. It is complete. We need nothing else.
We Can Understand And Obey God’s Word
And the reality is that the Bible can be read and understood according to Ephesians 3:4. And if it can be understood, it can be obeyed. Like the servant who spoke to Naaman when he was enraged about dipping in the river Jordan. In I Kings 5:13:
“And his servant came near, and spake unto him, and said, My Father, if the prophet had bid thee do something great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?”
As is so often the case, what God asks isn’t difficult. Instead, like Naaman, it is a matter of the stubbornness of man. What God wants is not what men think ought to be. Isaiah 55:8-9 says:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
The Bible and the Bible alone, is the word of God. We cannot add to or take away from it. We must keep all its commandments. The second part of the great commission, which is often over-looked, says “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” If the New Testament commands it, we must keep it – ALL of it. I Corinthians 2:9 says:
“for to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.”
Finally, we must respect the silence of the scriptures and not go beyond what is written. We cannot do more or less.
Earlier, we referred to the example of buying a used car and agreeing to a third party standard to establish truth. We have shown how the Bible is that authority in spiritual matters.
But there are two other things that can happen, even when that standard is established beyond a shadow of a doubt. First, someone can see the truth and say, “I see what it says and I still don’t agree. I know it says my car is worth $4,000, but I still want $5,000. I think I’m right and it’s wrong.” That will be true with the Bible. Many will see the truth and still choose to believe something else.
The other thing that can happen is that truth is established but someone, knowing what the price is, and being able to pay the price, will walk away and refuse to pay that price. Many people will see what the Bible says. They will understand what it requires. They will agree that the Bible tells us the life that must be lived in order to inherit eternal life. And they will say that the price is too high or they will say it isn’t worth it. And, they will walk away and refuse to pay that price. And, sadly, they will walk away, perhaps never to consider the gospel again on this side of eternity. As it is written in Deuteronomy 15:5, God will bless us only if we fully obey Him and are careful to follow ALL of His commandments.