Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

October 5, 2012

COLUMN: The Bible doesn't require back-up material

— The Bible is complete and perfect.

There are many who believe that the Bible is inspired but do not accept it as complete and without error. Numerous religious bodies today have creed books other than the Bible that dictate what their followers must believe. Some state the Bible is incomplete. Such attitudes are a major contributor to the religious confusion that exists today in our country and throughout the world. Let us consider what the Bible states about it being complete and without error. If the Bible is the inspired word of God (and it is), then whatever it says about God’s word must be respected as true.

A number of passages speak of the completeness of God’s word:

Jude 3 speaks of contending “earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” The expression “once for all” could properly be written, “one time for all time.” In other words, the text indicates that there will be nothing else.

2 Peter 1:3 tells us “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue...” According to this verse, we now have all things we need for (eternal) life and (how to live in) godliness.

In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul wrote with great concern to the churches of Galatia about the gospel. He wrote, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another.” (Galatians 1:6-8) Clearly, Paul points out that there is only one gospel and, at the time he wrote this text, that gospel had been revealed. Note his warning concerning accepting anything other than that gospel. He said, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that what you have received, let him be accursed.” He was so serious about this, that he repeated the warning of verse 8 again in verse 9.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 speaks of all inspired scripture being profitable and able to make the man of God “complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” For this to be true, we must have the completed word of God. And we do!

Under the old law, they Israelites were given this warning in a straight forward manner: “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” (Deut. 12:32) Solomon, speaking with wisdom from God said, “Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” (Prov. 30:6)

Matthew 15:3-9 states When Jesus was confronted by the Jews about refusing to follow their traditions, He rebuked them saying, “Why do you transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3) After giving an example of their hypocrisy, He then states, “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites, Well did Isaiah prophecy about you saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.” (Mt. 15:6-9) Jesus was condemning adding to God’s word.

In Revelation 22:18-19, the book of Revelation concludes with these words: “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things that are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19) While John had specifically in mind the book of Revelation, the principle portrays the attitude of God and it concurs with the numerous other passages we have noted on this point. Therefore, let us take these warnings seriously.

Thus we can see that the Bible is complete and the only source we need for our salvation.

What about creed books? Many religions have creeds that they tell you are as necessary as the Bible to be a part of their church. If a church has a creed book other than the Bible, it is not the true church. We have seen that what we have is inspired and complete. If that is true than we need nothing else. If a book says more than the Bible says, it says too much. If it omits portions of God’s word, then it does not say enough. If it says the same thing as the Bible then it is not needed in the first place. Again, consider the warnings mentioned above. They certainly apply in this instance.

David Nowak is a resident of Weatherford.

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