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Author Topic: The Bible will never mean what it never meant  (Read 788 times)
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« on: May 18, 2006, 07:33:04 PM »

Principles of Bible Authority


Luke 8:18 warns us to take heed how we hear. Likewise, we must
take heed how we study the Bible. To know how to study, we must
understand the principles God uses to teach us. [2 Tim. 2:15]
A. God's Commands for Us Today Are Revealed in the New Testament

Old Testament laws are not binding authority today.

The fact that a practice was acceptable under the Old Testament
does not prove it is acceptable today.

Hebrews 10:9,10 - Because the first covenant (will) did not
provide complete forgiveness of sins (v3,4), Jesus took it away
and established the second.

Colossians 2:14,16 - Jesus' death blotted out the old law, so we
are not bound by such regulations as unclean meats, feast days,
and the sabbath.

Galatians 3:24,25 - The law was a schoolmaster to bring us to
Christ. Now we are no longer under the schoolmaster.

However, even though the Old Testament is not binding as law, still much good can come from studying it.

Old Testament Scriptures were written for our learning (Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:6,11). We can learn how to use the Old Testament by considering Bible examples of how first-century Christians used it.

While we should not use the Old Testament to justify our practices today, neither should we neglect to study it. We can never fully appreciate and understand God's dealings with us unless we study the Old Testament.
   B. In the Bible, God Uses Three Basic Methods to Reveal His Will.

We often use various methods to communicate or teach others. Likewise God uses these general methods:
1. Commands and direct statements

1 Corinthians 14:37 - Paul wrote commands of the Lord. Many other passages also mention the importance of commands (John 14:15,21-24; 15:14; 1 John 5:3; 2:3,4; Matt. 28:18-20).

The Bible uses commands in teaching us about such subjects as baptism (Acts 10:48), love (Matt. 22:37-40), the Lord's supper (1 Cor. 11:23-25), etc. [Eph. 6:2; 1 Cor. 16:1,2]
2. Examples and illustrations

Instead of directly commanding us to do something, God sometimes tells us indirectly by giving an instance in which Christians acted by His guidance. We are expected to imitate or follow these examples.

1 Peter 2:21,22 - Jesus left an example we should follow. (Phil. 2:5; Matt. 10:24,25; 16:24; 1 John 2:6)

Philippians 3:17; 4:9 - Imitate Paul's example as a pattern. Do the things seen in him as well as things heard from him. (1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Tim. 1:16; 1 Cor. 4:16; 2 Thess. 3:7,9; 2 Tim. 3:10; Heb. 6:12)
3. Logical necessary conclusions ("necessary inferences" or "Scriptural reasoning")

Some truths are not directly or expressly stated yet they necessarily follow as a logical consequence of what is stated. For example, if I tell you my birthday, you can determine my age.

Acts 17:1-3 - Paul's custom was to reason from the Scriptures to convince Jews that Jesus was Christ, yet the prophecies he used did not directly state the conclusion. [Acts 2:22-36; 18:4,19; 19:8,9; 28:23; Isa. 1:18; 1 Peter 3:15]

Matthew 19:3-9 - Jesus used God's statement about marriage between two people to reach an unstated conclusion that divorce (not for fornication) displeases God and remarriage afterwards is adultery.
C. God May Teach in General or Specific Terms.

Our practices must fit the definition or fall within the meaning of the instructions God has given. However, people sometimes misunderstand Scripture because they fail to distinguish specific language from general language.
A statement of the principle

Specific authority: God has told us not to practice things that do not fit the meaning of His instructions. So when He wants us to do a thing in a particular way, He instructs us by choosing words that are specific or narrow (limited, restricted, exclusive) in their meaning. If we then do things differently, outside the limits of the meaning of the terms He uses, we displease Him.

General authority: When God wants to leave men free to choose from several alternative ways of doing a thing, He instructs us with words that are more general or broad (inclusive, comprehensive, all-encompassing) in their meaning. We still must do only what fits the instruction, but we are free to choose any of the various alternatives that fit. Any such choice would be acceptable because we would still be doing what God said.
Applications of the Principle

Noah and the ark - Gen. 6:14

God told Noah to make an ark of gopher wood. Metal, pine, walnut, etc., do not fit the definition of gopher wood. They constitute different kinds of materials. God did not expressly say not to use them, but He excluded them by saying "gopher wood" and remaining silent about metal, pine, etc.

Had God wanted to leave Noah free to use any kind of material, He could simply have said to make an ark, and specified no material at all. Then Noah could have chosen any kind of material and He would still have been obeying God. But when God specified the material, the use of any other material would have been disobedience.

On the other hand, there are many things a person can do that would fit the definition of "making" an ark. He might use a hammer and saw, or pegs and glue. None of these things are specifically mentioned, but they would have been acceptable because, while using them, Noah would still be doing what God said to do.

Going to preach the gospel - Mark 16:15

God said to go preach the gospel to every creature. If we preach man-made doctrines, we are not preaching the gospel. Therefore, to preach them is unacceptable.

On the other hand, there are many ways a person might "go" into all the world. He might walk, ride a donkey, car, chariot, plane, etc. These things may not be specifically mentioned, but any or all of them would be acceptable because they fit the definition of "going".

In the same way, there are many things a person could do that would constitute preaching the gospel. He might speak to a group of people, write them a letter, divide them up into classes, speak over radio or TV or write on a blackboard or overhead projector. All such would fit the meaning of what God said to do.

Likewise, many other things are wrong in religion, though nowhere specifically forbidden, because they do not fit what God specifically said to do. Other things are acceptable, though nowhere specifically mentioned, because they do fit general instructions in God's word.

The Bible will never mean what it never meant

When you became a Christian, did someone teach you how to study  (not just read) the Bible? Understanding and applying the Bible is difficult without some reading method

Free Indepth Bible Study Course
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2006, 11:56:53 PM »

Hello Docc,

Thanks for a very interesting post. Learning how to study the Holy Bible is a challenging topic, especially in the fast-paced world that we live in. I sincerely believe that many people want "instant" everything, and that just won't work with Bile Study. For me, I'll simply give thanks for the incredible riches in the Holy Bible and say they are worth whatever time it takes to understand them.

Love In Christ,

Hebrews 11:6 NASB  And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2006, 12:24:53 AM »

Amen to that BEPs.

I have read and reread the Bible many times and each time I read it I learn something new.  Wink

PS 91:2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2006, 02:50:46 AM »

Amen to that BEPs.

I have read and reread the Bible many times and each time I read it I learn something new.  Wink

Sister, I myself have read the Bible many times. I always find and learn something new each time. I know it would take me more then his life. To learn every single thing Jesus wantsa us to know.

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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2006, 02:08:29 PM »

Amen! I am learning more and more each day, and I have read the Bible many times! Each time, God guides me to learn something that involves my daily walk with Him.

The thing that I believe in is that, we are not to master the bible, but to let the bible master us! I am holding strong to that.

God Bless,

God Bless You Always!
In The Precious Love of Jesus,
Psalm 62: 5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;  my hope comes from him.  6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2006, 02:22:39 PM »

The thing that I believe in is that, we are not to master the bible, but to let the bible master us! I am holding strong to that.


Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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