Ignoring, Overlooking, not Believing
This lesson is going to be about “ignoring” or you might say, “not believing” certain verses of scriptural, in order to stand by a false teaching.
It says in 2 Peter 1:3; “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
I’ve used that verse in defense of not needing any creed books, or manuals of faith, or books of catechism, such as the Catholic book of Catechism. I would think that all denominational groups have some sort of manual that they rely on.
Even though people seem to always want to have their own “manual”, we know that the true knowledge of God and of Christ, comes only from the bible. God hasn’t inspired any other books that He has told us about. The book of Mormon claims to be another revelation of God’s will, and the Roman Catholic church has several books, about twelve actually, that they call “Apocrypha”. “Apocrypha” literally means.. “things that are hidden”. But the apocrypha refers to books that are not generally accepted as inspired by God, and so they’re not included in our bibles today.
So there’s no other books beside the bible that we can have any confidence in as God’s word. Even the idea of an additional revelation by God is contradictory to what the bible has already said.
The bible is actually as clear as it can be about the subject. For example 2 John verse 9 clearly states that “Anyone who goes beyond, and does not abide (that means to stay) in the teaching of Christ, does not have God..!” You can’t get much plainer than that. And then of course we’re told in Galatians 1:8 & 9; “But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again; If any man is preaching to you a gospel, contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed!” And that word “contrary” means.. “other than, more than”. So you see, it’s got us coming and going. Nothing OTHER than what’s already been preached, and nothing MORE than what’s already been preached.
It’s exactly like what 2 John 9 says; “Anyone who goes BEYOND, and does not STAY with the teaching of Christ, does not have God.” Why would anyone have trouble understanding that? And going back to the first verse I mentioned, in 2 Peter 1:3; “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
Don’t you pretty much have to ignore those verses, in order to believe that some other book is required to teach us God’s will? Or maybe you simply don’t believe those verses.
The “true knowledge”, found in the bible, is the ONLY knowledge of God and Christ! But let’s consider the word “everything”. “His divine power has granted to us EVERYTHING pertaining to life and godliness..” What does “everything” mean? The KJV says “all things”. What does “all things” mean? Well, it simply means.. “all, the whole of something, every and all parts that apply, every part that makes up the whole.”
That pretty much says it ALL! Everything, the whole thing, all of it, that pertains to life and godliness, comes from the true knowledge of Him who called us. So then, what else do you need to be saved, beside the bible? Nothing, because it’s all there. The whole thing is there. Every part of the whole, that pertains to life and godliness, is included.
Any way you say it, it still means the same thing. It’s all here! That rules out the need for creed manuals, manuals of discipline, manuals of catechism. It even rules out a lot of commentaries. Now please, listen closely., I’m not condemning commentaries. But if the guy who writes a commentary, isn’t completely grounded in the truth, then his commentary probably isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
Fortunately though, most commentaries written by a member of the church, and which is widely accepted by other grounded brethren in the church, won’t lead you astray as far as salvation goes. But we always need to keep in mind, that a commentary is NOT the bible. It’s NOT necessarily the word of GOD.
But my purpose is not to comment on commentaries. My purpose is to emphasize, that the only “true knowledge” of Jesus Christ, and of the will of God, is the bible! That’s what supplies us with “all things” pertaining to life and godliness.
Now let me say something about bible “tracts”. One time in a sermon lesson, I said just about the same thing as I’ve said right here, how the truth originates only with the bible, and that’s the only book we need. And someone came up to me afterwards and said; So you’re saying that the bible tracts that we have here are wrong, and we shouldn’t have them? And I said; No, I didn’t say that.
So are bible tracts wrong, because they’re not the bible? That would depends on what the tracts say, wouldn’t it? If a bible tract is simply a handy little reference to what the bible says on a particular subject, then they could be very helpful. But if they go and change what the bible says, then they better be disposed of.
And the same would hold true with commentaries. Commentaries aren’t wrong just because they’re not the bible. But we need to be cautious when it comes to the writings of men, that’s all. If a commentary is grounded in the truth, then it can be very helpful. And if a bible tract is grounded in the truth, it too can be very helpful. But both commentaries and bible tracts, need to reflect only the truth of the bible, and never anything else. So then it’s up to us to know what the bible says, so that we can know whether or not a commentary or tract is explaining the truth correctly.
You know, a good bible tract, is really just short sermon, or a bible lesson in itself.
But getting back to our actual bible verses that we were looking at; 2 Peter 1, verse 3, along with the other verses I mentioned, are proof, that nothing but the bible is required to be saved. As a matter of fact, anything else may very well hinder someone from being saved. All it really boils down to, is do you believe those verses, or don’t you? If you believe them, then there’s no debate. If you don’t believe them, then what’s the sense of debating any verse of the bible?
Recently, I used that same verse, 2 Peter 1:3, to defend AGAINST the idea, that gifts of the Holy Spirit are still being given to Christians today, and they are necessary for confirming God’s word.
This discussion stemmed from a short article that I posted on facebook, about the thief on the cross. Here’s what I wrote in the article..
Think about your salvation today!
The thief on the cross said to Jesus; “Remember me when you come in your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42). Yes, Jesus forgave the sins of the thief on the cross, during what was probably the last hour of the man’s life. Could that happen to you? Well, although it’s “possible” that a person might acquire faith in Jesus, and “possibly” have the strength remaining in their body to actually DO what Jesus says to do in order to be saved, while in the last hour of their physical life, although it might be “possible”, it’s not very probable for that to happen.
Remember, the thief on the cross didn’t live under the new covenant of Christ. He didn’t have to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins”, as the example in Acts 22:16 instructs us to do. We DO however, live under the requirements of the new covenant of Christ. And on the very first day that forgiveness was ever preached in the kingdom of Christ, under the new covenant, the people were told in Acts 2:38; “Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (by His authority) for the forgiveness of your sins, (for the very purpose of being forgiven), and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The gift spoken of, is the promise of eternal life. That’s salvation!
And then I went on to stress the importance of being saved TODAY, and to not wait until the last minute. Now, that all sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? But let me read to you how one man responded..
“People many times get born again before getting baptized, and in some cases received the gift of the holy ghost and spoke in tongues before baptism, so while I agree that baptism is an act of obedience..to infer that if someone repents and has a born again experience, but dies on their death bed before they get baptized, is going to hell, doesn’t know their bible.”
Now, who doesn’t know their bible here? Further on in our discussion, this man suggested that church of Christ members “ignore” certain verse, so that the bible fits their doctrines. How many verses does that gentleman have to “ignore” to believe that baptism is NOT necessary for salvation? I can think of at least five, right of the top of my head; Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:4, and 1 Peter 3:21.
Ignoring certain verses of scripture though, is really is the point here. In order to believe that baptism is NOT essential for salvation, it REQUIRES, that you ignore certain other verses. In order to believe that it’s OK, or maybe even necessary, to use other books, in addition to the bible, such as creed books, and manuals of discipline, in order to know the truth and be saved, REQUIRES, that you ignore certain other verses of scripture.
Now, let me get back to the idea of miraculous spiritual gifts, being prevalent, and necessary today. I pointed out quite clearly, how the purpose of the gifts of the Spirit in the first century, as well as the miracles of Jesus and His apostles, was to confirm the word, as truly being God’s word. And this man that I was talking to agreed with that. However, listen to how he responded.. Now this is just a portion of his response, but this shows my point..
So yes..the word was confirmed back then..but to those here and now, it is still confirmed with power. So without it, the bible would seem like a fairly tale because you would have no proof of miracles. The bible is certainly Gods word, and you and I know that, but to those who are bombarded by multiple religions, one of the things that we as disciples should be doing is miracles, which does bring credibility that the bible is true.
His answer then, was in essence; That the word needs to be continually re-confirmed, with new miracles, for each new generation that reads the bible. And without the continual re-affirming through miraculous means, no one would have any more reason to believe the bible, then they would have reason to believe any other book.
Well, that’s pretty much a “a slap in the face of God” considering what God has said about His word. For example; John wrote, in John 20:30 & 31; “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciple, which are not written in this book. But these have been written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that believing, you may have life in His name.”
Now what is that verse saying? Well, basically it’s saying, that the miracles that have been performed which, are recorded in this book, are sufficient to produce faith that Jesus is the Christ, and that by that faith, you can receive life in His name. That’s what it’s saying, plain and simple. So then it’s really not a matter of more and more miracles being needed. It’s simply a matter of believing or not believing, what the bible says.
And then there’s Romans 10:17, which says; “Faith comes by hearing the word of God.” It doesn’t say that faith comes by hearing the word and by seeing it re-confirmed by miracles. It says, by “hearing” the word. Of course you can hear the word in your mind when you read it for yourself. so you don’t have to have someone read it to you. But the scripture says that the word of God produces the faith required by God. the word includes the testimony of the miracles that once were needed to confirm the word. And now we’ve got it all.
and that bring us again to 2 Peter 1:3; “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us EVERYTHING pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us..” If everything has already been granted, then I guess nothing else is needed. That really couldn’t be any more plain either.
Are we not supposed t take these verses literally for what they say? If not, then there’s absolutely nothing, that we can know for sure.
So then to argue for the belief that miracles provided through gifs of the Holy Spirit, are necessary to re-confirm the word, you MUST ignore, at least these three verses of scripture that we just looked at. And I’m sure that we could come up with more verses that must be ignored, to believe that the word must be re-confirmed with each new generation.
There’s a truth that we need to realize concerning these examples, when it comes to interpreting the bible. Every false teaching that exists, and every time the bible is misinterpreted, it is the result of either ignoring, or at lest diminishing the truthfulness of some other verse or verses of scripture.
To believe that baptism is not necessary for salvation, you must somehow diminish the truthfulness of the verses that we are so familiar with. To believe that miracles need to continue, you must diminish the truthfulness of other verses.
By failing to admit the truthfulness of any given verse of scripture, which is distinct and straightforward, you inevitably end up believing what is false. There’s really no exception to that.
When we read a verse of scripture, we MUST be willing to accept it as the unchangeable truth of God. And ALL other verses must be interpreted accordingly. Let’s just simply believe what we read, and do what it says.