February 5, 2012

According to the Scriptures – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

The conclusions of the Apostle Paul were, “according to the Scriptures.”

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Cor.15:3).

When conclusions are “according to the scriptures” they will be different from those of the world. People who base their thinking on the scriptures understand that these different conclusions are right and that contrary opinions, no matter how appealing, are wrong. This boldness grates on the majority, determined to serve their own self-interests. The result is understandable; degrading, derogatory slander… “Narrow-minded Bible thumpers.”

Is it appropriate to insist that we scrupulously follow the scriptures? Inspired writers certainly thought so. When the Old Law was first given, Moses required…

“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deut.4:2).

In the last chapter of the last book of the Bible we read…

“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book” (Rev.22:18).

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees saying…

“But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”…But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.” (Matt.15:9,13).

The apostle Paul warned Timothy…

“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them” (II Tim 3:14).

The apostle John warned…

“Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” (II Jn.9).

Consistently we see the inspired writers were “Bible- thumpers!”

The oft repeated rebukes and warning indicate the Holy Spirit knew there was a continual danger of substituting what we think for what God thinks. This is illustrated in the apostasy foreseen by Paul (I Tim. 4:1), nevertheless it is interesting and encouraging to observe that early church leaders continued to teach and warn in a similar manner.

Irenaeus (180 AD)

“There will be no light punishment upon him who either adds or subtracts anything from the Scripture.”

 Tertullian (200 AD)

“If it is nowhere written, then let him fear the woe that comes on all who add to or take away anything [from the written Word].”

Origen (225 AD)

 “I do not want to appear to build my assertions on the basis of inference alone, particularly concerning subjects of such importance and difficulty. Nor do I wish for my listeners to agree to what is only conjectural. So let us see if we can obtain any declarations from the Holy Scripture…”

Dionysis of Alexandria (262 AD)

“In all sincerity and with open hearts before God, we accepted all that could be established by the demonstrations and teachings of the Holy Scriptures.”

The demand that we worship “according to the scriptures” is not novel or new. In spite of the ridicule from those whose practices are condemned by this principle, we must stand firm, determined to “speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent” because that is what God demands.

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