Know Your Bible
May 2000

We Dare You To Misunderstand This Article!

Let us suppose that an evangelist comes to our community to conduct a religious meeting and proceeds as follows: At the first service he declares that salvation is by faith only, but at the next one he contends that it is by faith exercised in obedience to the Gospel rather than by faith alone.

At the third service he declares that either sprinkling, pouring, or immersion is baptism. At the fourth service he plainly shows that immersion on is scriptural baptism. At the fifth service he tells the people that they ought to baptize their babies, but at the sixth he says that penitent believers are the only scriptural subjects for baptism.

At the seventh service he preaches "Once in grace, always in grace" but at the eighth he tells the people that they can be lost through unbelief after they have been saved. At the ninth he says that it is all right to have a human creed, but at the tenth he affirms that we should take the Bible as our only guide in religion. (This was back when it was not un- common to preach ten lessons in a meeting).

NOW, no thoughtful person would continue to listen to ONE preacher like that, but the majority of people are perfectly willing for TEN preachers to preach these conflicting ideas. They agree that if ONE man should preach that way he would contradict himself and be inconsistent; but what kind of a God do they suppose we have, IF HE ENDORSES ALL THESE CONFLICTING DOCTRINES AND HAS SENT OUT PREACHERS TO PREACH THEM? HE HASN'T. It does make a DIFFERENCE to us what ONE man preaches. But seemingly it doesn't make a DIFFERENCE what TEN men preach in ten different places. It does make a DIFFERENCE what we believe and teach in religion!!!

óJim Sasser

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What Is A Pharisee?

The dictionary definition of a Pharisee is "A member of an ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written form." So, some today, describe we who insist on "emphasizing strict interpre-tation of the New Testament and having authority for all that we teach and practice" as being modern-day Pharisees.

Another describes present-day Phariseeism as "they who depend on a Book instead of Jesus" as our savior. In the first place I know of no one who fits that description, perhaps they do. If so, of course they who each such are in error. Jesus is our savior, BUT the only source of information we have about Jesus is in the Book. So, we depend on the Book for information about how to reach Jesus and how to be saved.

The big problem with the religious world in general and also the irreligious is that they want to imitate the real Pharisees. Read please Matthew 23:1-3: "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." That was the Pharisee of Jesus' time and the Pharisee of this present time is similar. They make their plea for people to "receive Jesus into their hearts" but will not tell them what the Book says about how this is accomplished. For instance, recently I was indisposed and could not attend the services of the local church, so I listened and looked at a religious service of a prominent denomination. Most of what was said I could readily agree with but at the end of the "pastor's" sermon he urged people to "come to the front and give Jesus your heart and be saved." But instead of giving them Bible instructions of how this was done in apostolic days (it's in the Book) and according to the instructions of the savior, Jesus, he left it there.

That very thing is what is described in Luke 6:46: "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" So many people are crying Lord, Lord, but are not further concerned with what Jesus said. Many of my liberal brethren criticize and cry, "Pharisee," because we call on them for Bible authority for what they do. They ignore what Jesus says and thus become the true Pharisees for "they say and do not" what He says. We, with they, need to read and heed Matthew 7:21-23 and on to the end of the chapter. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (or lawlessness).

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Yes, I have confidence in the Book, not as my savior but as how to know of the savior. Notice please John 20:30-31: "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." From the Book I can learn how to serve Christ in my personal life: (1 Corinthians 4:6) "And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; 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." And 1 Corinthians 5:11: "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." And what some refer to as doctrinal matters: (ASV 2 John 9) "Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son."

Yes, the Book is a part of my life. Not my savior but the God- breathed method of letting me know how to be saved and how to stay saved. Jesus is my savior. Let us not be as the Pharisees of olden times and of present times. "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

---Bob Craig

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