What Saith the Scripture? A Way of Life
by Tom Stewart
December 28, 2004
"For What Saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (Romans 4:3).
You have read writers who have preached or taught by using the
Scriptures, but why do they do it? "Man
shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth
of God" (Matthew 4:4). It is obvious
that they are attempting to explain the Scriptures, so they must quote the Scripture
that they are teaching, but why so much Scripture? The use of the Scriptures is necessary
because It is "a more sure Word of Prophecy;
whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place,
until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts"
(2Peter 1:19). Consider that Scripture is not the mere "word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God,
which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1Thessalonians
2:13). The Scripture or the Word of God is obviously not the sum total
of what the Infinite God has spoken, but It is the appointed means by which God perfects
us into the "man of God" that He intends us to be. "16 All Scripture is given by inspiration
of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
in righteousness: 17 That
the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2Timothy 3:16-17). Perhaps our reluctance to jump
into hearing or reading the teaching or preaching of the Word of God is because we
are concerned that someone will attempt to prove just anything, while attempting
to confuse us with Scripture. "5 Having a form of godliness, but
denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead
captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to
the knowledge of the Truth" (2Timothy 3:5-7). We are in fact instructed to judge all teaching or preaching by the wisdom
and instruction given to us by the Holy Spirit directing us through His Word. "12 Now
we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that
we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words
which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual
things with spiritual. 14 But
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness
unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth
all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the LORD, that he may instruct
Him? But we have the mind of Christ" (1Corinthians
2:12-16). Rest assured that God takes seriously the possibility of
you being seduced by so-called Bible teachers, so He has appointed the Holy Spirit
as the Guardian of His Truth to insure that you will be taught correctly. "26 These
things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
27 But the Anointing
[Greek, chrisma, unction, i.e., the Holy Spirit] which
ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but
as the same Anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and
even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him" (1John
Our profession of being a Christian or Child of God is being tested by God by whether we are willing to live "by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). What separates the True from the False Professing Christian is the willingness to do the Will of God. "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine" (John 7:17). Anyone who is truly and actually willing to do the Will of God is a Christian, and God has promised that He will reveal Himself and His Truth to him. "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him" (John 14:21). If we comprehend that Jesus is the Word of God, then we will not be apprehensive about committing our entire being to Him to be directed by the teaching and leading of the Holy Spirit through His Word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). The early Christians had the privilege of actually fellowshipping with the LORD Jesus Christ directly, but all the Saints throughout all time have been given the Indwelling Holy Spirit that Jesus said "shall testify of Me" (John 15:26). "That which was from the Beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life" (1John 1:1). Our love affair with the Word of God is actually a Love Feast with the LORD Jesus Christ. "11 And I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. 13 And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God" (Revelation 19:11-13).
We live in an age that is predominated by the Laodicean Professing Christian that is the Backslider, who is full of himself. "The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways" (Proverbs 14:14). The cold selfishness of the Backslider alternates with his conscience convicting him to do what he knows he ought to do; therefore, he warms up periodically and seems to do right-- giving him an overall lukewarm demeanour. However, you will notice that a Gospel invitation is given to this sort of Professing Christian, because anyone who does not presently abide in obedience to the Truth, does not have the right to call himself a Christian. "14 And unto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne" (Revelation 3:14-21).
The only Professing Christians who ever do live by the credo "What Saith the Scripture?" are those who are willing to live and die doing what the Holy Spirit has persuaded them to be the Will of God. "LORD, what wilt Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6). Those who lack assurance that they are Truly Born Again need only to submit themselves to the Perfect Will of God, and if they were never saved, then they can be sure that they now are! "3 And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in Him. 5 But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. 6 He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1John 2:3-6). If living by "What Saith the Scripture?" causes you to be different from the World and the Professed Church, think it not strange, because you have been promised that God sees you as peculiar-- peculiar to Himself! "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light" (1Peter 2:9).
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