I have accepted what that person said, and I have affirmed that God is truthful. (John 3:33)
This is another one of those statements that, as believers, we would automatically respond to with affirmation. John the Baptist, speaking of Jesus, says that everything He says is true. Of course! Absolutely!
Remember that in the first chapter of this book we say that the apostle John wrote that “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. … The Word became human and lived among us. We saw his glory. It was the glory that the Father shares with his only Son, a glory full of kindness and truth. (John 1:1, 14) John left no question that “The Word” he spoke of was Jesus. So, follow me here, if Jesus is the Word, and everything that Jesus says is truthful (3:33) then when the Bible says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” we have the Word of God (Jesus) telling us that evolution is bunk! The Bible also says: “That's why a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will be one” (Ephesians 5:31) and “Don't you know that wicked people won't inherit the kingdom of God? Stop deceiving yourselves! People who continue to commit sexual sins, who worship false gods, those who commit adultery, homosexuals, or thieves, those who are greedy or drunk, who use abusive language, or who rob people will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Okay, I know that I am touching on some sensitive subjects here, but this is what the Word says. Even though these were written by Paul to churches in the first century, we must accept them as God's Word, or else the entire Bible is in question. And yes, I know that there are so-called Christians who do question the Bible, but if we travel that path then we must also question the plan of Salvation, redemption and even Heaven itself.
By calling yourself a Christian, you are proclaiming that you have faith in Jesus Christ, the Word sent from God. This means all of the Word. what Jesus spoke when He walked on the earth as well as what He, through the Holy Spirit, inspired the Bible writer to record for our “teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God's approval” (2 Timothy 3:16). You can't pick and choose what you will believe and still call it Christianity. It will be a religion, but not one that God approves and certainly not one that will provide for your redemption.
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Hi Tim, You said: “Even though these were written by Paul to churches in the first century, we must accept them as God’s Word”. We MUST accept Paul’s words as God’s Word? would Paul of told You that? I thought Jesus was God’s Word! At least that’s what You just pointed out previously in John. The way to safely end the controversies over all questions here is with this question: Can You with the Bible, affirm and support every aspect of what You believe about God, His Christ, and His plan, if the words of Paul did not exist there? in other words do You need Paul’s letters to support Your doctrines? If so, I think You better read the parts of the Bible, other than Paul, otherwise Paul, a self described Pharisee,Roman, and Apostle, is the author of Your Faith. I am not disputing with Paul, but with the doctrines his words have been twisted to support. Acts 9:29 has Paul disputing with Greeks, these guys loved rhetorical philosophic arguments, and such, and the book of Romans is such a work. The biggest problem to me, in the church today, is the discarding the entire old testament, as the done away with “old covenant”, based on Paul’s message concerning the law of sacrifices, being done away with. Paul would be thrust from the church today, were he to return and speak to them concerning their traditions, and doctrines. It would probably go like this: Paul: “I did not mean to imply that when I wrote….” Church Leader: ” Yes You did, the Bible says so.” Paul: ” No I wrote that, and what I meant by it was….” Church Leader: “Unless You can prove by a sign that You are Paul, we won’t believe.” Paul: “Jesus did prophecy an evil generation requires a sign.” Church Leader: “call 911 and thrust this guy out”.
It is indeed true that if we accept what Paul wrote, and only what Paul wrote that we would be corrupting the gospel. A very good friend of mine likes to ask, “What does the rest of the Bible say?” and I have adopted this as my guide to understanding scripture. God will not contradict Himself but we often see it that way by our misunderstanding of His Word. I have found that when reading Paul’s writing with the historical background in which it was written that there are no contradictions. You asked if I needed Paul’s letters to support my doctrine. No, I don’t. However, I must point out that Paul did write a major portion of the New Testament and to discard his writing would be, I think, foolish. Yes, Jesus is The Word, writing anything was washed away by the sea over 2000 years ago (John 8:6). What we say is Jesus speaking, is one of the writer’s interpretations of what He said. And yes, it is an interpretation. You can read it in the original and there are variances from one gospel to another. Not in meaning or content, but in specific words. This was common practice in that time. The key is do we believe that the Bible is the Word of God? My answer is a resounding YES! Can I back that up scientifically or even theologically? No, I can’t although there are those say that they can. I accept it on faith. That’s the way we have to accept Jesus, on faith. Does the Holy Spirit confirm the Bible to me? Yes, but that is something else that I can’t prove. I can only testify. And when you think about it, no Bible writer, not even Jesus, asks us to prove anything; we are only told to testify. And this I have done.
Hi Tim, You said,”I have found that when reading Paulâ€™s writing with the historical background in which it was written that there are no contradictions. ” The only contradictions I have found between the words of Jesus, and Paul, that I can’t seem to remedy, is where Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 23 His followers are not to put together a hierarchy in His church. Jesus said in clear terms: “call no man father, or be called father, You have one Father in heaven”, but Paul calls himself father in his letter where he tells the church: “I have begotten you, you are my children”, and in regards to Timothy. Where Jesus prohibited a organized hierarchy, calling all His followers brothers, Paul gives instructions on setting up the church hierarchy. It’s clear from the gospels, with the renting of the veil, and the prophecy of Herod’s temple being destroyed, that the “priestly system” had been discontinued by God. Then there is the statement of Jesus: “the way is narrow and few be that find it”, do You think when Jesus said “Moses and the prophets they testify of Me…and…If they will not hear Moses they will not believe even if one were to return from the dead”, might mean the OT hasn’t been completely done away with, like only a few believe?