In the natural world we fully understand the need for standards in weights, measurements, and time. What a mixed up world if we each set our own standard of what a pound, an inch, or how long an hour should be. Yet the religious world seems to go by just such a hodgepodge of varying standards as to make for total confusion. The bible condemns confusion and division. Jesus himself prayed for unity among his apostles and those who would believe on him through his word (John 17:20,21). The apostle Paul admonished the brethren at Corinth to all speak the same thing and have no division ( I Cor. 1:10). Then it stands to reason, if we are to be united, then we must have a standard for what we believe.
We often hear people say, “let your conscience be your guide.” If you feel good about yourself, then you’re alright. As with all things let’s look to the scriptures for an answer. In Proverbs 16:25 we read, “There is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” For another example, the apostle Paul’s conscience was fine with him persecuting the Lord Jesus (Acts 23:1). Thus we see that our conscience cannot be relied upon as a standard of authority.
What about following plans and creeds set forth by men? In Jeremiah 10:23 we read, “I know that the way of man is not in himself: It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Jesus said, “ But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matt. 15:9) The creeds and opinions of men are then definitely not valid standards of authority.
Many adopt the majority rule and just follow the crowd and go along with whatever they decide. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:13,14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Another perfect example of going with the crowd is demonstrated in Genesis when only eight souls out of the whole world were saved from the great flood. Following the crowd unfortunately, usually means following them down that broad road to destruction.
If we can’t use man made creeds and doctrines, follow our conscience or the crowd, what can we use for our standard. Following the inspired word of God is the concise and simple answer. Paul tells us in II Timothy 3:16 that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Thus the scriptures are from God and they alone are our standard for authority. They cannot be changed, we must take them as they are without additions or subtractions (Rev. 22:18,19). God’s word is the authority by which we must live and by which we will be judged in the end. John 12:48 reads, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
May I ask you friends and neighbors, are you a Christian? Are you safe in the grace and peace of our Father, through Jesus Christ, living your life by that standard set forth by God? If not, I would urge you to become a Christian today, before it is eternally too late. What should I do, you might ask? One becomes a Christian by simply following and doing what the word of God commands. Hear the word (Rom. 10:17). Believe the word (Mark 16:16, Heb 11:6). Repent of your sins (Luke 13:3). Confess Christ (Matt. 10:32). Be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38, 22:16, I Pet. 3:21) Upon completion of these simple steps, live faithful to God’s divine standard until death, and heaven will be your eternal home (Rev. 2:10). So simple even I can understand it.
We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00.