Last updated: February 25. 2014 4:51PM - 629 Views
Robert C. Oliver Contributing columnist

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Often when confronted with Bible teaching on most any subject, one will excuse his or her actions and disobedience to that Bible teaching by advocating the irrelevancy of the Bible. They will claim that it is old and out of date with reality. They will claim that humanity has progressed beyond those teachings and they no longer apply in this age. The first thing wrong with this line of thinking is that every belief or practice in the realm of religion must of necessity have come from either man or God. At one point when Jesus was teaching in the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him and asked, “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? (Matt. 21:23-25). By this statement, Jesus showed that all beliefs and practices are authorized by either mere man or by God. This being the case, all that God has instructed by His inspired word is relevant in any and all ages. If it has been changed in any way, who changed it? The apostle Paul, writing to the Galatians said, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-9). Though the minds and actions of man may well have changed; though the inventions, the luxuries, the scientific advances and other great changes in the lives of men may have changed, Jesus Christ and His word has not changed. The Hebrew writer said, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb. 13:8).

A second reason why the word of God is still relevant is because man still sins the same sins. Obviously, there are some specific sins that those of the Bible times never committed. The use of many of the illegal drugs of today was unknown in Bible times. However, the specifics all fit into three categories of sins. The apostle John says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (I John 2:15-16). These three avenues of sin contain all the specific sins man can commit. When one goes back to the very first sin on this earth, they will find Satan preying upon Adam and Eve with these tools of temptation. Concerning the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which they had been prohibited from eating (Gen. 2:17) and which Satan had assured them would be to their advantage (Gen. 3:5), the text then says, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6). One might also consult the temptation of our Lord as recorded in Matthew chapter four and see that Satan tempted Him with these same three temptations. Since God’s word is the same, and our temptations are the same and our need for salvation is the same, it stands to reason that the word of God is not irrelevant.

When we find that our practices or those of our society in general stand opposed to the doctrine of Christ, it is not the doctrine of Christ that we need to change, but our practices. As the apostle Paul wrote, “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou are judged” (Rom. 3:3-4). It matters not how many millions of people believe something contrary to what God said, God is true and those people are liars. Laws passed by our civil government have no affect whatsoever on the truthfulness of what God’s word says. The law of the land may allow for divorce and remarriage for just any reason, but God’s word still says what it says (Matt. 19:9). The laws of man may make homosexual unions legal, but God’s word still says what it says (Rom. 1:24-27). Man may say that one church is as good as another, but the Lord’s word still says what it says (Matt. 16:18; Matt. 15:13). Many may think that they can worship God any way that pleases them, but God’s word still says what it says (John 4:23-24). Our list could go on and on, but enough has been listed to point our thinking into the needed direction. We need to question each and every aspect of our beliefs and practices by searching God’s word for authority from heaven for them.

(Editor’s note: Send any questions or comments to: rcoliver@century.net)

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