DISCIPLESHIP CLASS NO 6

Keep your Bible handy to look up the references.

THE FOUNDATION OF WHAT WE BELIEVE

As we said last week, Doctrine is simply a statement of what we believe.

But what we believe must be formed on a solid foundation! That is why OUR FIRST SALVATION ARMY DOCTRINE IS THE ROCK ON WHICH THE REST ARE BUILT.

It speaks about the TRUTH, RELIABILITY and INSPIRATION of the SCRIPTURES, and is mainly based on 2 Timothy 3:16.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

It is interesting to note that the Greek word translated as 'INSPIRATION', is a tailor made word, (THEOPNEUSTOS) used nowhere else in Scripture. It literally means "GOD BREATHED!"

What could be more trustworthy than that which is "God breathed"? FROM THE VERY LIPS OF GOD HIMSELF.

In other words, when you read the Scriptures, you are not reading the words of Isaiah, Matthew, Paul or any of the other writers, rather - YOU ARE READING THE WORD OF GOD THROUGH THEM!! IT HAS THE STAMP OF GOD'S AUTHORITY!! (2 Peter 1:21, Jeremiah 5:14)

When we quote the Word of God, WE TRULY SPEAK AS HIS AMBASSADORS, WITH HIS AUTHORITY!! (Luke 4:32, Romans 1:16, Hebrews 4:12)

TRUTH AND RELIABILITY

The realisation of the TRUTH and RELIABILITY of the SCRIPTURES is absolutely essential, if we are to be convinced of the truth of the doctrines, because the BIBLE IS THE 'PLUMB LINE' against which they must be judged!

It is NOT SUFFICIENT to believe the doctrines because they are the SALVATION ARMY'S TEACHING, or because you TRUST THE JUDGEMENT OF THE ONE WHO PRESENTS THEM to you! The ONLY MERIT for believing them, is that we see their TRUTH within the Scriptures! (Acts 17:11)

DOES THE BIBLE CONTAIN THE WORD OF GOD?

Perhaps you have heard people say "THE BIBLE CONTAINS THE WORD OF GOD!"

IT DOES NOT CONTAIN THE WORD OF GOD - IT IS THE WORD OF GOD!

What's the difference? If we say the Bible simply CONTAINS the Word of God, then we can LEAVE OUT the bits we don't like - we don't have to do everything it says!

To say that the Scriptures CONTAIN the Word of God, has the INHERENT SUGGESTION that there are PARTS which are NOT the Word of God.

The logical conclusion of this is of course that we end up NOT KNOWING WHICH PARTS WE CAN ACCEPT with authority and which we can't!! WE END UP WITH NO CERTAINTY OF FAITH!! (Matthew 22:29)

IS THE WHOLE OF SCRIPTURE THE WORD OF GOD?

If we state the Bible TO BE THE WORD OF GOD, then it means EVERY WORD is GOD BREATHED - none can be left out -

When it uses the word "ALL" it's translated from a Greek word - "PAS" meaning "ANY AND EVERY"! SO MUCH FOR THE THOSE WHO THINK THAT ALL OF IT IS NOT EQUALLY INSPIRED!

So we can read it, "Any and every part of Scripture is God Breathed."

EVERY PROMISE IS UTTERLY DEPENDABLE!

EVERY COMMAND MUST BE OBEYED!

EVERY REVELATION OF GOD IS ONE HUNDRED PERCENT RELIABLE!!

THE BUILDING OF OUR EXPERIENCE

I hope you begin to see HOW IMPORTANT it is that we have the FOUNDATION right, otherwise the BUILDING of our Christian experience will be very SHAKY indeed: and how could we accept guidance, rebuke or correction from the Scriptures if we didn't accept their reliability, authenticity and authority? (John 14:10)

One of the big PROBLEMS today is that MUCH OF THE CHURCH today, does NOT BELIEVE COMPLETELY in either the POWER OR AUTHORITY of SCRIPTURE!! Sometimes, they use it as little more than a TEXTBOOK, which they EDIT and CHANGE at will. How many times have we heard the ideology, "Well yes, I know the Bible says that, but we live in a more ENLIGHTENED AGE today." (2 Corinthians 2:17)

Our Doctrines state very clearly, concerning the Scriptures, that THEY ONLY CONSTITUTE THE DIVINE RULE OF CHRISTIAN FAITH AND PRACTICE. That means quite simply, that WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO CHANGE WHAT THE SCRIPTURES TEACH US. WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO COMPROMISE WITH WHAT WE KNOW TO BE AGAINST IT'S TEACHING!!

The GENERAL, the TERRITORIAL COMMANDER, the DIVISIONAL COMMANDER, the BISHOP, the POPE, yes, even the humble CORPS OFFICER CAN SAY WHAT THEY WILL, but in the end, it is WHAT THE ETERNAL WORD OF GOD HAS TO SAY THAT IS ALL IMPORTANT!!

When we look at our text, we find that the Scripture is ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN IN THE WITNESS IT GIVES OF ITSELF!!

SO WE EACH ONE CAN HAVE COMPLETE CONFIDENCE IN IT, AND JUDGE ALL THINGS, INCLUDING DOCTRINE BY IT'S INFALLIBLE TRUTHS.