Sufficient Guide... Faith and Practice
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words everyone from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. (Jer 23:29-32)
The devil said to Eve: “Yea hath God said?” He’s still saying the same thing, because it works. Some people are troubled today that God should claim the right to say something. They label themselves when they reject the authority of their Maker:
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD. (Psa 14:1-4)
It was this kind of thinking that prompted God to tell Noah to build an ark and then sent the world-wide flood that drowned everybody but the eight in the ark.
The main question will always be what the devil asked Eve: “Yea, hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1) The questions swarming around today, troubling and dividing everybody are all wrapped up in the main question: “Yea, hath God said?” If God said it, then pay attention and obey Him. If God didn’t say it, then forget about it. I’m not concerned about pleasing everybody. I am concerned about pleasing God. Jesus said: How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (John 5:44)
I’ve told many times about walking around in the Congressional Library in Washington and realizing that among all the thousands of books in those two buildings, there’s only one book that can tell the future: The Bible! Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isa 46:10)
When I was in my teens, maybe 1950, I encountered a phrase I had never seen. It was about the Bible and was in a booklet published by the Southern Baptist Convention. It said: “The Bible is a sufficient guide for faith and practice.” That’s it. That’s all I remember. It sort of, jumped on me. That’s why I remember it 67 years later. In life there is the substance of what makes up our faith structure, the blue print.
Then, there is the “how” of carrying out that faith: the practice. The dynamic. The blueprint and the dynamic! The Bible is a sufficient guide for faith and practice. If that’s true, then it’s authoritative. It’s like the automotive manual that shows you all the moving parts and the procedure for taking it apart and putting it back together. It gives the valve settings and the clearance between the crankshaft and the bearings and how to set the timing at so many degrees before top dead center. I’ve used those manuals in rebuilding bus engines under a shade tree. A shade tree mechanic is helped wonderfully with the manual. Without the manual, he might as well go into the house and forget it.
The Bible tells about God, about ourselves and what’s wrong with us and how to get it fixed. It tells us how to get to Heaven and how to live on our way to Heaven. It tells us about family relationships and about our relationship to our country and about our relationships at work and about relationships at church.
We have to decide if we’re the product of evolution or if we were special-designed and special-made by the mind and hand of an Almighty God. Personally, I do not believe my grandpa was a big lizard. If you believe that, then one law is as good as another and if I want to shoot you, by what authority are you going to tell me I should not kill you and take your stuff? No, my friend, if you don’t have a Bible that is sufficient for faith and practice, you have a lot of problems that are over your head. You’re just not that smart. I’m not that smart. I need a Bible.
Whatever temptation comes my way, I know that I’m to search the Bible and see what God said about it. Sin is tempting because it will taste good or feel good or make you feel like a big shot. Otherwise, temptation would have no power to attract and destroy you. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23) The following poem has been around a long, long time.
The Anvil of God's Word
“Last eve I paused beside the blacksmith’s door, And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime; Then looking in, I saw upon the floor, Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
“How many anvils have you had,’ said I, ‘To wear and batter all these hammers so?’
‘Just one,’ said he, and then with twinkling eye, ‘The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.’
“And so, I thought, the Anvil of God’s Word For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard, The Anvil is unharmed, the hammers gone.”
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever... 1 Peter 1:25 Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MARCH 7, 2017 – TUESDAY
A.M. Deuteronomy 3-4 P.M. Mark 11:20-33
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psa 19:14)
Song for Today:
Divo Quartet (4:32): Amazing Grace (II Divo Quartet)