There is that system known as “the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).” Of course, this is the Gospel system. Secondly, the apostle Paul emphasized the necessity of one being in this faith. Thirdly, each one has the responsibility of making a self-examination to determine if one is in that system. Although not specifically stated, a fourth item is implied. In order for one to examine himself or herself, there must be an authoritative standard that can be used for such an examination. Without doubt, that standard is the Word of God – the Holy Scriptures.
Through the centuries there have been those who have grown weary of God’s way. As a result, they have attempted to usurp His authority and have rejected that standard. In doing this, they have substituted their own laws, creeds and doctrines. Notice some of their writings on this subject. In speaking of the traditions of a certain church, it is written: “It is, therefore, to be received with the same internal assent as Scripture, for it is the word of God… Tradition would suffice without Scripture…” In the preface of a church manual it is written, “This manual is offered to ______ churches because it is believed that such a book suited to modern church life is needed.” In the so-called scriptures of another religion, a religion founded by a mere man, one reads: “And because my words shall hiss forth, many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible… Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and need no more Bible… Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all of my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written” (2 Nephi 29:3, 6, 10). A certain woman wrote: “God has been graciously preparing me during many years for the reception of this final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing.”
In each of these writings, we see a total disregard for God’s Word. Compare, if you will, these statements written by uninspired men, with the following inspired passages from God’s Word. Do not be deceived by fancy and colorful advertisements that speak of “another testament.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Galatians 1:8-9: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”
2 John 9-11: “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”
2 Peter 1:3: “…as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue…”
John 12:48: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him; the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”
Revelation 22:18-19: “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
This writer has no doubt that each one who reads this article can discern which of the two groups of writings constitute the standard of truth by which we must examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith or not. We need to examine ourselves, by using the inspired Word of God, in such matters as salvation, which church, worship, etc.
By Ernest S. Underwood
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