Are you using your Bible when you discuss or study spiritual matters?
If your mind and heart are not deep within the Bible, you are disqualified from continuing.
I have attended Bible studies that are actually book studies.
People use book studies, because they don’t know the Bible or they have some aversion to it: ignorance or rejection.
If you use a book other than the Bible, test everything diligently by His Word!
“The Bereans were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11
They proved or disproved assertions by studying the scripture.
Recently, I’ve met members and pastor of a church who claim to be a church fully focused on grace.
In this past Wednesday night book study series, some stunning claims were made that were based on what the pastor and others have derived from Steve McVey’s book Beyond An Angry God.
The flash point originated from this verse:
“For in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22
The major claim from this verse was that by default in Adam, all humanity automatically died (agreed), and now similarly by default in Christ, all humanity was automatically saved.
Was Christ making such a simplistic salvation parallel through Paul?
These corollaries followed, based on the fellowship’s reading of McVey’s book:
Pastor: “I’m no longer sure that the Bible is inspired or inerrant.” [It must be both or it’s neither.]
Faith in Him is no longer necessary.
A choice is no longer necessary.
Scripture is no longer necessary.
There is no hell.
There are no longer spiritual consequences to sin.
A loving God would not allow anyone to perish.
If these derived assertions (which are similar to those of Paul Young) are what McVey intended [McVey is linked to this book study group, as is William Paul Young, author of The Shack, through the Global Grace Seminary.], then he and they are up the creek without a Bible paddle.
You must not re-engineer the Bible based on someone’s research, thoughts, or opinions! God does not allow such reckless, feckless tinkering.
God uses the written Word to point to His living Word, Jesus Christ, Who changes you. You cannot abandon His written Word without discarding your anchor to Him!
Here’s the bottom line.
Separate anything from its source and it dies.
Separate your interpretation from the Bible, and you can evilly twist it into anything you want it to be, even if that is not your intent. Redefinition becomes rampant.
Instead, make the Bible your cornerstone document, your source of written truth, and no other books.
If there’s anything to be changed, it’s your thinking and your heart, not His Holy Word.
You may not understand all of God’s whats, whys, and hows.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8
But, don’t twist His ways to line up with yours!
In seeking to understand, you’re to use His Word as your primary and overwhelming tool!
“[take] the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” Ephesians 6:17b
After all, if the Bible is not your Bible, then [substitute as required] Beyond An Angry God is your bible!
If you deny the inspiration and inerrancy of God’s Holy Scripture, then you or someone else is your inspiration and god, and you are not following The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If your revelation must negate God’s entire Biblical revelation [“Faith is no longer needed.” versus “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (Heb 11:6 – Faith is required from cover to cover in the Bible.).”], then your revelation is from the pit.
Use the Bible!
“(21) Examine all things. Hold fast that which is good. (22) Abstain from all appearance of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
See also Up The Creek Without a Bible Paddle 2, 1 Corinthians 15:22 to address the focal verse in this blog post.