|Volume 21 Number 12 December 2019||
Many people believe that the Bible is the most difficult book to understand. Yet, the truth is, the Bible is the book of God’s message to man everywhere. Through the pages of the Bible, God, man’s Creator, has revealed and communicated His will for all humans. God desires all people to know and to follow His will, as He wants all to be saved and none to perish in ignorance (2 Peter 3:9). He is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), and He has revealed His will for man in such a manner and in words that all should understand and follow.
On the other hand, if He is unable to do this, then how can we say that He is the Almighty God? Being God, the Creator of man, He knows man better than man knows himself. He knows exactly what and how much man is able to understand. Just as we humans know how to communicate with our children, so God knows how to communicate with His children. He is capable to so reveal His will to man that we can all understand it alike. What it reads to you, it also reads to me, and this is true globally. His Word—the Bible—doesn’t tell people to do different things in various places. What it says to an individual in China, Britain or America, it says the same to me here, in whatever language I want to read it.
Christ taught that God’s Word is the seed of the kingdom (Luke 8:11). Seed produces after its own kind. It produces the same thing wherever it is sown. There is no confusion about it. Sow carrot seeds here and you will reap only carrots, not potatoes or tomatoes. The same seed if sown in another country will produce the same result.
The question is often raised, “While all claim to follow the Bible, then, why are there different kinds of churches, Christians, doctrines and worship, etc. among the followers of Christ on earth?” The simple answer is, “They do not exist by the will of God, as the Bible does not teach about them.” Through the centuries, after Christ had built His church (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4) and had authorized His apostles to teach and write every doctrine His church should follow (Matthew 18:18; John 14:25-26; 16:12-13), men in different ages began to change and add to God’s Word (Acts 20:28-30; 1 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Timothy 4:1-4). So much has been added to the Bible that today people believe many things supposedly taught in it, and yet, the Bible is completely silent about them. However, since such manmade teachings and doctrines have been repeatedly taught and observed over and over again worldwide, people everywhere have accepted them as though they were Bible truth.
From time to time when the clear teaching and doctrines from the Bible itself are brought to people’s attention, often they do not want to believe them because they have never heard about them before. They are so much rooted and grounded in the lies of manmade teachings and doctrines that the Bible’s truths sound to them to be lies, while at the same time, manmade teachings and doctrines have been accepted by most people as Bible truth. For example, Christ Himself taught that he who believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16). It is so simple to understand. Yet, most people today want to believe one is saved by believing alone and that baptism is not necessary for salvation. This is what they have heard all their lives.
Christ said, “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18), and He Himself adds the saved ones to His church according to Acts 2:47. Yet, people today believe that one church is as good as another because there are many different kinds of churches that men have built through the years after Christ built His church in Jerusalem in A.D. 33. Man has invented for himself diverse kinds of churches, doctrines and ways to worship. Teachings, commandments of men and creed books of denominational churches have made the Bible difficult to understand.
If all people everywhere were to leave merely human teachings, commandments of men and creed books alone, quit believing in them and teaching from them, and turn to the Bible alone—read it and do only what it says—then there would be no confusion and no division. All would be Christians only, as it was in the beginning (Acts 11:26). Members of the church that Christ built would worship alike as Christ taught (John 4:24). Friends, it takes more than the Bible to misunderstand it. If people today do not understand the Bible alike, then it is not God’s fault, but it is the fault of man himself. God has spoken, and it is our duty to hear Him and to do His will.
New Year Resolutions
Edgar C. Beard
Each of us remember fondly the day we were baptized into Christ. There was a warm glow in our hearts, a feeling of security—salvation! Never before had we felt just that way. How wonderful it was! To please and obey Christ meant everything, so we resolved to give our lives to Him. Hopefully, we have faithfully kept this resolution.
We now have another New Year before us; hopefully, these seven resolutions will help us remain faithful or rededicate our lives to keep our promised commitment to God. Please open your Bibles and read each Scripture.
First, I resolve to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first. He will then help me take care of my material needs (Matthew 6:33-34).
Second, I shall continue to strive to lay up my treasures in Heaven and not upon earth. I want my most prized possessions beyond rust, moth and thieves. These cannot reach my treasures in Heaven. I hope also to put and keep my heart more in Heaven than upon this earth (Matthew 6:19-21).
Third, since I was once buried with my Lord in baptism and died to past sins, I shall strive hard to keep my affections on things above. I know that Jesus sits on the throne and knows how well I am doing. I want to stay dead to sin and alive to Christ (Romans 6:3-6; Colossians 3:1-2).
Fourth, I want to rededicate my body as a living sacrifice to my God. I want to keep it pure and holy. To do this, I must remind myself that I must resist conformity to the world. I must be transformed by the renewal of my mind day by day in matters spiritual (Romans 12:1-2).
Fifth, in the midst of this confused and chaotic world, I resolve to be kindly affectioned toward others and especially toward my brethren. I resolve to be tenderhearted and forgiving in my attitude, remembering that God for Christ’s sake has forgiven me of so much (Romans 12:10; Ephesians 4:32).
Sixth, I resolve to read my Bible every day in the new year. I want to show myself approved to God as His workman, rightly dividing the word of Truth (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15).
Seventh, I am determined to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and to give Him the glory and honor due Him and His Father by bearing fruit (2 Peter 3:18; John 15:1-8).
Just think about how great the New Year will be when we, as individuals, keep all seven of these New Year resolutions. Our lives will be brighter and happier. The church will grow much because of our godly, dedicated lives. These are seven new year resolutions that should be kept by every Christian.