[forthright] Do Not Think Beyond What Is Written

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2006 14:19:23 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Square One

Do Not Think Beyond What Is Written
by Richard Mansel

Students of Scripture are warned, "not to think
beyond what is written, that none of you may be
puffed up on behalf of one against the other" (1
Corinthians 4:6, NKJV). This sobering reminder,
represented throughout God's Word, serves as a
regulator and brings clarity and comfort to our
lives.

The Bible is singularly focused on leading men to
God. The unchanging nature of God and Scripture
stills man's fears and provides a united way of
salvation. Everyone today receives the same gospel
message and is called to the same salvation.
Neither has changed in nearly two thousand years.
This unanimity brings solace and peace to a world
confused by the attempted destruction of
absolutes.  

Scripture is complete, sufficient, and not in any
need of alterations or additions (2 Timothy
3:16,17; Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32;
Proverbs 30:6; Revelations 22:18,19). The prophet
Jeremiah was told to stand before the nation of
Israel and speak, "all the words that I command
you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word"
(Jeremiah 26:2). Paul wrote, "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" (Galatians 1:8). Joshua was told to do
"according to all that was written in" the Book of
the Law (Joshua 1:8). At the end of Joshua, he was
told, "Therefore be very courageous to keep and do
all that is written in the book of the Law of
Moses" (Joshua 26:3). Likewise, the prophet
Micaiah said, "As the Lord lives, whatever the
Lord says to me, that I will speak" (1 Kings
22:14).

The proper respect for the Bible is exemplified by
the attitudes of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus
said, "The words that I speak to you I do not
speak on My own authority; but the Father who
dwells in me does the works" (John 14:10). Later,
in John 16:13 we find that the Holy Spirit also
does not "speak on His own authority, but whatever
He hears He will speak." Knowing the Father as
they do, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are warning us
that God demands respect for his words.

Peter tells us that we have "all things that
pertain to life and godliness" and that we have
enough to "escape the corruption of the world" and
"partake of His divine nature" (2 Peter 1:3,4).

Therefore, why do we need to wander in the silence
of Scripture? If God has spoken, why do we need to
go where his voice is not heard? Why would we need
to seek other fields? God has not given us a
puzzle to unravel. We need not fear that there is
something else out there that will decide our
eternal destiny; no hidden Scripture, no creeds
nor man-made documents will decide our fate on
judgment day. Only the Scriptures and our
relationship to Jesus will be our judge. And that
is certainly far more desirable than the fickle
imaginations of men.

Paul's admonition in 1 Corinthians 4:6 has an
answer for why we need not wander beyond
Scripture. By staying within the confines of
Scripture we will not be "puffed up on behalf of
one against the other" (1 Corinthians 4:6). Paul
continues, "What do you possess that you have not
received?" (1 Corinthians 4:7). When we are only
judged on the words of Scripture that we all can
possess equally, then no one can be haughty as the
sole possessor of truth. Only God's Word has that
title.

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