Why We NEED a Bible Answer (and why that may not be enough)
There are a lot of religious questions out there, and when it comes to Christianity there is more misinformation than there are answers. Real answers that is. Truthful answers. If you go to a religious bookstore you are likely to find 1,000 books written about Christianity to every 1 Bible translation that is to be the basis of Christianity. One would think that with so many books about the Bible, that when it comes to understanding the Bible, everyone would be on the same page. Unfortunately, that is just not the case. That is why we must always remember that a Bible answer is the best answer.
If we are to have the truth in Christianity we must demand Bible answers to Bible questions. We cannot depend upon the feelings, opinions, instincts, or beliefs of man. Those are subjective standards, but even worse than that, they are usually wrong. The Bible is the answer. It always has been and it always will be (Psalm 19:7-10) because it is the objective standard of the Lord. When it comes to authority in the kingdom of God there was no person on earth with higher authority than the Apostles (II Corinthians 10:7-9), and yet even they were not above the scrutiny of scripture. When the Apostle Paul was preaching in Berea, the brethren checked out what he was teaching to see if it was accurate, to see if it was the truth. They were not condemned for following up on the preaching with one having as great authority as an Apostle; but rather, were commended (Acts 17:11).
No evangelist, preacher, elder, teacher, or self-proclaimed Apostle or Prophet today has greater authority, or more truth, than the Apostles did in the first century. They were commissioned with teaching us all that Jesus had commanded for us to know, and that is what they did (Matthew 28:18-20; John 16:13; II Peter 1:3). And as their teachings were recorded in scripture, they became the authority by which all Christians are governed. If anyone, or anything, today preaches something contrary to that which is recorded in scripture, then their teaching is error and they are accursed (Galatians 6:8-9). The only way that could be possible, is if the Bible is the complete and perfect authority of the will of God. It can only be possible if the Bible is the standard of what truth is (John 17:17).
The church is to be the pillar and support of the truth (I Timothy 3:15). The truth is the gospel of Christ as represented by the Holy Scriptures (Colossians 1:5). Not only that, but we as individual Christians are what make up the church. That means that you and I, if we are Christians, are to be a pillar and support of the truth. The Bible is the source of truth. It is the God-breathed word that trains us and equips us to know the truth, live the truth, and teach the truth (II Timothy 3:16-17). That means as a Christian, the main source of all my knowledge and understanding must be the Bible. It is the Bible that must be in my mind, on my heart, and shining into, and out of, my soul. I am to be the pillar and support of the truth, which is one more reason why I need Bible Answers to Bible (religious/spiritual) questions.
However, having said all that, I must also admit that sometimes even a “Bible Answer” isn’t good enough. Why? Because sometimes people misuse the Bible. That misuse might be unintentional, but it can still have devastating consequences (Matthew 18:6). Sometimes the misuse is purposeful, for sordid gain (Titus 1:11), or perhaps even to bring hardship upon others. The point is, that just because someone gives us a Bible answer, it doesn’t mean it is the right answer. Now the Bible is always right. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying, but it is only right when used rightly.
Consider the Devil as an example. In Matthew 4 (vv.1-11) and the trial of Jesus Christ, the Devil, after failing at his first attempt to lure Jesus to sin, then appeals to scripture to lead Christ astray. How could the devil use “the truth” to lead someone into “error”? The answer is simple; by misapplying the truth. The Devil simply pulled a passage out of scripture and used what it said while abandoning what it meant. When he pulled the passage “out” of scripture he was pulling it out of its proper context, and also its harmony with other scriptures. He was using it however he wanted, rather than how God intended. We see that, because that is how Jesus actually ultimately defeats Satan, is by applying additional scripture to the situation to illustrate the Devil was inappropriately using that passage by not harmonizing it with the scriptures as a whole (vv.6-7).
We are warned throughout the New Testament of not just false gospels and teachings, but also of false teachers (Jude; II Peter 2; Matthew 7:15; etc.). These are warnings that we must heed, for our very soul is at stake. We must be willing to test our teachers, just as the bible tells us to (I John 4:1). We must be willing to demand that they provide Bible answers, and do so by being able to show that the answers are taken from a proper context and harmony of the scriptures. Above all, we must be mentally vigilant, so as not to be led astray by the blind (Luke 6:39). We must educate ourselves on the truth of God’s word, and to grow and mature in the grace of the knowledge of Christ (II Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:14-16). Only in doing this, can we be equipped to defend ourselves against those who would lead us astray, and also be equipped to lead others to truth (Ephesians 6:10-17).
In an age where many prefer to be willfully blind, that is close their hearts and minds to study and maturing in truth and instead just accept whatever others are doing or saying, we must choose to see. We must not allow ourselves to be blinded by the devil but instead must see by the light of the glorious lamp of the word of God (II Corinthians 4:4-6; Psalm 119:105). May we devote ourselves to the pursuit of truth, so that by it we may gain the crown of righteousness. For if we do not have the truth… then nothing else matters.