This week we continue our study of the Articles of Faith of the Amarillo Primitive Baptist Church. Today we consider the second article dealing with the authority held within scripture.
“2.We believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the divine authority and the only rule of faith and practice. – 2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21”
Given by Divine Authority
“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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Understanding of this scripture is a foundational belief and without it Christians are likely to disagree about belief and practice. It has become common today for Christians of different denominations to accept or reject different aspects of the scripture. Some today will argue that we should pay more attention to the gospels because the writings of the rest of the New Testament were too influenced by society of the time. However, Paul makes it clear to us through his writing to the young preacher Timothy — all scripture, both Old and New Testament, was inspired by God and is profitable for us as believers.
Certainly at times there are scriptures that go against our culture and what modern believers are comfortable with. These are the times we are reminded that we are part of the world but we are not of the world. Godly living and Godly worship does not conform with society. What was right for the early church is still right for the church today. We must pay attention to the truth of all scripture.
Not of New or Separate Understanding
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)
Paul makes this point over and over again as he writes in Galatians chapter one that he did not receive the truth which he preached and wrote from man but rather from God. Just as the prophesy included in the Old Testament did not come by men, neither did the instructions provided for the New Testament church and believers in the Apostles times.
When a church or preacher begins to preach something that does not align with historical beliefs of Christians we should be careful. When a man finds a new belief it is likely that he has found a private interpretation and false teaching. We must strive to hold to the truth that was once delivered to the saints.
What about conflicts in scripture?
This question goes to our lack of understanding not a truth about scripture. Scripture is in perfect harmony, the responsibility falls on us to rightly divide the word of truth. When we do so we have our instruction for the church. The church should not be guided by the practices of the world, but by the clear teachings of scripture. While the church always has its doors open to the world, it must always have its eyes on scripture for instruction.
Let us seek as churches to be in accordance with scripture and the will of the Lord in our beliefs and practice.
May the Lord bless you this week.