Dear Christian: Stand on the Word of God, Not Man
If you’ve read anything I wrote, heard any of the sermons I’ve preached, or watched the videos I post online, you know I’m an advocate for Biblical literacy among believers. I think it’s important that every believer should have more than a “passing” knowledge of the Bible, and should get their scripture from more than a preacher (myself included), popular worship singers and Christian “thought” leaders.” We have within us the Holy Spirit, who seeks to guide and interpret for us, and the closer we draw to God, the more He will make the words clear. What I do have a problem with, however, is the weaponization of scripture, usually by legalists, or progressives who seek to either undermine the authority of Scripture, or to lead people astray. Scripture makes it abundantly clear: we are saved by Grace through Faith. The people in question who do these things are usually leaders who have little to nothing at stake in the Gospel. They are people who seek to gain as much as they can, and when apostacy happens, or this leader begins to buy extravagancies, they justify themselves, proudly proclaiming their positions. Paul faced such people in his day. In his letters, he refuted some who called themselves “Super Apostles,” who claimed that Paul’s suffering and poverty were signs that God’s blessings were not on him, as well as legalists who sought to make the churches follow after the conditions of the Old Covenant (in Galatians, he said such terms negate the sacrifice of Christ in a believer). Both sets of teachers were similar though: they were after fame and money. In other words they were self interested. We are in danger when we, too, follow after such people, and do not read the Word for ourselves. We follow teachings, and, in turn, weaponize scripture to pursue our way of thinking. We need to stand firm in the Word. The more we pursue Christ in the Scriptures, the more sound our thinking and judgment calls will be. The more we are in the word, the less likely we will be led astray by the ever changing winds of culture. Stand firm on God’s word. Hold preachers and leaders accountable to God’s word, and do so by being so intimate with it, that any deviation will be apparent. Hebrews 4:1-13 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
“As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.