Jesus says, in John 17:17:
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Jesus is telling us that the Word of God is Truth. The pagans teach that there is no absolute truth, but that we each “create our own reality“. But the Bible teaches that there is an absolute standard of Truth: God’s Word.
The man of God – No private interpretation – Bereans: no guru – Call no man teacher – The Spirit of Truth – God has preserved His word – Too important to be left to the experts – All of our priorities
Paul, the Apostle, wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
“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.”
“The man of God”: that’s you and me if we are trusting in the real Jesus in terms of the real Gospel. We can trust that God’s Word is Truth and that it is our standard for how to come to God on his terms and walk with him.
Peter, the Apostle, wrote in 2 Peter 1:20-21,
“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.”
Peter teaches that we are not to just make up our own private interpretation and make the scriptures say what ever we want to suit our own purposes. We are not to go to the Bible with a predetermined agenda to find scriptures that “prove” our views. Rather we are to go to the Bible trusting that the Lord will speak through his Word to us. We examine the plain meaning of the text and let the Bible interpret the Bible… let the Word speak for itself.
Luke says in Acts 17:10-11,
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
Luke commends the Bereans because they were not going to just blindly trust the “private interpretation” of a guru! They searched the scriptures THEMSELVES to see if what Paul said was true! Paul an Apostle! And the Bible commended them for it.
Jesus says in Matthew 23:8-11:
“But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters [teachers]: for one is your Master [Teacher], even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”
The word, “master” is the Greek word: kathegetes (kath-ayg-ay-tace’); meaning a guide, i.e. (figuratively) a teacher. (From Strongs)
Jesus says that we are not go to men to be our “teacher” or “master”, because the Lord Jesus himself is our teacher, through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus says in John 16:13:
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
Jesus wasn’t talking to “clergymen” (the New Testament says nothing about clergymen!) he was talking to followers of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth.
It is crucial that we realize that God holds each of us personally accountable for how we respond to his Word as individuals. We can’t blame any misunderstanding on a clergyman or hierarchy or a religious system. God expects us to examine his Word and trust and obey him… like the Bereans in Acts 17.
Many people question whether the Bible can be trusted because they are under the impressions that there have been so many translations and so little evidence for the validity of the text we have today. But I trust that God has preserved his Word, Old and New Testaments. Indeed, there is no ancient document that even comes close to the number of remaining manuscripts of the books of the Bible that gives us great confidence that the words we have in our hands today are the words that were originally penned (by God through men). It’s true that we don’t have any original manuscripts but we do have copies that, in some cases (for the NT), come from within the lifetime of people who were alive at the time the originals were written! And the Dead Sea scrolls from about the time of Jesus, confirm significant portions of the Old Testament for us.
It is a generally held myth that we can’t trust the Bible because it has been through so many translations from generation to generation. But, we can bypass the generations and go directly to ancient manuscripts to read them for ourselves (if we learn Greek and Hebrew!). So that blows that myth out of the water.
We can bypass the translators, also! Using a concordance and a Greek and Hebrew dictionary, we can, to a great degree, examine for ourselves what the words mean. All the more when we can use modern computer software Bible texts and concordances and dictionaries. I use Bible software and love it. With my Bible software, I really do feel like I can bypass the translators. And I’ve never taken a seminary course. In fact, I feel that the Word of God is too important to be left to the “experts”!!!
It is very important that we go to the Word of God, the Bible, for ALL our priorities in life. And all of our understanding about who Jesus is, what the Gospel is, how a person becomes reconciled with God, how a person gets to heaven, how we should live as Christians, what the Church is, how the Church should function, who should lead in the Body of Christ, what is our calling in society on this earth, what should our message be to the World.
All of these are answered in the Bible.
Is the Bible the Final and Complete
Revelation From God?
From the mouth of the Lord Jesus Himself we learn that the Scriptures testify of Me [Jn.5:39]. All of their messages focus upon Him as He expounded on the Emmaus road and to His own disciples after His resurrection [Lk.24:25-27, 44-49].
See entire article by Abdul Njai on gospelformuslims.org