By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Moses declared, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). He also affirmed that “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:6). He further stated: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11). None of these inspired texts have footnotes allowing for the possibility of the evolutionary hypothesis.
The prophet Isaiah said, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Matthew, an apostle of Christ, quoted this passage from Isaiah and applied it to the birth of Christ (Matthew 1:22-23). There is no footnote in the divine text that indicates Christ was actually conceived in the womb of Mary by Joseph or any other man.
Daniel, a prophet of God, predicted: “And in the days of these kings (the Roman Emperors, hf) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44). There is no footnote to this text to indicate that God might have to delay His plan to establish His kingdom and establish the church as a substitute. The New Testament reveals that the church is that kingdom (Matthew 16:18-19; Mark 1:14-15; Mark 9:1; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4; Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 12:28).
Christ affirmed: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). The apostle Peter said of Christ, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). There is no footnote to either of these inspired texts to indicate that God might change His mind and save people in some way other than by Christ.
Jesus said, “Therefore, I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). There is no footnote to this text indicating that there might be the possibility of a person being saved without believing in Christ.
The apostle Paul affirmed, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). The passage has no footnote indicating some way into Christ where all spiritual blessings (including salvation) are found (Ephesians 1:3; II Timothy 2:10) other than by baptism into Christ.
Paul further declared, “Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). There is no footnote indicating that if it is not convenient to bury (immerse) a person in the waters of baptism then sprinkling or pouring a little water on the person will be acceptable.
Jesus promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18), the New Testament affirms that the church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23), and further declares that “there is one body” (Ephesians 4:4). Christ prayed for the unity (oneness of all who would believe in Him (John 17:20-21), and Paul rebuked division among Christians and the wearing of human names (I Corinthians 1:10-13). None of these passages have footnotes to indicate that at some future date denominations and religious parties among professing Christians would be approved of the Lord.
Acts 20:7 provides an approved apostolic example of the Lord’s Supper being eaten on the first day of the week. Every week has a first day. The text contains no footnote signifying that men may later decide—with the Lord’s approval—to change the day and the frequency for the observance of the Lord’s Supper.
Paul instructed, “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says” (I Corinthians 14:34). To Timothy the evangelist he wrote, “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence” (I Timothy 2:11-12). There is no footnote to either of these texts indicating that because of later changing culture in the 20th and 21st centuries women preachers would be acceptable.
May we have the simple faith and the unyielding courage to take God’s word as it is, without attaching our humanly devised footnotes to it.
March 28, 2017
On April 5, I will begin a four Wednesday evening engagement with the Green Hill Church of Christ in Mount Juliet, TN. We would be pleased to have you join us for any or all of these times of study and reflection.