When one considers the thousands of preachers and priests in the world, it is obvious that most of them are not speaking for God because they teach conflicting things.
One man I baptized started reading the Bible because different priests in his own church were teaching contradictory things.
His reaction was: “Since the priests say different things, I will read the Bible for myself. What it says will certainly be right.” The first time I met him he said: “I don’t know where it will lead me, but I have decided to do what the Bible says.” I thought, “If he really means that, he will become a Christian.” And he did. Have we decided to do what the Bible says?
God’s word enables us to distinguish truth from error.
“If anyone wants to do God’s will, he will know about my teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak from my own authority.”
Jesus continues to answer the issue about how he could teach such powerful truths. The Lord affirms the possibility of knowing what teaching comes from God. But one must want to do God’s will to know it.
By what process do we know if Jesus’ teaching comes from God or not? What does Jesus affirm to be the objective of discerning his teaching?
“I tell you the solemn truth, if anyone obeys my teaching, he will never see death.”
The Jews could not accept this claim of Jesus’, because they were disobedient to God’s will and did not belong to God, v. 47. They rightly understood that such a promise could only come from one who was greater than Abraham.
The condition that Jesus sets down is also rejected by many religious people today. They refuse to obey God in order to escape eternal death. But the Lord’s emphatic introduction calls attention to his statement, that cannot be dismissed nor twisted.
An area congregation publishes a monthly bulletin for the city’s saints, called “I Love Jesus.” I went to speak there last month by request. My designated topic was biblical authority and instrumental music in worship. I began the first of two lessons with the sentence, “I love Jesus.” And because I love Jesus, I love the truth of Jesus, since he is “the way, the truth, and the life” Jn 14.6. Probably, not a few listeners caught my reference to the title of their bulletin. This year is, for me, the Year of Love. It might seem strange to some to talk about such topics as authority and instruments from a framework of love. But isn’t that the best (and maybe only) framework in which to treat them? And every other spiritual subject as well?
“Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.”
1 Corinthians 13.6 CSB
Paul’s chapter on love centers the discussion of the need for each member of the body (chapter 12) and the use of gifts for edification (chapter 14).
How does rejoicing in the truth manifest itself?
“I say this so that no one will deceive you through arguments that sound reasonable” Col 2.4.
False arguments are made to sound reasonable. If they didn’t appear to be plausible, no one would believe them. Continue reading