Does It Matter What You Believe?
by:Gary L. Hutchens
Have you been told that it does not really matter what you believe, religiously? Many members of denominational churches are being told by their ministers that, basically, as long as they believe in God and Jesus, that’s all that really matters. Everything else is open to individual understanding, interpretation and application.
Really? What about the apostle Peter’s instruction? “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Pet. 1:20-21). That verse of scripture clearly states that God’s word is not up to the private interpretation of any individual. What it says, it says to all of us. What it means, the meaning is the same for all of us.
Any other understanding would leave everyone in a state of confusion, not being able to know for sure what God’s will really is. But such cannot be the case, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” (1 Cor. 14:33). God gave us His word to guide us, not confuse us!
In fact, God gave us His word to provide very definite direction as to His will. The apostle Paul wrote, “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 complete, thoroughly furnished for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Notice that Paul’s point is that the guidance intended to be given us through God’s word is to be all encompassing. His word is to guide us as to “every good work.” Notice, too, that it is not just select verses of scripture that are intended toward this end, but “All scripture.” We can have confidence in what the scriptures say because they are “given by inspiration of God.” The literal meaning of that phrase, in the Greek, is “All scripture is God-breathed.” The sense is that the words are from God’s own lips. In other words, scripture is God’s very word. Coupled with Peter’s statement, we are to understand that God guided the writers through the Holy Spirit to write what they wrote, insuring that it would be God’s very word.
How arrogant it is for men to come along and suggest that they know better than God’s word! How preposterous for them to suggest that they can pick out some teachings from scripture and call them essential while declaring other scriptures to be unimportant! How absurd for them to declare that some scriptures are really from God while some others are not, and that they know which is which! Aren’t you tired of trusting such men with your soul’s salvation?
All of the Bible is God’s word. All of its teachings are important. Jesus not only came to this earth to go to the cross to pay the price for the guilt of our sins, but He also brought us the teachings of the gospel, and we’ll be judged by those teachings (Jn. 12:48). We cannot pick and choose from God’s word what sounds good to us or what goes along with what we already believe. We must embrace and obey all of God’s will. We must follow God His way. We would be glad to help you study and learn God’s word more fully. Please, just ask us. It could make an eternal difference in your life…
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Gary L. Hutchens