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Book Number One:

The Word of God

1.   Although the glory of God may be seen in His creation, so that the fact of His existence is without question,1 and although the conscience of man tells him that there is a God,2 these revelations are not sufficient in themselves to convey the knowledge of God and His will necessary for salvation or service.3 And because the sole purpose of man and the universe around him is to glorify God,4 it becomes necessary for God to communicate with man through some special form of revelation.5

2.   Since satan is able to transform himself into an angel of light,6 and because the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,7 the authenticity of any divine communication must first be established, regardless of how acceptable it may appear to be.8 Factors such as historicity, tradition, miracles, popularity, and prosperity, although they have their place, are not necessarily synonymous with veracity.9 All religion must be subjected to the test of authority before it can be accepted as a special revelation from God to man.10

3.   The only religious documents that successfully pass this test of authority and may therefore be called the Holy Word of God are those sixty-six books contained in the completed canon of Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures.11 All other extra-Biblical communication is to be rejected as spurious.12 The thirty-nine books of the Old Testament are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The twenty-seven books of the New Testament are Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, I Peter, II Peter, I John, II John, III John, Jude, and Revelation.

4.   Seeing that the Word of God was inscripturated under the guidance of the Holy Spirit,13 so that it is the very breath of God,14 it is rightfully the infallible guide of all humanity, especially those of the household of faith.15 It contains the whole counsel of God,16 and it is of no private interpretation.17 All Scripture is to be interpreted within the framework of its relationship to the other Scriptures18 and should be rightly divided,19 lest the readers wrest its words to their own destruction.20 To add to it or to take from it is to invite all of the plagues described within it upon oneself.21

5.   Because the original manuscripts of Holy Scripture were written in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages, they are the inerrant texts upon which all other translations must be based.22 Where there is a discrepancy between modern translations and the original texts, the original texts are always to be accepted as the authority.23

6.   The churches of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as the custodians of the truth,24 are exhorted to study the Word of God,25 their God-ordained elders being charged to labor in season and out of season, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting the members with the Word of God.26 Furthermore, the God-ordained elders are to avoid all foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife, and that the servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.27 The final authority in all matters of faith and practice is the Holy Word of God.28

7.   As the Word of God is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of man’s heart, and as it is able to distinguish between the soul and the spirit of man,29 it is to be used as a light to man’s pathway through life30 and is all-sufficient to offer counsel in God’s stead.31 Hence, it is to be received by faith and loved as the very words of God; therefore, when Christ’s ministers offer its counsel, it is to be obeyed as coming from God Himself.32 To believe its doctrines is to keep the believer from being tossed to and fro.33 To practice its doctrines is to win the great prize,34 and to ignore them is to be disqualified from divine salvation and service.35

8.   It is only by the Word of God that man’s faith can be built up and its promises received.36 Understood in context, it ever remains the unchangeable logos.37 Heard and believed on in his heart, it becomes the rhema with the power to save,38 deliver,39 heal,40 and redeem his life from destruction,41 posturing him to be blessed on every level in the will of God.42

9.   It is solely by the ministry of the Word of God43 that the natural man can be convicted in his heart through the Holy Spirit of his sinfulness44 and be brought to repentance,45 faith,46 and the new birth.47 Furthermore, the natural man cannot understand the Word of God48 because he is blind to it and considers it foolishness.49 Only the believer can understand the Scriptures50—one truth at a time51 through the guidance and illumination of the Holy Spirit.52 The believer can neither be transformed nor sanctified without the ministry of the Word of God in his life;53 therefore, true spirituality and friendship with Jesus Christ can only be measured in terms of obedience to His Word.54 The churches of our Lord Jesus Christ, under His Great Commission, are to take the Word of God to all the peoples of the earth; to teach it to all nations; to baptize the converts to the glory of the Father, in the name of the Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit; and to teach them to observe all things whatsoever He has commanded.55

  1. Psalm 19:1-3; 97:6; 104:24; Acts 14:17; Romans 1:19,20
  2. Romans 2:14,15
  3. Acts 17:24-28; Romans 15:4, II Timothy 3:14-17; II Peter 1:19-21
  4. Ecclesiastes 12:13; I Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17; I Peter 4:11
  5. John 1:1,14; 6:67,68; II Timothy 3:14-17; Hebrews 1:1,2
  6. II Corinthians 11:14; Galatians 1:8
  7. Psalm 51:5; Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 17:9
  8. Proverbs 12:15; 14:12; Galatians 1:6-9; James 2:1; I John 4:1
  9. Matthew 24:4,5; Romans 3:4; I Corinthians 1:17; 2:4,5; 3:5-7; II Thessalonians 2:15
  10. Luke 20:1-8; II Corinthians 11:3,4; I Thessalonians 5:21
  11. Psalm 18:30; Luke 24:27,44; II Thessalonians 2:15; 3:14; II Peter 3:15,16
  12. John 6:68; Romans 3:4; I Corinthians 2:13; Galatians 1:6-9
  13. Mark 12:36; Acts 1:16; 3:18; 28:25; I Peter 1:10,11; II Peter 1:21; II Samuel 23:2
  14. II Timothy 3:16; John 6:63
  15. Psalm 19:7-11; 119:9,11,105; Romans 1:16,17; II Timothy 3:15-17
  16. Isaiah 46:9,10; Acts 20:27; Romans 1:16,17; 15:4
  17. II Peter 1:20
  18. I Corinthians 2:13
  19. II Timothy 2:15
  20. II Peter 3:16
  21. Revelation 22:18,19
  22. II Timothy 3:15,16; II Peter 1:19-21
  23. Proverbs 30:5,6; Romans 3:4; II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:19-21
  24. I Corinthians 4:1; II Corinthians 5:18-20; I Thessalonians 2:4; I Timothy 3:15; II Timothy 2:2
  25. II Timothy 2:15; John 5:39; Acts 17:10,11
  26. Acts 14:23; 20:17,28; I Peter 5:1-3; II Timothy 4:2; I Thessalonians 2:3,4; I Timothy 4:13; Titus 1:9; 2:1,15
  27. I Timothy 1:3,4; II Timothy 2:23-26
  28. I Corinthians 3:11; 11:2; Galatians 1:6-9; II Thessalonians 3:6,14; II Timothy 3:16,17; II Peter 1:19
  29. Hebrews 4:12
  30. Psalm 119:105; II Peter 1:19
  31. Psalm 33:11; 73:24; 138:2; Proverbs 19:20,21; Matthew 4:4; John 6:63; II Timothy 3:16,17
  32. I Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:1,2,11,12; 13:7,17
  33. Ephesians 4:14,15; I John 2:5
  34. Philippians 3:13,14; II Timothy 4:7,8
  35. II Thessalonians 3:14; I Corinthians 9:24-27; I Timothy 1:5-7,19; II Timothy 2:4,5; Hebrews 12:12-17
  36. Acts 20:32; Romans 10:17; II Corinthians 1:20; II Peter 1:2-4
  37. Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; I Peter 1:23-25
  38. I Corinthians 1:21; James 1:21
  39. Psalm 107:20; Psalm 119:170
  40. Matthew 8:8; Psalm 107:20
  41. Psalm 103:4
  42. Psalm 1:1-3; Psalm 119:1,2; Ephesians 1:3; James 1:25
  43. Luke 16:29-31; Romans 1:16; 10:14,17; I Corinthians 1:21; 15:1,2
  44. John 16:8-11; Acts 5:29-33; 7:51-54
  45. Matthew 9:13; Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30; 20:21
  46. Acts 20:21; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 2:8,9; Hebrews 11:6
  47. John 3:3; 5:24; II Corinthians 5:17
  48. Romans 8:5-7; I Corinthians 2:14
  49. I Corinthians 1:18,21,23; 2:14; II Corinthians 4:3,4
  50. I Corinthians 1:18; 2:12-16
  51. Isaiah 28:9,10; Romans 1:17
  52. Job 32:8; Psalm 119:18; Jeremiah 33:3; John 16:13
  53. John 17:17,19; Romans 12:1,2; II Thessalonians 2:13; II Timothy 2:21
  54. John 14:15,21; 15:7,10,14,15
  55. Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8
 
 

 

 

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