Tag Archive: Religion


Inerrancy of Scripture

Confident in the Bible

Biblical inerrancy is the belief that Scripture, in their original form and properly interpreted, is without error and therefore completely true in everything they teach. Inerrancy is the foundation for the Bible’s authority. Without this belief, our confidence in the Scriptures cannot be secure.

Jesus and the Inerrancy of Scripture

In Matt 4:1-11, Jesus affirms the inerrancy of Scripture where He says, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Deut 8:3).'” The word “every” clearly shows that the God-breathed Scriptures are included. That He meant the Scriptures is also strengthened by His immediate use of them, demonstrating that He lived by them.

The Bible and the Inerrancy of Scripture

In 2 Tim 3:16-17 it states that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work”.

That Scripture is God-breathed is what essentially makes them inerrant (without error). Inerrancy is vital to the authority of the Bible, and without it we may as well throw out our Bibles. As John Wesley put it, “If there be one mistake in the Bible, there may as well be 1,000.”

In 2 Pet 1:20-21 it states, “… that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Also, the authors of the New Testament identified the Bible with the living voice of God. In various places, the Scriptures are spoken of as if they were God Himself speaking, for example in Matt 19:4, 5 and Heb 3:7. Elsewhere, God is spoken of as if He were in the Scriptures, such as in Gal 3:8.

The Church and the Inerrancy of Scripture

Many church fathers affirmed inerrancy. For example, Clement said, “the sacred Scriptures are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit.”

Calvin said, “We owe the writings of the apostles and prophets that same reverence which we owe to God, because it has proceeded from Him alone…”

Warning against Rejecting or Limiting the Idea of Inerrancy

“The generation of those who first give up biblical inerrancy may have a warm evangelical background and real personal relationships with Jesus Christ, so that they can ‘survive theologically’ on the basis of their limited inerrancy view. But what happens when the next generation tries to build on that foundation?…any denomination or parachurch group that forsakes inerrancy will end up shipwrecked.” – Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster.

Rob Morley (based in part on notes by Gus Martin)

Here are further posts concerning the Bible:

Jesus and the Bible, Separate but Inseparable

“I Hate You” – The Living Power of The Written word

The Bible is God’s Word

What Did Jesus Write In the Sand?

Inerrancy of Scripture

The Words of the Bible are Alive

The Bible Is Jesus Speaking

Where the Bible is, God is

Is the Bible for Everyone?

Do What You Can Do

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The Words of the Bible are Alive

Recording Words

Communication through words is a strong characteristic of both God and man. Recording our words in books, on MP3, CD or whatever means can be a way of not only preserving what we are saying, but also of having our words continually represent us.  This way, our recorded words can always be transmitted as though we are still physically speaking them. Similarly, God’s recorded words represent Him eternally.

Time Doesn’t Change God’s Word

In a sense, the Scriptures are like posts that someone blogging wrote some time ago. They still represent the blogger as though he were posting them today. Unless the blogger indicates a change of mind, when we read his older posts, we are still hearing what he is saying. Similarly, when I read the Bible I am not only hearing what God said, but also what he is still saying.

Despite a lapse of time, my recent posts, and for that matter my posts of months ago, still stand as my point of view. Likewise, despite a lapse of thousands of years, God’s recorded words in Scripture still stand, and are speaking, just as they did at first. The Bible is a recording of essential communication from God that is still alive and active.

Rob

Here are some questions that we occasionally (maybe every 4 years) grapple with: Who to vote for? What are the candidates’ views on key issues? What are my views on these issues? And, most importantly, what is God’s mind on these things?

What!? God’s mind!? Who can know that? Fortunately for us, God’s views, His own laws, aren’t hidden mysteries, but have been left for us in His word, the Bible.

When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they were to become a self-governing nation and, in the light of that, God gave them His laws in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. These laws covered all aspects of society and when Israel adhered to them they prospered. However, when these were dismissed (or misinterpreted) they struggled. Also, these same laws have had an influence in many nations in the creation of their own laws.

Various interpretations can be a problem at times, but this shouldn’t make us shy away from engaging with God’s word to discover the truth. While these disputes have their own challenges, at least we are looking in the right place. In Phil. 3:15 we have an example of how Paul accommodated believers holding different views where he says, “…if in anything you think otherwise, God will (in time) reveal that also to you.”

Imagine arriving at a stadium with a friend to see a game. You may have a dispute over which entrance your tickets are instructing you to use, but that won’t make you dismiss the tickets as your reference. In this case, a wrong interpretation just means a longer walk and possibly missing some of the game. Sadly, Christians can have a negative influence on society with awful consequences through their bad interpretation of God’s word or ignorance of it.

So, studying God’s word remains an excellent means for Christians to get to know God’s mindset and, in turn, influence society. As the salt and light of this world, Christians need to appropriately share God’s ideas in the arenas where they have direct and indirect influence. Sometimes, like the boy with the loaves and the fish, a small influence can be multiplied to affect a multitude.

We can be encouraged that many of the laws that exist throughout the world already reflect God’s laws. Man, despite his sinful nature and disregard for God, still has something of a moral compass in him. Also, while we might not be able to enjoy a government that fully embraces God’s laws as it ought to, nevertheless we can be an influence for positive change.

All we can do is bring the truth to the table. How society responds in making a government that reflects God’s laws or not is up to them. Having said that, it remains our responsibility as Christian’s to direct people toward the ideal of a government that reflects all of God’s laws.

Today, many are thankful for those who previously stood for change to make their lives a better experience. Slaves, various races, females, children and others have all been helped by those who have stood for God’s laws. It still remains for many to be protected, including the most vulnerable, the unborn babies, from the murder of abortion.

For a link to help you to study God’s word you can go our Bible Coaching site.

Rob

Good News – No More a Sinner!

Once a week I have the wonderful opportunity to teach a group of 11-12 year olds about God and the Bible and what Christianity is really about. Recently, I challenged their views on how God sees each of them and I believe God blessed many with a fresh realization of the GOOD NEWS!

Photo: rgbstock

I started the class by asking them why Jesus came. Quickly, and somewhat expectedly, I got the answer, “To die for our sins.” I agreed, but wanted to expand on this truth. The verse that came to my mind was 2 Cor. 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” and I wrote it on the board. I then explained its meaning and, although everyone seemed satisfied, I wanted to see if they really understood what it meant to them individually. So, just as we had agreed upon in previous sessions, I had them again recognize that we have all sinned and still often do sin. And, that in fact, we had all probably fallen into sin a number of times over recent days.

Sinner or Righteous

Then, I wrote two headings on the board, RIGHTEOUS and SINNERS. I asked if Jesus were to return today and separate the RIGHTEOUS from the SINNERS, would they know what group they belong to. It seemed without a blink that each put themselves in the group of SINNERS. Now, I am sure that among them there were some not yet born again and that answer would be true for them. However, the believers among them also classified themselves as SINNERS. It seemed, both groups needed to hear the GOOD NEWS again. The SINNERS for salvation and the RIGHTEOUS (who called themselves SINNERS) for realization of what they had received in Christ.

Good News!

Undoubtedly, the focus that the Christians in the group had was on their behavior rather than on their pardon for sin and new identity in Christ. And, the non-believers probably had a blurred grasp of the GOOD NEWS. Using the above verse I again explained the good news, only in this instance I took the time to show them what the verse really meant to them PERSONALLY. I showed that Jesus who hadn’t sinned actually became SIN, that all of our personal sin and that of the world was put upon Him. And, that He did this, so that we could be called RIGHTEOUS and not SINNERS anymore. That’s GOOD NEWS!!!

Three Men Crucified

Then, to bring it home, I spoke of the three men who had been crucified (Jesus being one of them) and how the whole message of the GOOD NEWS for mankind is seen played out through what happened. In the middle was Jesus, having been charged as a criminal along with the other two criminals. Yet, we know that Jesus hadn’t ever sinned. One of the criminals scoffed at Jesus, not realizing who He was. The other one, realizing who Jesus was, turned to Him and said, “Remember me when YOU come into your kingdom.” We agreed that he had been a bad man, a SINNER, as he even said of himself. And yet, despite this, Jesus said to him, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.”

Identity Changed

What happened at the cross then was that three died. One, a criminal, a SINNER, and he died a SINNER. In the middle was Jesus who was RIGHTEOUS, but who was made to be SIN and He died as a SINNER. Then on Jesus’ other side was another criminal, also a SINNER, who recognized that through Jesus, God was offering pardon for sin and a new life. Through faith in Jesus he was made RIGHTEOUS.

Will Good People Go To Heaven

The general idea that most of the 11-12 year olds seem to have had is that although we all do wrong, “good people” will go to heaven. This is typical of how many people think. Yet, “good people” are also SINNERS and as such don’t qualify. What everyone does qualify for is God’s wrath. Not wanting to pour this out on us, God instead poured it out on Jesus, so that we could be freed. The response of these two criminals (with Jesus in the middle), in a way, represent everyone.

It seems that entrenched into many church members is the idea that as Christians we are SINNERS, but the message of Christianity is that through believing (realizing and receiving) who Jesus is, and what He did for us, we are made RIGHTEOUS.

Rob Morley

Praying to Angels

Should We be Praying to Angels?

A very popular trend over quite a number of recent years has been the “New Age” philosophy, which advocates praying to angels. Just by glancing through a bookstore you might have noticed that there has been a plethora of books written on this subject. Nowadays, a lot is posted on the internet too. But, are we meant to be praying to angels?

The Bible makes it clear that angels are real beings who are servants and messengers of God. Initiating prayer to them is certainly not taught in God’s Word and there is no example of this by Jesus, the apostles or the early church. As Christians, we have been given the inner compass of the Holy Spirit to guide and teach us alongside the Word of God.

Direct Access to God

We can pray directly to God to put His angels around us for protection, but we should not initiate contact with angels themselves. It cost Christ a lot for believers to be able to go directly to God Himself and enjoy a personal relationship with Him. Anyway, if you needed help, wouldn’t you go straight to the top?

The Bible is clear about where we should get our help from, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:14-16).

Angels or Demons?

Praying to angels is a religious sham to keep people from the extraordinary blessing that one can enjoy as a believer of personally going to God. It keeps sinners entertained with a form of religion and is a trap for uninformed Christians. Demons, who are fallen angels, use this means to interact with people who engage in this practice. They come as angels of light and they are very willing to “help” people who reach out to them. Books on looking to your angel are all connected to the demonic. Don’t mix with this stuff! It’s dangerous!

Rob & Tina Morley

New Life

Concerning remedying your sinful behavior, don’t focus on being right-and-wrong-conscious, but rather be sold out to God with all of your heart and mind. Being right-and-wrong-conscious can put the emphasis on behavior where you might try to rectify things yourself and not fix the real issue of living from the wrong source. You see, when living from the Spirit, you won’t be occupied with wrong things anyway, because He automatically does what is right.Now, while it has been said that sin and addictions are best resolved by replacing the negative activity with better ones, unless I am living from Jesus as my source, it’s inevitable that I’ll succumb to further sin or addiction. Ultimately, there’s only one satisfying and meaningful way of life and that is living in a Spirit-filled relationship with God.

In believing in Jesus, the issue of righteousness (standing acquitted before God) is settled at the cross once and for all and no amount of error on my part can untangle that. Not only am I acquitted for life, but I am placed into Christ’s death and resurrection, immediately dying to sin and to God’s law, and rising again to a new life. I am born again and made into a new person. And, what’s more, I am joined irreversibly to Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to live in me, giving me the ability to do what I used to fail to do. He also comes teach me and enable me to live the life that Jesus has planned for me.

Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension have made forgiveness of our sins, re-birth to a new life and His empowering of us possible so that we can have productive lives for God’s kingdom. Only, I need to remember that I cannot live apart from Him as my source. In actual fact, living from Jesus as my source is my sole purpose in life. It’s in Him that I get His vision for my life and His strength to carry it out.

So, focus on building your relationship with God as your new source of life. Then, if you should sin, and you probably will, simply recognize that you have lost touch with God as your new source of life and start relying on Him again. Remember, as far as our sin is concerned, both God’s wrath and the law have been satisfied through Christ’s death so that we can be free to enjoy life by the Spirit. No matter how often you fail don’t let your errors stop you. Rather relish in the abounding mercy and grace that there is to pick you up and empower you to succeed again.

So, living in the Spirit is the Bible Code for Life.  “…we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code” (Rom 7:6 ).

(If you haven’t yet, THE GOOD NEWS is that you can receive Jesus as your savior. He is God’s free gift to acquit you from sin and give you a new life in the Spirit. This, despite the life that you have led, because He loves you!  You see, the Bible says in 1Timothy 1:15, “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners …” Go to God and ask to be forgiven and for a new life in Him).

(Go here for part 1 and part 2)

Rob Morley

Having Everything

Go here for part 1.

Despite revivals and the like, the church, without the Spirit and the word, has a propensity to fall away from the simplicity of faith in Jesus. Whether through mixing things like cultural values or tradition with God’s word or simply through bad interpretation, we have inadvertently complicated what should be easy to attain. Whatever our reasons, extras like special places, buildings, special days, titles, clothing, status, gender roles and in cases even issues of preeminent race have been added back at different times. Despite the presumable good intentions, these add-ons serve only to weaken faith, because Jesus alone is the source of our faith and the accompanied life of faith.

Many churches, whether new or traditional, have these unnecessary and distracting add-ons. It seems inevitable that man will concoct something extra to try and make the unseen faith in Christ more tangible. He wants to support his faith with things, but unfortunately he may be substituting his faith with them. Now, some stuff may be harmless, but when it is “forced” onto people, alarm bells should ring in your head. Even courses, programs and meetings can be unnecessary.

Some have gravitated to equating the shadows of the Old Testament with the New Covenant in Christ. The earthly Jerusalem is revered, garments are worn, horns are blown, certain jargon is used, particular days are esteemed, and special feasts are kept. These have an appearance of being helpful and give the participants both a sense and an appearance of maturity. Yet, all the while they’re nothing more than shadows keeping them from Jesus. They are diversions from the source, and keep one in a state of infancy.

Although generally neutral in and of themselves, it’s the meaning and the weight that we so easily attach to them that causes problems. The necessity of any add-on is determined by asking whether it will really help you in your walk with God. Ask yourself if it is Biblically founded. Often, they simply create a religious atmosphere giving you the illusion of a richer relationship with Him. For example, walking into a church building can give one a sense of awe and reverence that is Biblically unfounded. Now, I don’t advocate getting rid of buildings, but rather correcting our view of them. They are no more or less religious than a school building. So, while in some cases things should be removed if they have no real usefulness, in others the status that they carry needs to be reconsidered.

Now, I certainly don’t wish to destabilize the faith of those who practice with any add-ons. Rather, each person should determine for themselves what is irrelevant and what is useful to their faith. However, I would like to warn that we avoid imposing things on others while being watchful that they aren’t imposed on us. Also, if you feel someone is trapped by add-ons, pray, and should the Lord wish to use you, teach them correctly and wean them from non-Biblical thinking that is robbing them from maturing in Christ.

While giving room for a wide range of expression, let’s avoid the pitfalls of add-ons. Let’s do all that we can to make it clear that God Himself has been made completely accessible through the blood of Jesus, and that by God’s Spirit, Jesus alone wishes to be our source of light and life.

Rob Morley

 

Having Nothing, yet Having Everything

People like things of substance, because substance validates things for us. A bunch of flowers that a man gives to a woman may mean more in a moment than him saying, “I love you.” The flowers themselves are not the man’s love, yet they confirm his love. A hug or a kiss is a quantifiable experience of substance too. A smile that’s shared is simply putting thoughts into substance for those around to receive. Even the atmosphere of a place, whether romantic, solemn, creepy, jolly or quiet is an experience based on substance. Having said that, usually the more concrete a substance is the more real it may seem to us.

With this in mind, consider religion with its array of different things of substance from the paraphernalia of robes, head pieces, beads, to buildings, traditions, titles, creeds, books, etc. all there to help those involved get the full experience. Off-hand, the more religious substance you see around someone the more religious they appear to be. Also, the more we personally interact with these substances, the more religious we may feel. However, it’s because of this inclination to validate or complete our experiences with things of substance that we can easily get duped. You see, besides God’s word, true Christianity needs no outward stuff. In fact, often the less religious substance (tangible things) you see around a Christian, the more real or mature their faith may be.

In the Bible, the book of Hebrews is an appeal to Jewish people who recognized Jesus as their Messiah, but had become uncertain of their new found faith. You see, before Christ came, Judaism was accompanied by a lot of concrete substance. They had the Law, the Ark of the Covenant, the Sacrificial Rituals, Holy Days, the Holy Land, the Holy City of Jerusalem, the Temple, and a history filled with evidence of God’s hand in their lives. In contrast to this, these Jewish followers of Christ had by comparison little in the way of concrete substance surrounding them. Having been ousted by their own people for their faith in Jesus, they had become a mottled group of people, meeting in homes. Not only had their brief history been filled with a lot of difficulty, their faith was accompanied by fewer things outward and tangible which possibly added to any uncertainty they may have felt at the time.

In the book, the author appeals to them by contrasting what Judaism had been to them with what their new faith in Christ now was. He reminds them that what they had, having been spiritually brought into the New Jerusalem, was better. Here is an example of what he said, “For you have not come to something that can be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, to gloom, to a trumpet’s blast, or to a voice that made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. For they could not endure the command that was given: ‘If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.’ Indeed, the sight was so terrifying that Moses said, ‘I am trembling with fear.’ Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to tens of thousands of angels joyfully gathered together, to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to a judge who is the God of all, to the spirits of righteous people who have been made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant…” (Heb 12:18-24).

The author also wrote, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). Other translations use “assurance” in place of “substance.” Either way, we see that faith, although intangible, is nevertheless substance, the assurance that we need. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who believe and yet have not seen.”

The Bible tells us how this faith comes about when it says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17). This faith, “substance” or “assurance” is found through hearing God’s word, which teaches that Jesus is our Savior from sin and its consequence, death. This is validated by the substance of both the Old and New Testaments, Jesus’ miracles, His words, death, resurrection and the lives that have been transformed.

All we may really have at times is the unseen substance of faith, yet it’s a faith based on a lot. Appearing to have nothing, we have everything!

Go here for part 2

Rob Morley

Genuine Christianity

The more people you have in your life that are genuine the richer your life is. You can learn from one another and encourage one another. Jesus didn’t walk among us 2000 years ago to build a religion, but to build a family. His passion wasn’t for a method, but for a people set apart and anointed to touch more people.

Religion inside the institutional Church allows people to pretend their spirituality. It keeps congregants from being open and honest with each other. If you join an institutional church, you’re expected to join the show. You become a spectator and helper of the program. The show (the program) is more important than the people. If you don’t like their particular style of program, then you’re asked to join another church. You spend your life looking for the right church with the right program, but what you really need are genuine brothers and sisters in Christ who are growing in their uniqueness in Him and not another program.

Don’t replace relationship with religion. It’s a poor substitute. It will always leave you cheated of experiencing the vibrant Christianity that Jesus was willing to die for you to have.

by Tina Morley

Religion Blinds Us

Religion blinds us from revelation to the extent that the world sometimes sees truth ahead of the Church. We are often so shackled in the traditions of men, and even worse, progenitors and propagators of these traditions.  We scorn the world’s views, only later to discover that they were right and that correct Biblical interpretation supports them.  Sure, many times they are wrong, but so often we are behind, helping to hold society in darkness, when we should be forerunners of light and life.

By Rob Morley

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