Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Volume 02, Number 32
church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
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Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
Mt. Baker church
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In this issue:
REASONS FOR STUDYING THE BIBLE
Fred E. Dennis
Many sermons have been preached and many articles have been
written using 2 Tim. 2:15 for the text. That old familiar verse reads:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be
ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Why should we be diligent,
careful students of the word?
To Know God
Those who do not know the Bible do not know
God. God has told us all he wants us to know about himself in the Bible. It
is possible to be highly educated, refined, and polished in the modern sense
without knowing God. In fact, some of the most highly educated and gifted
people of our generation do not know God. The reason they do not know God is
that they have not been students of the book in which God reveals himself to
the human family. Paul went to Athens to preach. Those Athenian philosophers
spent their time in learning some new thing, and then imparting this
knowledge to others.
But they did not know God! It was not that
they were ignoramuses, but they were not Bible students. Because of their
lack of knowledge of the true God they were idolaters. Paul said to them:
Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all
things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your
devotions, I found an altar with this inscription. To THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom
therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you (Acts 17:22-23).
These fellows knew
much, but they did not know God. There are many of our day who know much,
but of the important thing—that of knowing God— they are ignorant. And this
is willful ignorance, and willful ignorance is the worst kind of ignorance.
The world by its own wisdom will never know
God. The world by wisdom cannot know God. “For after that in the wisdom of
God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of
preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:21). God gave us the Bible so
that we may know him. Of course, we have the book of nature. We read: “The
heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge” (Ps.
19:1-2). Give man nature without the Bible, and he becomes a worshiper of
To Know Jesus
There is no way of knowing Jesus except
through the Bible. It testifies of him. Because of their ignorance the Jews
put him to death. Their ignorance did not excuse them. “And now, brethren, I
wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17).
Why were they thus ignorant? They were not sufficiently acquainted with
their own Scriptures. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins
may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the
presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
Many today are just as ignorant of the real
Jesus as were these ancient Jews; and the cause of their ignorance is the
same, and the remedy for their sins is the same. They will have to be
converted, or turned to the Lord; and the power to bring about this
conversion inheres in the word.
To Know the Plan of Salvation
Not one of us would know how to save
ourselves if it were not for the Bible. Our feelings are very deceptive. We
cannot know by our feelings whether we are right or not. “O Lord, I know
that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to
direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). We cannot afford to risk the salvation of
our souls upon the word of any man or any set of men. They may be false
teachers and blind guides. And if we follow these “leaders,” we shall fall
into the ditch. Jesus said: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the
blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch”
(Matt. 15:14). And what an awful fall that will be! And there is just one
way that we can know that we are not blind and following blind leaders. We
must study for ourselves. We must know what the Lord has spoken.
Its Good Fruit
We ought to study the Bible because of the
fruit that it bears. The things of civilization that are worthwhile are the
products of the Bible. These good things are brought about by the word of
God. The sins and bad things of the world are here because folks are not
willing to be guided by the Bible. We ought to count our many blessings,
naming them one by one, and then get down on our knees and thank God for
giving us a book that will bring about such blessings in our lives.
It is Living and Eternal
Men write many good books, but they pass
away. Not so many even survive the generation that produced them. Their
readers become fewer and fewer. God gave us a book that will never pass
away. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away”
(Matt. 24:35). “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever” (1 Pet. 1:25).
When this old world is wrapped in flames, the Bible will survive. All other
things are passing away. Death and decay are written upon everything. Death
is on our track. It will soon catch up with us. The word of God will not
For the word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder
of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
A book that will
endure forever certainly should demand our most careful study.
THE DANGER OF FALSE TEACHERS
Loved ones, the apostle Peter was emphatic: "But there were
also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers
among you…" (2 Peter 2:1). Please note that Peter states that the existence
of false teachers among us is a certainty. Peter also makes it clear that
false teachers are absolutely destructive to the souls of men and women.
They "secretly bring in destructive heresies" (v. 1b).
A heresy is a false doctrine, and it
destroys the faith of people. Then there is the reference to these heresies
being of the most basic and fundamental type: "even denying the Lord who
bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction" (v. 1c). Many false
teachers spread destructive heresies denying the Lord Himself.
Next, Peter states the real danger of false
teachers: "… many will follow their destructive ways because of whom the way
of truth will be blasphemed" (v. 2). Just look around you in the religious
world. It seems not to matter how outrageous the false doctrines are which
men can invent, there is always an audience for them. Catholics revere a
mere man as the "vicar of Christ," Mormons believe a young boy was given
"another Testament of Jesus Christ," and Scientologists must commit
themselves to a sci-fi story about a galactic warlord named Xenu.
Do you remember way
back to 1997 when the Hale-Bopp comet passed by earth? A whole cult, called
Heaven's Gate, committed suicide, dressed for travel, and with their
suitcases at their feet. They believed there was an armada of
spaceships following behind the comet that would scoop them up and take them
away. They should serve as an illustration of the power of a false teacher.
Truly, Marshall Applewhite brought swift destruction to himself and to those
who followed him.
False teachers are not limited to the cult
world or the denominations. There are false teachers who trouble the Lord's
church as well. Men in the churches of Christ teach error about many Bible
doctrines. The work and organization of the church is under assault from
within. False teachers have adopted many false positions on marriage,
divorce, and remarriage, and even Christians have disobeyed God and put away
their mates for a cause other than fornication and remarried (Matthew
19:6-9). With every new departure from the truth, brethren are forced to
stand for the truth and face the anger of those who argue for broader
A milkman is a milkman because he delivers
milk. His character and goodness do not enter into it. Teachers are false
because they teach "destructive heresies." They do not have to be wicked,
mean, or have evil intent. Hymenaeus and Philetus taught doctrine that was
"cancer," but nothing is said about their motive or personal disposition (2
Timothy 2:17-18). Evil intent or not, their doctrine was cancerous and
False teaches are a
certainty in this world. Peter said so. The danger is evident. Let us not
forget that the souls of men are in jeopardy. Let us oppose their error with
the truth (2 Timothy 4:2-5).
Created by Tyler Rorvig-Rieksts, last updated.
The Mount Baker Beacon is a
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149