Test Everything Against the Scriptures

“But test everything; hold fast what is good.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Remember your exalted privilege–you have the Bible in your hands, and are not bound to follow books or preachers any farther than what they teach agrees with the Oracles of Truth. We have great reason to be thankful for the instructions and writings of spiritual men–but they are all fallible, even as ourselves.

One is our master, even Christ–what He says, we are to receive implicitly–but we do not owe implicit subjection to the best of our fellow-worms. The Bereans were commended because they would not implicitly believe even the Apostle Paul–but examined the Scriptures every day to see if what he said was true. May the Lord give us a spirit of humility and discernment in all things.

When we eat an apple–we first cut out the blemishes, then eat what is good, and lastly throw the core away. Such a rule I would observe in reading human authors–the best may be defective, and the wisest may be mistaken. We are not only permitted, but enjoined, to call no man master.

– John Newton, 1725-1807, Letters of John Newton

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”   – Acts 17:11

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A Bible and a Hymnbook

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty! – Zechariah 4:6

You know, the Church started out with a Bible, then it got a hymnbook, and for years that was it–a Bible and a hymnbook. The average church now certainly wouldn’t be able to operate on just a hymnbook and the Bible. Now we have to have all kinds of religious bunk. A lot of people couldn’t serve God at all without at least a truck load of equipment to keep them happy.

Some of these attractions that we have to win people and keep them coming may be fine, or they may be cheap. They may be elevated, or they may be degrading. They may be artistic, or they may be coarse–it all depends upon who is running the show! But the Holy Spirit is not the center of attraction, and the Lord is not the one who is in charge. We bring in all sorts of anti-Scriptural and unscriptural claptrap to keep the people happy and keep them coming.

As I see it, the great woe is not the presence of these religious toys and trifles–but the fact that they have become a necessity, and the presence of the Eternal Spirit is not in our midst!

– A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963

Confronting an Evil World

If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. – 1 Peter 4:14

No one can live for God’s glory and be entirely comfortable in this world. You shouldn’t be obnoxious or try to be a misfit, but if your life is Christlike, then you will bear some of the reproach He bore.

We live in a day when many are want to make Christianity easy, but the Bible says it is hard. Many want to make Christians lovable, but God says they’ll be reproachable. Christianity must confront the system by being distinct from it. It must expose sin before it can disclose the remedy.

Be sure your life reflects your commitment to Christ. That’s what will make you distinct from the world.

– John MacArthur, Truth for Today