The Bible Says, or Does IT?

Posted: December 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

The discusion was about helping the needly. One gentleman said, “The Bible says, ‘God helps those who help themselves.'” “No sir,” I responded, “actually it does not. I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said that.” He, by the way, was a Deist. A deist believes there is a God, but once he created the universe, he abandoned it to take care of itself. It that system, indeed everyone would have to help themselves.

More recently someone said, “You can’t show me in the Bible that I should sign a covenant.” No, I cannot show you that you should sign one. But I can certainly show you that covenants are significant in the Bible. In fact, the Bible is divided into two main parts, the Old Covenant, and the New Covenant. Typically in the BIble, they cut the covenant, and they were sealed with Blood, not ink. Actually I cannot show you in the Bible that you should “Join” a church. I cannot show you that you should move your “letter” as we call it when someone transfers their membership to another place.

In the NT, they met in houses, not church buildings. EWeryone who was saved and baptized was a part of the church. When they misbehaved they could not move their membership, they were discipliend with a purpose of restoration. If they refuse to repent, they were out of the church, treated as sinners. WHen they repented they were restored. Church life had integrity because you were a part of the church when you were truly saved.

Were NT churches pefect? Absolutely not. The church at Ephesus got its priorities wrong. The church in Laodicea made Jesus nauseus. The church in Corinth, well they had all kinds of issues. But there was a standard, and that standard was the Bible. So what does the Bible say. We have no more right to add to the scripture than we have to take away from the scripture.

God helps those who cannot help themselves. That is the whole story of the scripture. And while they did not sign a covenant, they entered into covenant at a time that a person’s word was witnessed by others and was contractual. Does the BIble teach that? Read it carefully and see. Don’t interpret the Bible from the perspective you want to believe. Interpret the perspective from the Bible.

Any similarity in this blog to anyone is purely coincidental. I have had these conversations with people all my life. And I will continue to have them. As Mark Twain said, “It is not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me, but rather the parts that I do.” Certainly true understanding of any scripture should ultimately trouble us until we conform to God’s Word.

  1. Frank Lengel says:

    Me too, Brad. I have had similar conversations as well. And no, it’s not very likely that you targeted any single person in this blog any more than you would target a particular individual in a sermon. Most pastors simply don’t work like that (although the Holy Spirit does seem to work that way at times … LOL)

    “God leads … we follow.”

    That is or should be a core part of our message and the way of the church. Like Moses and his crew, we follow a mysterious cloud of smoke and an amazing pillar of fire. But many in church sometimes want to lead themselves. Unfortunately …

    “We lead … we follow trouble.”

    Anyway, bless you all as you go forward in Christ!

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