“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them” [Isaiah 8:20].
We must learn to judge all things by the written Word of God. The Lord has given the Bible to us as the only infallible rule of faith and practice. It is our yardstick to measure every doctrine, every claim, and every movement.
We dare not adopt any other standard. We will not add tradition to Scripture, for soon we would end up trimming the Word to accommodate our traditions. We will not add science to Scripture, for soon we would be denying the Word to accommodate some passing scientific theory. We will not add church councils to Scripture, for soon we would be twisting God’s truth around our denominational shibboleths.
We will not add experience to Scripture, for we would surely make the Bible agree with our experience, even if we had to defy all sound principles of interpretation. The Bible and the Bible only must be the standard of our belief and behavior. Anyone who teaches otherwise has no light in him. He is an agent of darkness and of the prince of darkness.
Bible rejecters are not brilliant. They are darkened fools. Their folly has wounded many churches. Rationalism has spread its poison, undermining faith in Scripture and frightening humble Christians by the claims to scholarship of its exponents. It is not scholarship but sin that leads men to deny the Bible.
As rationalists have taken away from Scripture, so traditionalists and the purveyors of immediate revelation have added to – and often replaced – Scripture. This is also darkness.
We are called to walk in the light. That means we must learn the Scriptures. We must live the Scriptures. And we must hold everything that claims our attention to the touchstone of the Scriptures. If it is Biblical, believe it or do it! If it is not, shun it as you would shun the devil. [Dr. Alan Cairns]
“We must surrender ourselves to the authority of Holy Scripture, for it can neither mislead nor be mislead” [Augustine].
“THOU BETHLEHEM EPHRATAH”
“Yet out of thee shall He come forth” [Micah 5:2]
Christmas is still a couple of months away, yet stores are already stocking their shelves with Christmas goods. Unfortunately, most people are concerned more with the baubles of the season, and less with the birth of Jesus Christ.
The actual date of His birth is not terribly important, but the place is. Bethlehem is not an accident of history. It was foretold clearly in Micah 5:2 over seven hundred years before. It is the place where “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” [John 1:14].
Had the world decided to introduce some great leader, it would have chosen some great city for his glorious birth, but Jesus was born in a humble village and in the most humble of circumstances. But despite the humility of Bethlehem it occupied an important place in Jewish history, because King David was born there, and we will soon be singing, “Once in royal David’s city.”
It was also the birthplace of Benjamin and of him there is a very tender story told [Genesis 35:15-20]. Jacob and his beloved wife Rachel travelled to Bethlehem. She was expecting a child but, sadly, died in childbirth. Before she died she wanted the baby to be called “Benoni” which means, appropriately, “Son of my sorrow.”
However, Jacob decided to call him “Benjamin” which means “Son of my right hand.”
What a wonderful picture of the birth of Christ painted some 1770 years earlier. Rachel foreshadows Mary, of whom Simeon prophesied, “Yea, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul also” [Luke 2:35]. To Mary Jesus was “the Son of her sorrow.” But Jacob foreshadowed God the Father who said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” [Matthew 3:17].
REMEMBER THE SOSA FAMILY
- Serving the Lord in the Dominican Republic
Ramon pastors: Iglesia Presbiteriana Libre Palabra de Vida, C/Antonio Guzman #43, Los Frailes II, Santo Domingo Este 11706, Republica Dominicana. He is assisted by his wife, Wendy, and daughters, Rachel and Esmirna.
A radical change in the church and neighbourhood from the preaching of the Word.
For finances and manpower to maintain our program to help pre-school children.
For revival in the church with souls saved and saints growing.