By Dennis C. Abernathy
More than one time we have been treated to the time worn bromide of the devil: “You can prove anything by the Bible.” I’m confident that the one making such a shallow statement never notices the import of what he is saying. Usually the one who says it cannot prove anything by the Bible except that he is woefully ignorant of it!
Just suppose someone were to say that people can “prove just anything by you.” You wouldn’t like it and I wouldn’t like it said about me. Even so, it is an insult to the Lord and a slap in the face of God to say, “You can prove anything by the Bible.”
Basically we are discussing the mind-set that treats all religious beliefs as being acceptable to the Lord as long as a person is sincere. When they are challenged to present proof for their practices, or when proof is presented which overthrows such claims, then we learn that “you can prove anything by the Bible.”
But look closely. Have those making this statement, proved by the Bible that their denominations are right or that the names of such are even found in the Bible? Have they ever proved that a man is justified by faith alone, to the exclusion of the love, mercy, and grace of God, repentance of sins, and obedience to the gospel of Christ? These same people contend that a person can be saved out of the church as well as in it; but does the Bible, a book which they say you can prove anything by, prove such to be true? On and on we could go. But, dear reader, I ask you, why have these things not been proved?
Briefly now, here are some things you can prove by the Bible.
1. Baptism is essential to salvation from sin. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk. 16:16). “Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us” (1 Pet. 3:21).
2. We are to sing in worship to God. “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).
3. A child of God can fall from grace or apostatize, and eventually be lost. “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by the law, you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (Jas. 5:19-20).
4. The church is not to provide social meals as one of its works. “What! Do you not have houses to cat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you” (1 Cor. 11:22). “But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home” (1 Cor. 11:34).
5. In benevolent work, the church is to relieve needy saints. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye” (1 Cor. 16:1). “But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem” (Rom. 15:25-26; see also 2 Cor. 8-9).
6. There is only one scriptural cause for putting away one’s mate and marrying another. “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” (Matt. 19:9). “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except for sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery” (Matt. 5:32).
7. When a Christian sins, he must repent and confess his sins in order to be forgiven. “. . . for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:21-22). “But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. . . . If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:7,9).
Brethren, have we proven these things by the Bible? If not, show us where we missed it. If these things are proven by the Bible (and I believe they are) then, all teaching and practice contrary to them is wrong! The Bible does say, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). But it does not say that you can prove all things by the Bible!
Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 6, p. 165
March 16, 1989