By A. C. Grider
Several times, in his sermon on the mount, Jesus called attention to what the people had heard and then expressed his own rules for conduct in the matter. He would start by saying, “You have heard that it hath been said . . . , but I say unto you. . . .” See Matt. 7:21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43, etc. We can get a lasting lesson out of this, if we will measure what we hear by what God has said through His word.
We have heard that it hath been said that one church is as good as another. But if we examine God’s word we will learn that:
1. Jesus built one church and it is His (Matt. 16:18).
2. Christ daily adds the saved to this (His) church (Acts 2:47).
3. The church is His body, and there is one body (Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4).
Now, would you say a church built by man is as good as one built by the Lord? Or is a church to which the Lord adds no one as good as the one to which he adds all the saved? Is a church which is not the Lord’s body as good as the church which is his body? You have to answer all these questions in the negative. So, what you have heard is simply not so.
But again, we have heard that it hath been said that one can be saved without being baptized. But if we examine God’s word we will learn that:
1. Christ said teach and baptize the people. (Matt. 28:19).
2. Peter commanded everyone to be baptized for remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
3. Paul said we are baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).
Now, could one be saved if he refused to do what Christ said do? Would one have his sins remitted if he refused to do what Peter said to do for their remission? And can one be saved out of Christ? Again, a negative answer must be given to the questions propounded. So, we conclude that what we have heard is simply not so.
Finally, we have heard that it hath been said that one can be saved without doing anything. But if we examine God’s word we will find that:
1. We must do the sayings of Christ or our house will fall (Matt. 7:21, 24-26).
2. We must obey Christ for him to be our Savior (Heb. 5:8-9).
3. Works must be supplied to make our faith perfect (Jas. 2:22-24).
One may ask you, Can we be saved if our house falls and is destroyed? Can we be saved even if Christ is not our Savior? Can we be saved with a dead (imperfect) faith? I am sure we will all agree that we again must have “No” answers to all of our questions. What we heard. is not so, once again.
I trust that these few lines will convince all that what we may hear and what may be the truth are quite different many times. Listen, if you will, to any teacher who comes purporting to teach God’s word. But just remember, he may be wrong in his doctrine or teaching. Measure what he says by what God says. Stick:,with the Bible. The Bible is right even when men may be wrong. The Bible is always right.
Truth Magazine, XVIII:51, p. 2
October 31, 1974