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Cookeville, TN 38506
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
Why is There So Much Confusion?
Church of Christ
Last week we pointed out that the teaching of the Bible on God’s plan of salvation and its teaching on the New Testament church is so plain and simple that all can easily understand it. This being true, then why so much confusion in the religious community about these two vital subjects?
One of the main reasons is that folks just simply do not study the Bible for themselves. Many erroneously believe that the Bible cannot be understood. But a careful study of John 8:32, Psalm 119:105, Ephesians 3:1-5, and Ephesians 5:17 shows that it can be understood. To suggest that men cannot understand God’s Word is a serious charge against God Himself. Why would God give us the Bible to lead us to Heaven and make it impossible to understand? We are commanded to study the Bible for ourselves in such passages as II Timothy 2:15 and I Peter 2:1-2. The importance of studying the Bible cannot be overemphasized.
I believe one of the major reasons for so much confusion in the religious world is that folks have never learned HOW to study the Bible. Some just study it haphazardly, and this causes them to often neglect the context. If one neglects the context he will often fail to understand the thing that is being taught. Perhaps one of the best examples of this is Matthew 7:1. Many read the verse, ignore the context, and believe it is wrong to do any judging. That idea cannot even be sustained in the context. Jesus tells us to “judge righteous judgment” in John 7:24.
Many fail to understand the plain teaching of God’s Word because they read the Bible with preconceived ideas. They read to prove that what they already believe is true. If one is to understand the Bible, he must remove these preconceived ideas and let God speak to him through the Word. Many read to prove a pre-adoptive creed and understand little what they read. An excellent example of this can be seen in the study of Restoration History. The practice of baptizing babies had been taught and practiced for many, many years. When they attempted to get back to the Bible and restore the church revealed in the Bible by accepting nothing but God’s word, and getting rid of all creed books and all writings of men, they came to the correct conclusion that baptism was not for infants, but it was for believers and it was not sprinkling, but it was a burial in water for the remission of sins. But even after they learned the truth on this subject, they still had difficulty in giving up the sinful practice of sprinkling babies and calling it baptism. Why? Because this false doctrine had been drilled into them from their childhood. Even today, we see folks misunderstanding the plain teaching of God’s Word on these vital subjects because they rely on someone else to do their studying for them and tell them what to do. But there are many false teachers with an unholy agenda. See Ephesians 4:14 and II Peter 2:1-5.
All of us are going to be judged by God’s Word (John 12:48; Rev. 20:11-15). Don’t be misled. Study the Bible for yourself. Don’t form a conclusion until you have studied all the Bible teaches on these vital subjects. God’s plan of salvation is not found in any one verse. His teaching about the church cannot be found in just one verse. So study diligently; meditate day and night (Psalm 1:1-2). You CAN know the truth! (John 8:32).
Paul M. Wilmoth