Can you imagine a doctrine that requires more than the bible to prove it? Yes you can, if the doctrine is not the doctrine of Christ and his apostles. The scripture tells us to prove all things and hold firm that which is good. 1 Thess 5:21 This couldn’t have meant commentaries, lexicons, books or any other source than the bible. In fact, any preacher who can’t prove what he is saying by the bible, should be considered a false teacher. Why? Because only the Word of God emanated from God and is flawless. 2 Tim 3:16 f; Ps 12:6 If our only proof is man made conjecture and man made definitions, then we have no proof whatsoever.
Paul warned us against such when he said, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Col 2:8 It all reminds me of an old tv show called ‘The Waltons’, where John boy called his grandfather coy. He meant it to be a compliment, to mean smart like a fox. However, his grandfather took the time to look up the word in the dictionary and discovered it could also mean liar. In fact, it meant many things. The point being, most all words have a variety of meanings in any language, especially when translated from one language to another.
The Spirit of God knowing this had Paul to write of the dangers of playing with words. Before Paul commanded all Christians to seek diligently (Study KJV) to show ourselves approved of God…, he wrote these words, “Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.” 2 Tim 2:14 Paul was also to write that preachers and teachers who strive about words do it for financial gain.
Paul warned Timothy, “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. ” 1 Tim 6:3-10
Conclusion: The truth of the matter is this, if you want to belong to a denomination, listen and believe the doctrine and commandments of men. If you want to a member of the churches of Christ, study and learn the scriptures and obey and keep the doctrine of Christ and his apostles. God’s Word is not hard to understand. It’s simple! It so simple that even a 12 year old child can understand it and obey it. And if a child can understand the bible, then imagine a well applied adult who devotes their time to understanding God’s Word. Simply put, God’s Word defines and proves itself. All we need to do is trust the Word of God for truth, obey it, and keep it.