There is too much assuming and asserting going around in the religious world today and not enough proving, proving by the Scriptures. There is even the assertion that we need no book, chapter, and verse for what we teach or do in religion. After all, they say, it’s the “spirit of the law” that counts. The scriptures teach us to, “Prove all things; hold firm that which is good” (1 Thess 5:21). “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Eph 5:9-10).
As it has always been true, error gives no proof, neither seeks it, “for every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (Jn. 3:20). In order to show that the need for Scripture for our every belief and practice is not just an assertion, let us look at some verses which prove this fact.
The Bible commands that when we speak in religious matters, we speak only what God has spoken. “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God” (1 Pet. 4:11). If there is not an oracle of God to back up what one says about a certain subject, then you can mark it down, that doctrine came from man, not God. The next time you hear someone preach, be like the Bereans who “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). It is by the scriptures one becomes wise unto salvation to discern between both good and evil (2 Tim 3:15 f; Heb 5:14). It is by the scripture one must try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into world (1 Jn 4:1). Can one say that they have “spoken as the oracles of God” when all that is heard are jokes and stories? Paul said, “Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2).
In order to be pleasing to God, one must have faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please him” (Heb. 11:6). Where does one get this faith? “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10: 17). One cannot be said to have faith if he does not possess the “spirit of faith” as spoken of by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:13. “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” So then it takes hearing, believing, and speaking the Word of God to have the kind of faith which pleases God. Thus, if we hear, believe and speak things which are not found in the word of God, then we don’t have faith and we won’t please God.
Not only must we prove our doctrines by the Bible, but we must have biblical authority for what we practice. Jesus told the Devil “that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God” (Lk. 4:4). The apostle John taught the same thing when he said, “Whosoever transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 Jn. 9). Thus, if we live by, or abide in, something which is not found in Scripture, then we don’t have God.
The Bible also commands us to follow the example of those who taught and practiced only what God said. “Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do” (Phil. 4:9). What do we see that Paul did? “And Paul . . . reasoned with them out of the Scriptures” (Acts 17:2). He didn’t just assert that Jesus was the Christ, he proved it to the Jews with Scripture. Apollos did the same by “showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ” (Acts 18:28). Let us “follow” their example (1 Cor. 11:1).
Realize the fact that Scripture may be offered as proof ‘ but not actually prove anything. This happens when false teachers take one scripture in order to contradict another. Biblical fact is that the bible does not contradict itself. Therefore, one scripture cannot contradict itself, but rather it verifies itself (2 Cor 1:18). Taking scripture out of its context or misquoting a scripture leads to false doctrine. The Devil quoted Scripture, but he perverted it (Matt. 4).
Anyone who perverts (changes) the Word shall be accursed (Gal 1:6-9). Examine both the old and new testaments and you will find one consistent law of God, and that is, don’t add or subtract from God’s Word (Deut 4:2 cf; 5:32; 12:32; 28:14 ff; Josh 1:7; Prov 30:6; Eccl 3:14; 1 Cor 4:6; 1 Pet 4:11; Rev 22:18,19). Teaching for doctrine the commandments of men is vain worship (Matt 15:7-9). The commandments of men turn us from the truth of God and not toward it (Tit 1:14).
“All scripture . . . is profitable for doctrine for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Any thing that we would ever need to believe or do to be pleasing to God can be found in God’s holy Word.