“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20). Isaiah faced people who were believing and practicing things that were completely contrary to the revealed will of God (cf. Isa. 8:19). Today, both religious and non-religious people believe and do things that are not Bible centered. Jesus knew that what is inspired of God is authoritative and essential (cf. Matt. 4:4). Jesus also knew that knowing without practicing was foolishness (cf. Matt. 7:26-27).
Sometimes people get into religious discussions over matters where contradictory positions are taken. It was not uncommon years ago for members of the church to challenge their friends with the words “Give me the verse.” Many a person has been led to “the true grace of God” (1 Peter 5:12) by confronting people to support their claims with Biblical passages. While some may take offense to such an approach, there is still a valid reason for asking for Bible authority for spiritual beliefs and practices. Consider three areas where this simple approach is certified.
- Faith Demands a Verse. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). This fundamental passage clearly teaches that what one believes must be tied to a statement from God. One is foolish to believe anything of a religious nature without divine revelation (i.e. the Bible) for believing it. The Bereans knew that Paul’s preaching must harmonize with the Scriptures to be true. Luke wrote of these, by saying, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). The next verse states, “Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few” (Acts 17:12). Here is a Biblical illustration of Romans 10:17 in these Bereans. Their faith was tied to the revelation given by an inspired apostle and the inspired written word of God. They would not believe if the Bible did not verify it.
- Fighting the Good Fight Demands a Verse. Fighting the good fight (cf. 1 Tim. 6:12) demands that the faith be defended. Whenever someone questions spiritual things, one cannot go wrong with the example of the Lord who said, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” (Luke 10:26). While Jesus was addressing the law of Moses, mankind is under the law of Christ today (cf. 1 Cor. 9:21; Gal. 6:2). The statements would hold as true today as Jesus gave them questions to the man. Brethren are to earnestly contend for the faith (cf. Jude 3) and such demands a verse of Scripture for everything (cf. Col. 3:17).
- Fully Equipped for the Judgment Day Demands a Verse. All scripture profits, perfects and powerfully equips people to every good work (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16-17). The greatest work a person can do for himself is save his/her own soul in view of the day of judgment (cf. Acts 2:40; 1 Tim. 4:16). Every person will give account of his deeds (cf. 2 Cor. 5:10). John was shown the nature of how one will be judged by being shown the opened books (i.e. the books of the Bible) and the book of life (cf. Rev. 20:12). It is the Lord’s words that will judge (cf. John 12:48). The judgment demands living the Bible.