(Traditions and teachings of men vs. the Word of God)
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Q: What makes us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus?
A: The Scriptures, the Bible, the Word of God.
Q: How much of Scripture is inspired from God?
A: All of it.
Q: What is the Bible useful for?
A: Teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
Q: What purpose does the Bible’s usefulness serve?
A: Its purpose is to thoroughly equip us for every good work.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
So I will always remind you of these things, even
though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I
think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this
body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ
has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my
departure you will always be able to remember these things.
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The Scriptures have nothing to do with man. They have everything to do with God. The prophets did not speak on their own accord. As servants of the Most High, they just said what God wanted them to say. They were the mouthpieces and instruments God spoke through.
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward
to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.
Even while Peter was still alive he recognized Paul’s writings as Scripture.
Jesus always had problems with people who replaced the teaching of Scripture with traditions that men had come up with:
He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
" 'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."
And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban' (that is, a gift devoted to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."
And here is the reason all of this is so important:
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very
word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword…
Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great."
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
The Bible is God’s “instruction manual” for mankind. Whether we accept and follow the teachings of the Scriptures is what we will be judged on at Judgment Day. This is why it is imperative we know the Scriptures and what they teach so that we can obey and follow them.
On Judgment Day,
Which will prevail?
The traditions and teachings of men,
the Word of God?
This page updated September 14, 2002