The Bible and Problems in the Church

Chapter Twelve

Conclusion: What Would Jesus Do?

The New Testament is not just a lawbook. It is written not only as the letter of God’s will but as the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:6). It does not mention every detailed way in which a man can obey or disobey God. Many instances and circumstances of righteousness or unrighteousness will not have specific mention in God’s Word. This is because Christianity is a religion of principles as well as commands. It is a religion of love as well as law. The Christian is one whose heart and life have been changed, not just one who outwardly keeps a noble set of rules.

It is true that every requirement of God is found in the Bible. It is true that the inspired Scriptures thoroughly furnish the man of God unto every good work (2 Timothy 3:16,17). But this is done by pointing men to Jesus Christ as the perfect revelation of God’s will to man. God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ who called us by His own grace and virtue (2 Peter 1:3). God formerly spoke in many different ways, but now speaks only in His Son (Hebrews 1:1,2). To know God’s will, therefore, we must know Christ.

It is life eternal to know God and Him whom God did send, His Son Jesus (John 17:3). We must count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord (Philippines 3:8,1). God’s love is revealed in Christ (Romans 8:38,39). Salvation is found in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:10). Redemption is in Christ (Romans 3:24). Every spiritual blessing is in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Everything in Christianity is revealed and centered in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

If God had written a Bible which had listed every possible method of sin, or if He had described in full detail every righteous thought, word, or action, the Bible would not be useable. It would be so big and complicated that we could never find our information. Instead, the Bible describes the teachings and example of God living in the flesh as Jesus Christ His Son. Not even all details of the things which Jesus did are recorded in the Bible, but a sufficient and accurate testimony of Himself is recorded so that we may believe that He is the Son of God, and believing, might have life through His name (John 20:30,31; 21:25).

The Bible is even written in such a way that those who wish to may misunderstand it. The unlearned and unsteadfast may wrest or twist the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). Those who do not love the truth will find a strong delusion that they might believe a lie and be damned (2 Thessalonians 2:11,12). Without an open mind and careful study we cannot rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15). These warnings show the importance of truly knowing and imitating Christ, as well as reading His Book.

Jesus left us an example that we should follow His steps (1 Peter 2:21). We must imitate Paul and others as they imitated Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). We must follow the spirit of Christ as well as the letter of His commands (Romans 8:14; Romans 2:29; 7:6). In this way we will be following the real meaning of God’s will rather than mere outward observations. We will serve and obey God from the heart, not just by legal restrictions and binding requirements.

The conclusion then is this: We must search the Scriptures to find Christ (John 5:39). When we know Christ, we know God’s full and complete revelation of Himself and His will. We may not always find a verse which tells us in detail what to do on every occasion, but we can ask, “What would Jesus do?” This is following the example of Christ. This is imitating Christ. This is being led by the Spirit of Christ. The answer to every question or problem which the Christian or the church may face is answered in asking, “What would Jesus do?” Jesus left us an example that we should follow His steps (1 Peter 2:21).

“The Churches of Christ Salute You”

Churches of Christ today are pleading with the world to forsake all the vain teachings of men (Matthew 15:9), and to take the Scriptures as their only guide (2 Timothy 3:16,17), to believe in Christ and His Word, to genuinely repent of sin, and to be baptized into Christ to put on Christ (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:26,27). This adds men to the church today just as it did in the first century (Acts 2:47, 1 Corinthians 12:13). By true Christian worship (John 4:23,24) and being faithful until death (Revelation 2:10), God’s people can live with Him forever.

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