Thoughts to Ponder

Why did God say that?

Have you ever found something in the Bible and wondered; why did God put that in there? I know I have, but the more I read the Bible the more I realize that there is a reason why things are in it. I want to explore some of those things in this Thought to Ponder.

The more I study God's word the more I realize that some of the things that seem out of place or un-needed are actually things that can keep me from believing false doctrines which are so prevalent today. I want to quote some passages and then just give you what doctrine they guard us against.

Matthew 23:5-12
    "Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; [6] they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; [7] they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'
    [8] "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. [9] And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. [10] Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. [11] The greatest among you will be your servant. [12] For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

There is a church whose leader is called Holy Father by those who belong to it. Now we know that what Jesus is telling us isn't that we shouldn't call our earthly fathers father, but rather that we shouldn't call any man our spiritual father. This is exactly what this church does.

1 Tim. 2:5-6
    For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, [6] who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.

There is a church that claims that Mary is a co-mediator with Christ. In fact this church encourages their people to go to Mary and ask her to mediate between them and Jesus. All they have to do is read their Bible and they will see this is wrong.

Luke 1:46-49
    And Mary said:

    "My soul glorifies the Lord
        [47] and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    [48] for he has been mindful
        of the humble state of his servant.
    From now on all generations will call me blessed,
        [49] for the Mighty One has done great things for me--
        holy is his name.

This same church mentioned twice above claims that Mary was without sin, yet she herself says that God is her savior. A sinless person does not need a savior.

1 Tim. 4:9-10
    This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance [10] (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe… Strange wouldn't you say? No not strange at all if you realize it is there to steer us away from false doctrine. Now some churches will try to claim this passage advocates universal salvation, but that isn't what it is about. Plenty of places in the Bible show us that you can only be saved by believing in Jesus Christ, so that can't be what this is about. What it is about is destroying the doctrine that claims Christ only died for the sins of a select few, that His atonement was limited to those few selected by God. If that were true, then He would not be the savior or all men.

2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

There is a doctrine that says God chooses to whom and when to offer irresistible grace, or in other words salvation. But if that doctrine is true, then this passage is saying that God is being patient with Himself until He feels like offering that irresistible grace to those few He chose. Simple passages of scripture, which are easily understood, yet they destroy hundreds of years of man's doctrine.

Ezekiel 18:23
    Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

This passage from the Old Testament, destroys the same doctrine; that which says that God chooses only a few to offer salvation to and the rest of creation He hates and condemns to hell without any chance of salvation. If both the doctrine and this passage are true, then God would save all men, since He wants them all to turn from their wicked ways and live and since He is the one who makes that choice for them. Since we know the Bible is true, that leaves the doctrine as false.

Romans 11:17-24
    If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, [18] do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. [19] You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." [20] Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. [21] For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
    [22] Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. [23] And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. [24] After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

Verse 22, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off… There is a doctrine that says once you are saved, nothing can happen to cut you off from the vine which is Christ, but this passage is pretty clear that we must continue in the faith.

John 16:13-15
    But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. [14] He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. [15] All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

Another strange seeming passage; why would the Holy Spirit not speak on His own? How about to guard us from doctrines of excess? After reading this passage, do you think that it is a work of the Holy Spirit when people are making animal sounds, or being thrown across the stage, or being glued to the floor, all claimed to be done by the Holy Spirit? All of these so called workings of the Holy Spirit bring glory to the Holy Spirit, but as this passage shows everything the Holy Spirit does will bring glory to Christ, not Himself. So what looks like a strange passage is really a way to tell true doctrine from false doctrine.

John 1:1-5
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was with God in the beginning.
    [3] Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. [4] In him was life, and that life was the light of men. [5] The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

There are doctrines out there that deny the Trinity, and also that claim that Jesus was a created being who obtained God status. This passage destroys both of those doctrines.

Romans 5:12
    Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--

1 Cor. 15:21
    For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.

There is a belief out there that evolution and the Bible can be reconciled by putting a gap in the book of Genesis. That is false doctrine. Both of the above passages show that death came into creation through the sin of Adam. After God created Adam, He called creation good. For there to be a reconciliation between evolution and the Bible you have to believe that death was in creation long before Adam came on the scene. Adam was walking on the dead bodies of the dinosaurs for example, yet God says that death didn't come into the world until Adam sinned.

Now if you believe one of these doctrines or if you speak to someone who does, they will most likely have an explanation to explain why I am wrong in my reading of these passages. What is important is that the Bible is not hard to read, it is not hard to understand, if a doctrine requires you to interpret a passage in a way other than what it plainly says, then you should be suspicious of that doctrine and dig deeper to see if you are being mislead. The few passages I quoted and just that; just a few.

I write these Thoughts to Ponder to get people to open up their Bibles for themselves and see what God has said. I am not trying to convince you that I am right, but rather to get you to ponder the scriptures for yourself. I know I will get attacks on my views from this article, and that is okay, every time I am attacked, it makes me go back to God's word. That is exactly why I write these in the first place.

I am not trying to claim you should make a doctrinal stand on just one passage, but what I am saying is that if one passage of scripture shows that a doctrine is wrong, then there is a problem. I have not tried to even give doctrine in this article, I am just trying to show why some doctrines don't hold water.

E-Mail Ralph

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October 2007