Church or Bible, which should have the final word?

The statement was made, “Church came well before scripture.”

Wow! What a statement.

Lets see, revelation comes from God. This was passed on to others directly and indirectly.
Inspiration is the communication of the truth that God revealed. Inscripturation is the writing down of the truth God has revealed. Illumination is when God helps us understand the message HE has communicated. I wrote a post on this you might want to look at for slightly more info.

In fact, we had scripture, in the form of the Old Testament, before there was a church. We had the teaching of God in the form of Christ and the Apostles who learned from Christ before there WAS a church. Christ revealed God’s truth, in some cases He merely repeated what had already been inscripturated (ie. Matthew 21:42, 22:29, 26:54-56; Mark 12:10, 12:24, 14:49; Luke 4:21, and others), and in other cases, He was explaining scripture (ie. Luke 24:27, 24:32,24:45). While the Apostles and teachers communicated some of that truth to everyone – in some cases while still meeting in synagogues. The New Testament teachings were originally revealed to the human authors and they were inspired to write it down as a form of instruction, inscripturated it, as the number of believers grew – in letters. God determined what should be written, and what should be preserved. The church did not choose what should be considered scripture, they merely agreed with God.

In Acts 8:35, Philip explained scripture.
In Acts 17:2, Paul explained from the scriptures.
In 1 Corinthians 2:13-14, Paul tells us he taught the words of the Spirit, and that people who do not accept what he said were without the Spirit.
Even Peter called what Paul taught scripture, in 2 Peter 3:14-16.

Churches, and church leaders, worldwide create teachings that can not be found in the Bible, or twist scripture to try to make what it seems to say something different than what it really says. They were doing it while the Apostles were still around (Titus 1:10-11). And as Paul wrote, in Titus 1:9, we “must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught.” We get this message from what GOD has communicated, the Bible. We need to be illumined by the Holy Spirit to be able to understand what God has said. The HOLY SPIRIT must teach us (and no such teaching will be contrary to what God has already revealed), and we must be accepting of what God’s word says, and obey. Many times, we are not open to what God’s word says, or to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Or if we are, we later turn our backs on God and what He has said. This does not mean God is wrong – but that we are self-willed, self-seeking, stubborn, and rebellious – humanly sinful.

Iranaeus wrote about 100 years after the Apostle John died. It is certainly possible he had it 100% right. But it is also possible he misunderstood some things – just as the supreme court of the US has interpreted things not based upon what the laws’ authors meant, or upon the constitution which they are supposed to uphold, but from their own experiences and traditions and practices of the day – sometimes even claiming it is what the founding fathers of the country meant. While judges may be right in their rulings, they might also be wrong – we need to go back to the founding documents. In the same way, Christians need to go to the Bible and read it for themselves – and so few actually do so.

If anything taught in any church is contrary to what God has written (considering all passages related to the subject), then that teaching is wrong.


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