Different translations of the
Bible, and various interpretations of scripture and doctrine, may
contain errors, but in all major translations the errors are not
a barrier to salvation.
"Let your conduct be without
covetousness, and be content with such things that you
have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor
(This verse condenses, into a single statement, a
doctrine that is often repeated and reaffirmed in the
Bible itself, and in the lives of Christians now and
throughout the ages. It is a primary tenet of our belief.
It is simply a statement that says that Jesus Christ is
always present and that he has everything under control.
We could stop with this statement as proof that the Bible
remains intact as the word of God for every Christian.
God does not allow the Adversary, Satan, in all his
subtileness, or even the careless mistakes of humans, to
obliterate his word for us today. This statement will
undoubtedly stir some controversy. There are those who
sincerely believe, for instance, that the King James
Version of the Bible is the only valid instrument of
God's message and instructions for mankind. If you are
inclined to believe that this is so, or if you have been
confronted by someone who does, I recommend the book,
King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust The Modern
(Bethany House Publishers, James R.
If we are going to take a stand on a subject that has
such great potential to create further division in God's
holy church, then we must be well studied in the matter,
well what we
The potential for injury to the church as a result of
this present controversy is tremendous.
I personally have used several translations, and have
done word studies for many years, and I see the message
of the gospel of grace surviving intact in the many
translations. Some translations are more suited to word
studies and precise doctrinal determination than others,
but the minister or teacher or theologian who uses shoddy
methods and a single source to determine whether or not
major doctrines stand or fall is not a trustworthy
teacher. A deceitful shepherd will not be entrusted long
with a flock of true believers. And, even then, while he
still has a flock, the true sheep in his charge will be
fed by God. God will feed his flock in spite of the best
(or worst) efforts of both man and the devil. Do we think
that God will feed us to the wolves? I feel I must often
ask, "Where is our faith?" For the one who
seeks the bread of life, God will not give a stone
"Ask, and it shall be given to
you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be
opened unto you.  For every one that asks receives,
and he that seeks finds, and to him that knocks, it shall
be opened.  What man is there of you, if his son asks
for bread, would he give him a stone?  Or if he ask
for a fish, would he give him a scorpion?  If you,
then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more shall your Father which is in
heaven give good things to them that ask of him?"
(If truth is a "good thing,", then God says it
is ours for the asking. God is ultimately responsible for
providing our needs, and he will certainly do so. Don't
we ask of God, "Give us this day our daily
bread"? If we ask for our bread, God says that we
will receive it. This speaks more to our spiritual needs
than our physical hunger. Christ is the "bread of
life" (John 6:32-35,55). For spiritual instruction
as "food," read 1 Corinthians 3:2. Jesus is the
Word, the truth, the way, the life (John 1:1,14; 14:6).
He will see that we are given our spiritual nourishment.
The Bible contains the very essence of the thoughts of
Christ as God. God is all-powerful (see doctrine number
one in this series), and his love is without bounds. He
will see that his children are fed the bread of life. The
word of God still contains the message of salvation and
the instructions for the Christian life. It is not the
new translations that have diminished the truth, it is
the reader of the word that would distort the truth. This
problem is not solved by holding to a single
hard-to-understand translation. This problem existed back
when the new testament books were still being circulated
as copies of letters to the churches, and it will persist
as long as there are unstable people who refuse to be
taught. 2 Peter 3:16 speaks of people doing the same
thing almost 2000 years ago when the word was being read
in the original language, unaltered.
Some people today will teach fallacy and back it up by
using the KJV and its obsolete language, while others
will teach fallacy and back it up using a modern
paraphrase. The fault does not lie in the translation,
since either can be used to good advantage in the hands
of a gifted teacher, or used wrongly in the hands of the
untaught and unstable person. In fact, a good teacher
will avail himself of many sources, "...rightly
dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).
There are, however, certain Bibles/books that are
regarded as scripture by certain groups, that were
originally written to sustain the beliefs of these
groups. I am not speaking of, or defending, these books.
I used to belong to a group that tended to hold the
writings of its leaders in higher regard then they should
have held them.
But even in error, God's mercy extends to his children,
and he can and will lead them to a greater light
they are willing to change when they see they are wrong!
If we will receive the truth
and do it, and cast
away our false beliefs, no matter how dearly we hold
them, God will give us more truth, and then more, and
then even more -
I am a living witness of this very
any man will do his will,
he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or
whether I speak of myself." - Jesus Christ, recorded
in John 7:17)
The word "if" in this verse
is the Greek word
ean, which, according to
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, refers to
something future, but not determining, before the event,
whether it is certainly to take place. In other words, to
"know the doctrine, whether it be of God,"
on doing his will
concerning what we
to be his will! This is a living principle
- receive truth, believe the truth, put the truth into
practice, receive more truth.
However, we don't always utilize even the most basic
truths, even the ones that we all know and agree on (such
as "love one another", and, "love the
so we are not given more truth.
Then, when we are
more by our intense studying
and human intellectual effort, even though we have
refused to put the basic truths to work in our lives. And
so, misguided by our own personal notions and
preconceptions, and with a lot of help from the
Adversary, we devise a myriad of varied and sometimes
very complex doctrines to try to find answers that God
not yet given us. Then, we each come to
different conclusions about what the Bible really says.
And so we fight, and then we divide.
This is not from God.
This is from our own carnal
nature, prodded on by Satan, the one who
division. We are not given an assortment of truths, from
elemental truths to mature truths, and then allowed to
just sort through them and accept a few things that more
easily fit our own personalities or prejudices or
preconceptions, while rejecting or glossing over the
rest. We must eat the bread that we are given, and let it
energize us to action according to God's will.
we will be given more bread.
If we ask for bread from the written word of God, we will
not receive a stone! But
will we eat
living, spirit-nourishing bread of grace when he presents
it to us, or will we still hold fearfully and stubbornly
to a cold and lifeless stone of cherished error and
tradition that hangs around our necks? God is not
blessing his church with the truth that it seeks, because
the church does not obey the will of God concerning
The people of God know the will of God concerning unity.
Most continue in disobedience to that will. The most
common excuse is the fact that we do not agree on
doctrine. But we are not given the truth of doctrine,
because we are divided. An impossible dilemma? A paradox
without solution? No. Obey first, without question. Work
to fulfill the prayer of Jesus, the head of the church,
regarding oneness. That is one step forward into the
light that God shines before us on the pathway of life.
Then, we will notice, that as we step into that revealed
light, that the light will shine a little farther ahead.
At that point, we can take another step.
Do you see? Doctrinal agreement does not lead to unity,
because we can never have sufficient truth without unity.
When God sees that we are truly working to be one, then,
and only then, will the light of truth begin to
illuminate the rest of our doctrinal path.
Of course, this inevitably begs the question: How can we
even begin to do this, for with mankind this is
impossible? But this question begs the greater question:
Where is our faith? With God all things are possible.)
(Please click on any of the highlighted boxes (
) below to go to the
in-depth study of each statement.)
Salvation is by grace, a gift from God.
Christian works are the acts
of Jesus dwelling in us.
Jesus lives in the members of the church,
and the church is his body in this age.
Everyone sins and breaks the spiritual
law, even Christians.
To love God and to love our neighbor is
the fulfillment of all spiritual law.
God's forgiveness is ongoing and
limitless, and available to all who truly accept Jesus Christ as
their personal savior.
God will never leave us, nor
Who We Are
and What We Believe
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