Since the Bible is the record of the working of God as He has revealed Himself to the world and since the authority of God is mediated to us through the Bible, we should take this book seriously:
- We should renew our minds with the Bible’s truth. Truth is what transforms us and sets us free. Faith in God and Christ as revealed in the Bible is what justifies and is also the foundation of our growth and development into Christ-likeness. We must read, study, memorize, meditate, obey, and teach the Bible to others.
- We should both study and obey. His Word is living and active and He speaks to us through it. Obeying what we know will open up the scriptures more fully to us. Disobedience and obstinacy will result in deception.
- We must seek to understand the author’s intended meaning to his original audience, then seek to apply that meaning to the circumstances and situations of our day. The Bible was written partly for us, but to others. We should pursue training in Biblical interpretation and take advantage of the many resources available to help us understand the Biblical cultural context.
- We should avoid independent study and conclusions, but study the scriptures in community, listening to and learning from others in the church.
- We must not add to the Bible or subtract from it. Neither should we pick and choose which portions of the Bible to agree with and obey, other than the recognition of our place in salvation history—particularly that the Law of Moses was fulfilled by Christ and we are no longer subject to it. Study the whole Bible and not just the New Testament.
- We must make the Bible the final authority over all extra-biblical church tradition, doctrinal statements, church counsels, or practices. Although such statements are helpful and even essential as summaries of Biblical teaching, we should regularly and humbly re-evaluate them in light of our increasing understanding of the all-authoritative Scriptures themselves.
- We must believe the Bible in matters where there is an apparent contradiction between the Bible and science, observation, or human wisdom. The Bible is the clear, verbal revelation of God, and although it will never actually contradict observations in creation or of human behavior, its special nature insures that it will be clearer and more accurate than any other source of truth.
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