That We Must Abide In Christ's Doctrine? I
By: Gary Colley
The apostle John wrote by inspiration, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son (II John 9)." Jesus said, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7)." Again, "If you keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love (John 15:10)." We are warned about adding to or taking from God's Word in both the Old and New Testaments (Deuteronomy 4:2, Revelation 22:18-19). Neither are we allowed to practice things for which we have no authority, in going beyond what the Scriptures prescribe (I Corinthians 4:6). "The Bible does not say too" is subjectivism and a poor excuse for breaking the law of God (I John 3:4).
We know that God does not approve of one speaking a different plan of salvation each time he speaks. But neither does God approve 10 different preaches speaking 10 different plans of salvation! When we differ in religious matters, it is not the fault of the Bible. Divergent teachings cannot both be right, perhaps both are wrong. The Bible is the standard of Truth (I John 4:1). How can anyone think and believe that many doctrines are right, even if these ones may be sincere? (See Hebrews 11:6 and Romans 10:17).
Notice a few examples:
1. One teaches that babies are born sinners, another that they are not born "little sinners"
(Ezekiel 18:20, Matthew 18:1-4).
2. One teaches baptism is sprinkling or pouring, another that it must be immersion (Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12).
3. One teaches men are saved by faith alone, another that we are saved by faith, repentance, confession, and baptism (Acts 18:8, Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9-10, I Peter 3:21).
All of these cannot be according to the Truth. How do we determine which one is right? The answer we hope is obvious: let the Bible be our standard. By this means, and no other, can abide in the doctrine of Christ.