Sound Bible is Sound Doctrine.

As a young pastor in Hot Springs Arkansas, I was invited by one the large
Baptists churches in the city to teach a study course series on the book of
James.  At one of the sessions I was taken to task by a middle-age woman
to said after listening as it was a verse by verse straight exegesis of exactly
what is in the book of James {just letting the Bible say what it wants to say},
“Is that really Baptist doctrine?”  This question implies that there could be a
denominational difference between official doctrine and the doctrine of the
Bible, and even worse it also implies that Baptist doctrine could come from
any other place except the Bible, in spite of the heritage of Baptists and as
recorded in Baptist’s Statements of Faith, “The Bible is the sole criterion for
faith and practice.”  One of the tolls on Christian churches from the Falling
Away is that such church members have moved into the majority, caused
either by:  (1) a lack of teaching and listening on sound doctrine about the
Bible itself; 0r (2) attitudes and life styles that have generated unsound
doctrine on the place of the Bible in the life of the Christian.  {Lack of
proper respect for actual Bible, instead of for the cover and icon of Bible,
on the part of leaders naturally leads to a lack of respect on the part of
church members, ranging all the way from those who see no authority in the
Bible to the other extreme of those who neglect the place the Word of God
deserves.}  Speaking disrespectfully of the Bible is like speaking less than
well about mother, apple pie, and the American flag; yet the same church
members will show a lack of respect by neglect.  In other words, do not
think about them at all!

1-1:  The demands of The Bible on every life as given in the Bible Itself.
There would be no need for such a statement as above if every church
member {goodness if even the majority of church members} really
believed down deep in their hearts and souls, like Jesus said:

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out
of the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4:4)

1.  Have you stopped to think about what Jesus has stated here:  !1) first
that every word of the Bible is a word that has originated from the mouth,
thought, and character of God {what Baptist statements of faith from the
past meant when they stated “THE BIBLE IS DIVINE IN ORIGIN”}; and (2)
every creature of God is to spend as much effort at living on the Bible as
they do making a living.
2.  What has happened with the historical movement since about 1968 of
the Falling Away {the great Apostasy the Bible predicts} is as church
members have lost their first love of God, Christ, and the Bible is that both
convictions and courage of convictions have been lost; and at the same
time the American Democratic Faith has become a substitute for Christian
faith.  While before the falling away, the source of unity among all Christians
was the 7 ONEs   {one body, one Spirit, one hope of the Christian calling,
one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one  God  and Father of all}; now, well
into the falling away, the reason all churches and denominations have so
much in common is they are all victims of the falling away.  In other words,
when you  have little convictions and courage of convictions, you have the
same thing in common with all other churches and denominations; and you
come to the point of saying, “It doesn’t matter which church you go to, as
long as long as you go.”  {Wish that it were so; however when you consider
how far the American church is now into the falling  away, you  must strive
to find one of the 2 out of 7 churches, like in the book of Revelations, where
the majority membership, if possible, are overcomers.]
I can vividly recall how as a senior in Bible at Ouachita Baptist, I asked Dr. Blackmon, a professor  wise in Bible and pastoring, if it would
be possible to write a research paper on “Baptist Distinctives”,  to which at first he replied, “Is there any such thing?’  And brothers, just
imagine, that was in 1961; now, over 50 years later where do you think the SBC, and others , are on distinctives, especially on the
distinction that:  (1) The Bible is the Word of God--divine in origin, absolute the authority, sufficient in message, high fidelity in
communication, and self-interpretive;     and    (2)   The   Bible   is the sole criterion for faith and
practice.                                                                                                                                                                                   
1-2:  Implications and Implementations of Sound Bible to Sound
Doctrine and to Sound Living..  Church member, it hardly matters what
you believe if you do not have the convictions, and courage of
convictions, to implement it into your lifestyle.  Jesus was serious
when He taught all Christians of all times that “man is to live by every
word that comes out of the mouth of God.”

1.  How the Bible is DIVINE IN ORIGIN should impact your lifestyle.  Here
is a book claiming to be words from the LORD God our father, the Creator
of this Universe; and if you accept that claim, as you should, just think how
eager you must be to scoff up every word from cover to cover, and to do
that often.
2.  How the Bible is ABSOLUTE IN AUTHORITY should impact your life.  
Granted most church members at this point have a problem in accepting
any authority that they themselves find in the Bible over the authoritative
opinions of others.  Quite often, it is a matter of “giving up” of knowing what
is really truth and right.  {In #18 of this Refreshing Evangelism series, you
will find a discussion of “What is Truth?”, so stay tuned.}  However based
on hermeneutics and Christian evidences and apologetics, the most basic
reply to that is “the harder you try to understand Bible”, the closer you will
come to absolute truth.  And once, you really catch on to number 5 below,
about how the Bible is self-interpretive, you are going to get at how “no
scripture is of any private interpretation, but holy men of God spoke as they
were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Once, from the Word and prayer, you develop some courage of
convictions, then you should based on the authority of the only divine
Creator and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, say like Peter, “We must listen
to God rather than to men”.  (Acts 4:19.20)  It helps if you have a little
background on the second Baptist distinctive, that of SOUL
COMPETENCY which is sometimes based on the book of Hebrews, called
the priesthood of believers.  One time on the tennis court, a priest showed
up to play with his collar still on, and after play told the group that he was
available if they needed assistance in prayer and other official religious
matters, to which I replied based on the baptist distinctive of the priesthood
of all believer, “Thanks, but I have direct access”, and pointed upward.  And
this is exactly what soul competency or the priesthood of believers implies,
every believer through the Lord Jesus Christ is entitled to direct access to
God the Father and to the Bible of God the Father.
It is amazing about the paranoid nature of American between their Christian
faith and the American Democratic faith: how they on the one hand can
believe that “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”; and then on the other hand come
to the Bible with the attitude that they are not equal in soul competency to
understand it, and beyond that do not have the conviction that is from the
pages of that Bible where they will learn about happiness.
3.  How the Bible is SUFFICIENT IN MESSAGE should impact your life.  It
is recalled how J. B. Phillips in YOUR GOD IS TOO SMALL told of how
youth did not believe that God understood radar or computers.  The same
thing could be said about ignorance on the Bible, that God just did not
understand us and our problems when He wrote that Book.  No, all that
have spent sufficient time with IT have found that it is sufficient for all life,
all problems of life, for salvation, and for eternal plans, as well as for the
living of a challenging and abundant Christian life.
4.  How the Bible is HIGH FIDELITY IN COMMUNICATION should affect
you.  Like the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-
edged sword, piercing even to the divisions of soul and spirit, and of
joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of
the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things
are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give
account.”  (Hebrews 4:12,13)

(1),  It will refresh you as a Christian to develop, primarily from usage, the
conviction that the Bible is ALIVE, much more than paper and cover and
print, and well beyond any other book.  It will bring Refreshing Evangelism
with “times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” to you and to your
church group to feel like Phillips did in the translation of the book of
Revelation that, like an electrician, he had gotten ahold of a live wire.  Oh,
that more church members throughout American that could experience the
same in Bible reading and study.  This within itself would bring Refreshing
Evangelism to American churches.
(2) The Bible, as Word of God and words out of the mouth of God, has
POWER to change your life, change your thinking, and especially to change
your salvation.  In short, there is a very deep connection between the Bible
and God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and the
“church of the firstborn written in heaven.”  One might make a case that
there is also a connection between the new birth and the Bible.
(3) The Bible is “SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD”  It is both
sharp and cuts two ways.  How?  In 3 ways:  (a) “piercing even to the
divisions of soul and spirit”, (b) “and of joints and marrow,”  (c) “and is a
discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”.
NOTE:  Caution, be sure to stay away from the Bible if you do not really
wish to know what you are like in the sight of God.
(4)  No creature can hide  forever from His Creator and the words that
come out of the mouth of His Creator.
(5).  You will give account to Him for every word that has come out of the
mouth of God.
5.  How the Bible is SELF-INTERPRETIVE implements into life.
(1).  There is only one real interrelation of the Bible, the Authorized Semi-
Public Interpretation of the Bible Peter spoke of in II Peter 1:21,22.

“No prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation {you see this
eliminates all other than the Authorized Interpretation}, but holy men of
God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”  (II Peter 1:21,22)

NOTE:  If you do not see that, then perhaps you have not been reading
the Top 12 Topics of the Bible, developed based on all the OT
quotations in the NT, which by the all always explain the proper from
the Apostles and Prophets interpretation.  What is most important in
the OT, is quoted and explained in the NT, and that is what is meant by
SELF-INTERPRETIVE.  Whatever a Prophet writes, an Apostle and
Jesus explain; and whatever Jesus and an Apostle write, a Prophet
predicted.

(2)  Now, what does this mean to the life you live?  That you can know and
understand the Bible since it is self-interpretive.  That you can understand
and live by the Bible; and that no-one, absolutely no one, should come
between you and God on the understanding of the Bible.  Sure, like the
Ethiopian said to Philip, “How can I understand except someone should
guide me’”, you need good conservative and spirit-inspired guides and
advisers to Bible.  Just make sure you chose very wisely these guides.  
Make sure they have already experienced all 5 of the Refreshing
Evangelisms of:  the divinity of the Word; the proper authority of the Word;
sufficiency in the Word; years before you that have many hours of high
fidelity communications in the Sword of the Spirt; and they in turn have
already enjoyed the comparing of scripture with scripture of the ASPI.

1-3:  You had best practice Refreshing Evangelism on the Bible right
now to get caught up before the Withdrawal of the Holy Spirit as Bible
understanding without the help of the Holy Spirit becomes very difficult.

1.  Granted the time between the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit, with the
subsequent release of Satan from bondage, is only a short time before the
END, but it can be for Christians a very miserable short time with the help
of the “paraclete”, the one who goes along beside and helps us.  Not only
will you Christians have to put up with the physical tribulations of the final
tribulation, but you will have to do it with less help!
2.  Since the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension of Christ with the
sending of the Holy Spirit, democratically and with great power, it has been
His job to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and can
you imagine how during that short time before the END, you will be required
to be Christian and live Christian without any external help from the Spirit.  
He has done all the Refreshing Evangelism.  It is almost inconceivable to
think of how it will be for Christians, without help from the Spirit, that short
time!

1-4: The “ALL SCRIPTURE” Dedicated Lifetime Approach is Sound
Bible and Sound Doctrine.

Dr B.H. Carroll, former President of Baylor, had a dedicated lifetime
approach unequaled by any other when he started Southwestern Baptist
Theological Seminary by taking students through the whole English Bible in
a short period of time.  We are fortunate to have his lectures through the
Bible in the 17 Bible commentaries called AN INTERPRETATION OF THE
ENGLISH BIBLE.  Two or maybe 3 factors obviously dominated the life of
Carroll:  (1) CHRIST, he told Lee Scarborough to keep Christ up-front and
at center; (2) BIBLE, as his emphasis on the Bible itself, and exegesis, over
the too common approach of todays BBFs to select a few, or hunt and
peck, almost makes AN INTREPRETATION as timeless as the Bible Itself.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproach, for correction, and for instruction in
righteousness; that the man of God {this is generic for men and
women like in Genesis} may be complete, thoroughly equipped for
every good work.”  (II Timothy 3:16,17)

Yes, we have used it often to prove that the Bible is divine in origin to the
unbeliever; however it is primarily written to the believer to profit in the only
way the believer should give himself over to profiting--that is by allowing
God to lead him on into the complete life of sanctification, with a
thoroughness of ALL scripture {cover to cover and chapter by chapter} that
is balanced with the full spectrum of profitability, that of doctrine, reproach,
correction, and instruction in righteousness.  Have you ever noticed that
there are two main thrusts in the world for righteousness, there is the Holy
Spirit Who over two thousand years ago entered this world scene to
“convict the world of sin, or righteousness, and judgment”, and then there is
the Bible that with proper ALL scripture usage leads the man of God into
more righteousness, and completion.
1.  Now all this can not happen, and is not happening, if you pastors and
preachers, also denominational leaders, do not make the ALL Scripture
approach.
2.  Some ways to do this are:  (1) Read and teach and preach through the
Bible at least once a year; (2) read and study through Carroll’s
INTERPRETATION, supplementing your study with some new
conservative commentaries like the NEW INTERNATIONAL series {You
will love F. F. Bruce.}; (3) Learn to live with the OT quotes in the NT as the
God-given structure and unity to assure us that all that is most important
from the OT will be included in the NT; and wow, with proper ASPI
interpretation also--the approach you will find in the 4 versions of volume
one of the LEARN CHRIST commentaries; and (4) while not as good as
Carroll in going through the whole Bible in 17 volumes, the LEARN CHRIST
commentaries do it in six volumes.  If you go through all six of the LCC
commentaries, you have a much better chance in your life and ministry
approach to do the ALL Scripture approach.  {The first 5 volumes, actually
8 when you consider there are 3 versions of volume 1, are now being made
free in PDF to the constituents of the www.biblecombibleman.com web site;
and in most cases are expedited for deliver by e-mail upon the submit form
request.}

1-5:  Wow, the Treasures waiting there for your Bible Pleasures!

You just don’t realize what Bible pleasures, of the eternal kind, that are
waiting for you with some serious applications to Bible reading and Bible
study; of course in a prayerful attitude and expression.  You will profit daily,
and your people will profit greatly!
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