Thursday, January 5, 2012

Trust, But Verify

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. [Acts 17:11 NIV]

Trust, but verify was a favorite saying of [President Reagan] while dealing with the Soviets in the 1980’s.  In fact, it formed the basis for his foreign policy.

Be assured that it would do us all well to do the same when it comes to trying to discern between what is truly of our Heavenly Father and what is not.  For it is written: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.  You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.  We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. [1 John 4:1-6 NIV]

No, He really doesn’t mind at all.  For it was for this reason that He provided us with His Holy Scriptures to serve as written confirmation of what He wants to personally reveal unto us all [2 Timothy 3:15-17 NIV].

On the other hand, woe be it unto those who refuse to accept what our Heavenly Father actually says is absolutely true.  For it is also written: If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. [James 1:5-8 NIV]

No, it does not make it any easier that much of what our Heavenly Father actually says is absolutely true is quite contrary to what has been so widely taught in His name for far too long.  Compounding the problem is that far too many have been led to believe that He no longer seeks to communicate with us directly, which leaves them to conclude that wisdom must be gleaned from their own understanding of what His Holy Scriptures are really saying.

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Rational νεόφυτος said...

Excellent message, and yes, all believers should have a Berean approach to trusting in the authority of God's word to find discernment in the world.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Be assured that there is a big difference between trusting in His Holy Scriptures and trusting in Christ Jesus, who truly is God's Word--not the book the He Authored about Himself and righteousness of all of His most awesome ways. When you have the time, please check out John 5:31-47, and pay close attention to the 36th-40th verses.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I was told a better way to help explain the difference between the way you see it, which is the way I did before the change, and the way I have been allowed and enabled to do so now. For you look at the Bible as being the ultimate Authority, with our Heavenly Father's Holy Spirit being in support (at most) of it. Whereas, the way I now see it is that our Heavenly Father, even if in the form of His only begotten Son and/or His Holy Spirit, is the perfecter of my faith, with His Holy Scriptures being given to help make it easier for us to want to accept what He wants us to know and understand.