I hope this letter finds you doing well and continuing to grow in wisdom and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have written you before and challenged you Treasure God’s Word. I am confident that you won’t find this letter much different, yet I still find it necessary.
When I was a younger man at the age of seventeen my father challenged me with the advice that I now share with you. Let God’s word be the final authority in your life. When discussing issues, debating doctrine or discerning how you will behave, know there is no more important guide than the Bible. The Apostle Paul writes about this when he addresses Timothy:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
(2Timothy 3:16-17, ESV)
You cannot and should not form doctrinal stances and practices based solely on the opinions of others men. You must first and foremost regard the Scripture as authoritative. The words of your father, your mentor, and even your friends do not carry the same weight as the Scriptures.
Here is what you should know. People can be wrong. Sometimes, we cloud our judgment with self-love or hatred of others. We dull sharp edges of the Word and sharpen dull edges to suit our needs. Often not by design, but perhaps by preference. We embrace what is comfortable. We accept what is tradition.
I’m not asking you to doubt everything. Descart started us down a path that in the end only reveals that the human mind is significantly able to doubt everything. Instead I am asking you to test the genuineness of your doctrinal positions and motivations by the Scripture. Be correctable, but let it be the Word that corrects, not merely the opinions of another man.
I am confident of this, that those who judge the Word and hold themselves above it, will in the end be judged by the Word and found to be false. Those who come humbly to search the Word will in turn find that their own hearts have been searched by the Word of God. Let the Word be you authority.