Discovering Bible Truths

by Clifton Tomes

Discovering biblical truths can be a humbling and painful experience. During this experience we may find ourselves facing a difficult decision of staking our faith in God, remaining faithful to our chosen denominational view of Scripture, or remaining loyal to our favorite celebrity of the gospel for the day.

Obviously, the option we should choose is staking our faith in God. There can be no short cuts in the growth process for the child of God. There can be no Christian growth without first learning the truth involved in the cross of Christ. Far too many people are willing to follow Christ if it is a walk without a cross. This false teaching has devastating results.

Notice the word "through" in  "Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death" Regardless of how famous any advocate of a "painless" faith may be, we will all go through that valley.

Another example of false interpretation of Scripture is the popular "take" on 3 John 2: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers." Many will shout "amen" to this verse without ever knowing what is being said. Though "even as thy soul prospers" is placed last, taking care of our soul's need should be the first priority of any believer. Are we seeking God for our soul's need or for health and wealth?

 Christ was "wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, and by His stripes we are healed." Healed of what? God says our sins—though this is not to say that God never heals our bodies. The devastation that results when the false teaching of the "health and wealth gospel" is revealed has resulted in countless thousands who totally abandoned Christianity.

 It can be painful to discover in walking through that valley how grossly inadequate our own strength is, and realize we are totally dependent upon the only true source of strength.

Again, it is a painful experience to learn biblical truths because once these truths are revealed God requires us to make the decision to follow Him regardless of the outcome. The right decision may indeed require us to separate ourselves from family and friends; however, our first loyalty must always be to God.

Our human reasoning will often be offended once the truth of God's Word is learned. Was it painful for Paul and Silas to witness for Christ when they were thrown in prison for preaching about Him? Despite their faith, they found themselves locked up in prison after being beaten within an inch of their lives. But though hungry, cold, beaten, and sore, they decided it was time to turn that dungeon into a worship center.

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4: 6-7). This is exactly what Paul and Silas experienced and it is what we should experience also. Their request to God was no doubt for His will to be done, as ours should be; and they experienced a peace that passes all understanding. This is a peace that comes when our surroundings, our circumstances, our "everything," call for depression or panic.

If we're truthful, most of us desire an understandable peace—a peace that comes when everything is coming up roses. But a "peace that passes understanding" is a peace that reveals the love, compassion, mercy, grace, and power of Christ—and that is our mission.

God will not allow a believer in Christ to ever experience Christianity without his or her own cross. Those desiring Christianity without painful and humbling experiences of biblical truths are seeking a Christianity that doesn't exist, and are being temporarily and emotionally satisfied by deception and false spiritual illusions—which God's Word says would occur.

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