Monday, September 24, 2012

Going Beyond What is Written

"Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other." 1 Corinthians 4:6

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.  Rev. 22:18-19

The Bible is clear about how we are to handle the Scriptures. We are not to go beyond what is written nor are we to add or take away from the Scriptures. I read about one preacher who said that Jesus could not perform any miracles until He was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. The Scripture does not address the ability of Christ to perform miracles before His baptism, thus this statement is pure speculation on the part of the preacher.

We add to the Scriptures when we preach in a way that speculates about what a bible character was thinking or saying when the Scriptures are silent about such a thing. The pulpit is no place for speculation. It is a dangerous thing to proclaim God's Word in a manner that consists of opinion and speculation instead of exposition.

Preachers are not the only people who are susceptible of going beyond the Scriptures. Theologians fall into this trap as well. The Calvinist system of theology teaches that the atonement of Christ was limited to those whom God elected before the world began. The Bible says no such thing. Calvinists also teach that when the Lord decides it is your time to be saved, that His grace will be irresistible . Once again, the Bible does not teach such doctrine. In both of these instances, theologians have gone beyond what is written. They are guilty of adding to the Scriptures. Such teachings should be rejected as being unbiblical.

There is great danger to attempt to systemize God's Word. This is one reason why Traditional Baptists do not adopt a system of theology such as Arminianism or Calvinism or hold to any creed. We believe and teach the Scriptures, not a theological system.

The temptation to speculate upon that which the Scripture is silent can be enticing for those of us who answer God's call to proclaim His word. But we must resist such temptation for we will be held responsible for that which we claim to be "Thus sayeth the Lord."

1 comment:

Pastor Steve N. Wagers said...

Let us not speak when God is silent. Great word Brother. Enjoyed the post.