Torch, Spring 1978

the penalty of sin must be "in Christ Jesus" only. A person must believe that Jesus Christ is God who becameman, thatChrist died for his sins, and that He rose from thedead.Hemust trust the person and provision of Christ for his deliverance. THE BIBLE IS PROFITABLE FOR SANCTlflCATION Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth" (John 17:17). Paul wrote that theScripturesare necessary in order "that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished untoall goodworks" (2Tim.3:17). The divine goal for the believer is to beperfect in hischaracter and conduct. Thewords "perfect" and "throughly furnished" both come from the same Greek root (artios). This basic word is also used to describe the mending of fishing nets (Matt. 4:21). In a spiritual sense,Godwants every believer to be a net that He can use to draw men unto Himself. In order to do that, He must mend the imperfections of the believer's thoughts and deeds (Gal. 6:1, 1 Thess. 3:10). For this progressive task Scripture is absolutely necessary in four basic areas. Scripture is necessary for doctrine. To be right and to act right, aChristian must believe right. Biblical doctrine is sound (Titus 1 :9), good (1Tim.4:6), godly (1 Tim. 6:3), and uncorrupt (Titus 2:7). True doctrine changes not only aman's head, but also his heart, hands, and feet. It involves doing as well as hearing (James 1:22). If aperson does not base his convictions solely upon the Scriptutes, he could easily be influenced by the doctrines of demons (1Tim.4:1), be swayed by every wind of false doctrine (Eph. 4:14), and be tempted to substitute the commandments of men for divine doctrine (Mark 7:7). To avoid these pitfalls, a believer must be vigilant and give himself to the study of Biblical doctrine (1 Tim. 4:13, 16). Many Christians cannot express themselves on the basic doctrines of theBiblical faith.Toooften they declare what they have heard, what they think, or what they feel. Others cannot distinguish between doctrinal truth and heretical error. What do you know about the great doctrinesofGod, theTrinity, the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, sin, salvation, angels, or prophecy? The only authoritative answers can be found in the Scriptures. Scripture is necessary for reproof. How can you tell someone that his belief or his behavior is wrong? Who are you to point the finger at someone else? If you simply base your criticism upon your own opinion, your adversary may say that his opinion is as good as yours. However, if you expose him to the light of theWord ofGod, theHoly Spiritwill beable toconvict himof his sinful attitudes and actions (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit can only reprove the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment through the believer's witness. That testimony must manifest the Scripture. Scripture is necessary for correction. The Bible not only points out what is wrong in man, but it also shows him how he can change. The concept behind "correction" is to straighten that which is bent or broken. Just as an X-ray reveals a bone fracture, the Bible reproves aman of his sin. Just as adoctor sets the bone within a cast, the Bible can straighten out aman's behavior with positive attitudes and goals. Paul commanded, "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, workingwith his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth" (Eph. 4:28). This verse gives an example of both reproof and correction. The first part of the admonition is negative whereas the second is positive. Not only must sin cease, but it must be replaced with positive, holy habits if spiritual progress is to be achieved. 7 Scripture is necessary for instruction in righteousness. God promised, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye" (Ps. 32:8). God guides and teaches through discipline. Believersshould not despise the chastening discipline of God which is amanifestation of His loving concern (Heb. 12:5-6). This type of instruction can hurt, but it can also yield "the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto themwhich are exercized thereby" (Heb. 12:11). THE BIBLE IS PROFITABLE FOR SERVICE Paul charged Timothy, "Preach theword" (2Tim. 5:2). Theapostle did not tell his associate to preach from theWord or about the Word; men need to hear what God has said, not what men think or feel. The only means of enlightening the unsaved and nourishing the Christian is the preaching of God's Word. The In order to gain and maintain attention, many evangelical preachers have become comedians and story tellers rather than men who expound the inspired Word of God. Paul cautioned Timothy, "Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine, For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itchingears" (2Tim. 4:2-3). May God raise up a generation of preachers and laymen who are absolutely committed to the authoritative, inspired Word of God. Dr. Robert G. Gromacki is a professor and chairman of the Biblical Education depart– ment at Cedarvi lle Col lege. He is the author of several books, including The Modern Tongues Movement, New Testa– ment Survey, and Called to be Saints.