A CONFIDENT FAITH
Jesus indicted the Pharisees saying: "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers" (Matthew 23:2, 3). The rules they made for others were much stricter than the ones they made for themselves. That is often the case with religious men.
D. R. Dungan, in his book, HERMENEUTICS, observed: "I knew a man who had a hobby on marriage. He was of the opinion that no man could marry twice without being a polygamist--in heaven, if not on the earth. His wife might die, but that had nothing to do with it; if he married again he would be guilty of polygamy. You could not talk with him five minutes without having his hobby brought out and made to canter in your presence.
"But his wife died, and in less than a year from that time his theology changed on that point. Almost anything that men want to do, they can find some text of Scripture that will sound like giving it support. And it is exceedingly difficult to make any man see that he has been preaching that which is not true. He has posed before the people on the subject, and is not willing to incur the humiliation of saying, 'I was wrong, and my opponents were right.'" A man’s wishes sometimes blind him to the truth.
Why do men draw such varied conclusions from the Scriptures? I think the answer is found in their approach to Bible study. Some people go to the Bible to dis¬cover what God has revealed on a particular subject, while others go to the book in search of proof for what they want to believe. Conclusions should not be formed and then Scriptures sought to validate them. We should look to the Scriptures and form our conclusions based on what is revealed in them.
Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Paul admonished, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). It is only when we do this that we can have confidence in our faith!
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