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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Psalm 34: Taste And See That The LORD Is Good!

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.
11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

Absurd Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox Objections To Sola Scriptura

  • "The Phrase 'Bible alone' Is Absent From Scripture":
            -Let it be granted that the phrase "Bible alone" is absent from the pages of our Bibles. However, the mere fact that the Bible does not occupy a specific word describing an article of the Christian faith does not prove it to be unbiblical. For example, the word "Trinity" is absent from Scripture. The same is equally true of the word "Incarnation". But these two examples are clearly biblical doctrines. The same can be said of Sola Scriptura, for the Apostle Paul emphatically stated that Scripture alone equips the man of God for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17).  
  • "The Church Came Before The Bible":
            -The underlying problem with this argument is that it synonymously occupies the terms "Bible" and "New Testament". This is known as the fallacy of equivocation.  
            -While it is true that Jesus Christ established the Christian church prior to the writings of the New Testament canon, this does not in any way suggest that the New Testament cannot function as its criterion. Neither does this prove that the Old Testament could not have functioned as the final authority for the first century Christians. 
            -What needs to be recognized here is that the first century church was governed by the apostles and that their teachings did not differ in substance from what was already taught in Scripture. The apostolic doctrine was not supplementary in nature, but rather was complimentary. The newer revelation from God simply elaborated on already established doctrines. In other words, the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant.
            -Existing prior in time does not logically translate into evidence of being in higher authority. If a sequence in a given order is equivalent to different ranks of authority, then does it not follow that the Old Testament was superior to the New Testament Scriptures and the church, since it existed before they did? Is the Book of Ezekiel somehow more authoritative and inspired than the writings of the Apostle Paul? Is Adam superior to Jesus Christ?
  • "Jesus Commissioned A Gospel Preaching, Not A Bible Reading church":
            -This objection would have merit, if, and only if, the gospel revelation was developed independently of Scripture. In other words, this argument against Sola Scriptura would be valid if the teachings of the gospel were not found in the Bible. But this is certainly not the case. Not only is the message of the gospel prefigured in the Old Testament (i.e. Psalm 23; Isaiah 53), but the oral teaching is specifically identified in New Testament passages such as John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. We have no spoken words of our Lord Jesus Christ or the apostles documented outside the New Testament Scriptures and are thus obliged to derive our gospel preaching off them alone.
            -The original doctrines of Christianity are unchangeable (i.e. Galatians 1:6-12). They were delivered to the saints "once for all" (Jude 3). If we do not study Scripture for ourselves or have religious training that is directly based on Scripture, then how can we rightly preach the gospel? How can we represent the original church? From whence would the church derive its authority to preach? How could we know with any degree of certainty that Christ gave that church who demands submission is faithful to God's will? Why do we even have a Bible?
  • "Jesus Did Not Write Any Scripture":
            -So what if Jesus Christ did not choose to write any Scripture? The mere fact that He did not choose to take a writing utensil to formulate divinely inspired documents has nothing to do with the authority of Scripture itself, for He is the King of Kings. That was never His purpose. He did not come to write Scripture, but rather to redeem mankind from sin. He is our Savior. But He always taught by using the Scriptures and appealed to them in all matters pertaining to discernment. Would it not be wise to emulate His example?
            -The Lord Jesus Christ commissioned the twelve apostles to spread the message of His work. They continually worked at defending the faith in the first century. They were the first ones appointed to establish and contend for the original churches of God. Hence, they wrote Scripture so that future generations could do the same task of preserving the purity of the glorious gospel. Scripture is meant to be the measuring stick against heresy. 
            -Not only does the argument that Christ did not produce Scripture fail to prove anything, but it is also completely irrelevant to the subject matter being debated at hand. If this anti-Sola Scriptura logic proves anything at all, then it only proves that we should not have a canon of Scripture. It only proves that the apostles, prophets, and their closest associates never should have written Scripture. This would only mean that our detractors should not be holding Bibles in their hands, let alone be reading them. 
            -It is also true that Jesus Christ never baptized anybody (John 4:2). Does this mean that baptism is unimportant or of less importance?
  • "In Matthew 18:15-17, the Lord Jesus Christ gave the church all authority in spiritual matters":
            -This Scripture passage only provides us with a general model of conflict resolution. Nothing within the context of Matthew 18:15-17 indicates that a "church hierarchy" is supposed to preside over all matters in the church.