The Word of God Says Something and Has a Definite Message, Part 3
by Fred T. Di Lella

 The Law 

But someone might say: “`If the Scriptures are so completely sufficient, then why do so many `Bible-believing christians’ disagree about so many things?'” 

The answer to this puzzling paradox is quite plain.  The problem is certainly not with the infallible, inerrant Word of God.   The real difficulty lies rather with “unstable men who wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction.”[1]

But someone might say: “How do we know who is doing the “wresting” and who is correctly interpreting the Scriptures?” 

Surely, Arminians and Calvinists cannot both be right; undoubtedly, premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism cannot all be on target; and, beyond any doubt, dispensational thinkers and Reformed covenant theologians cannot both be accurate.

“`They [Cain and Abel] agreed in the abstract principle that they ought to worship God—and more, that Jehovah is the only object of lawful worship.  The brothers, however far they agreed in theory—in abstract principle, differed altogether in practice; yes, even in their practical piety. `Cain’s works were evil’—even his religious services—these emphatically, Gen.4:5. `and his brother’s works righteous.’  The brothers had different views of God’s law and covenant, and of the obligation of each; and their practice differed accordingly.  The Pharisees agreed with our Lord and afterwards with Paul, that the Old Testament was the word of God; but they differed widely in the application.'”[2]

Assuredly, the Word of the Lord is not “yes, yes; no, no.”   As we saw in Part I, the Lord spoke all the words of the Bible.  The Lord did not say one thing at one time and the opposite at another.  God did not proclaim one thing and do another.  God did not declare one thing and mean something else.  God did not speak in lightness, fickleness, capriciousness, inconstancy, or in ignorance. 

The Living and True God spoke all the words of Scripture.  The omniscient, holy Lord spoke forth His word deliberately, omnisciently, clearly, and truthfully.  The point is: God was (and is) saying something[3] in the Scriptures.  The Lord was not spewing forth a bunch of indifferent ambiguities from which various Bible-readers could derive all kinds of “interpretations.”  God was not sounding forth a pluralistic document full of “non-essentials” (issues that do not really matter or things that are insignificant) and adiaphora (matters of indifference); so that people could learn to be more tolerant about matters of religion, that is, “agreeing to disagree.” 

God’s Word definitely is NOT some meaningless document.  It is not a useless, esoteric collection of religious sayings.  It is not a Book that can legitimately mean one thing to one person and an entirely different thing to another individual.  Such a “yea and nay” Bible would be useless.  If the Bible were a “yea and nay” book, it would be a curse, rather than a blessing.  All Scripture is absolutely true.  It is absolutely true in every single part.  Every single part means something.  Because every single part of God’s Word is absolutely true, every single part has one and only one meaning: the Truth.  The truth is never a non-essential or an adiaphora.  It is the abiding truth.  As the Lord Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

When God spoke in His word, He was decisively, deliberately, omnisciently, clearly, inerrantly, and infallibly saying something.   In every part of the Bible, God said what He meant and He meant what He said.   In every single portion of the Scriptures God has spoken.  We had better hear Him.  We had better know what He is saying.  “He who has an ear to hear, let him hear.”

But someone else might say: “How can we know what teachers of the Bible are correct, and what teachers are wrong?”

If man had to lean on his own understanding, discerning true teaching from false teaching would be a perilous predicament. Thankfully, though, the Lord has not left us to fend for ourselves.  

First, the Lord Jesus assures us that His true sheep hear His voice and follow Him (John 10).  Genuine teachers of the Scriptures will correctly, consistently, and courageously sound forth God’s word with conviction and without compromise.  The true sheep of Christ will (and must) hear and follow them.

Second, the Lord’s genuine sheep will not hear the voice of a stranger (false teacher), but will flee from him.[4]  Beware of sitting under or countenancing, in any fashion, any false teacher.  God commands us not to hear the instruction of false teacher.  False teachers can cause men to err from the words of knowledge.[5]

Third, the Spirit of truth leads us into all truth (John 14-16). The Lord does not guide us (His people) into falsehood.

Fourth, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, has anointed us; so that we know all things (1John 2:20, 27).  By God’s Spirit we are able and careful to discern between truth and error.

Fifth, “the Lord has written His Law in our hearts and minds.” God is “working in us both to will and to do according to His good pleasure.”[6]   Following false teachers is certainly not doing God’s good pleasure.  As John 10 also makes perfectly plain, following after,[7] giving audience, credence, support, or devotion to false teachers is not a characteristic of a true christian.  “My sheep hear My voice.  They will not hear the voice of strangers.”

Sixth, the Lord continually commands His people to love, to promulgate, and (to hold fast to) the truth; and also, to abhor all that is evil.[8]

Seventh, Deuteronomy 13; 18; 1Kings 13; Matthew 7; 1Timothy 3; Titus 1 and many other passages of Scripture entrust essential criteria (and examples) to us for discerning between true and false teachers.

Eighth, genuine followers of Christ have often sealed their testimony for the cause of God and truth with their own blood.[9]  Old and New covenant church history abounds with the sufferings of the remnant for the truth.

True Christians, therefore, have not been left to their own whim and ways in following after the truth.  God is leading them into the truth; is giving them an ear to hear, to understand, and to follow after the truth.  God is granting them discernment between the truth and all error. God is working in them to desire to obey and to obey the truth. God renders numerous examples of TRUE and False teachers in the Bible.  God has left for us the blood-sealed testimony of multitudes of genuine disciples (under-shepherds and followers) for the truth. God is commanding us to love, preserve, contend for, and hold fast the truth; and also to detest and speak against all error.[10]

Someone might also say: “does this mean that a true Christian needs no one and nothing besides himself in order to understand, discern, and wholly follow after the truth?” 

No, such a lone maverick christianity would be nothing less than a crowning of each individual after the presumptuous, poisonous, and pernicious pattern of the pontifex maximus.  The Bible nowhere speaks of a “universal popehood” of the believer. The Word of God certainly does not leave the critical responsibility of expounding, instructing, and maintaining the truth to any one individual.  The Scriptures do, however, continually inform us of the importance of the Lord’s Church in interpreting, teaching, and preserving the truth.


[1] E.g., Gal.1; Phil.3; 2Pet.3:15, 16.

[2] A Short Vindication of the Covenanted Reformation by a committee of the Reformed Presbytery, Philadelphia, 1879, p.21.

[3] The true and full sense of any Scripture is not manifold, but one (WCF:I.IX).

[4] E.g., Prov.19:27; John 10.

[5] Viz., savage wolf, stranger. Psalm 19:27

[6] E.g., Ezek.36:26f.; Philip.2:13.

[7] E.g., Psa.97:10; Prov.19:27; Ezek.13:20, 22; Gal.1:8, 9.

[8] E.g., Pss.101:3; 119:104, 113, 128, 163; 139;21, 22; Prov.8:13; Amos 5:15; Rom.12:9; Heb.2; 3; 4; 6; 10; 12; 13; 2Pet.1; 2; 3.

[9] E.g., Matt.5:10f.; 10; John 15:18-20; Acts 7; 8; 12; 14; Phil.1:29; 2Tim.3:12; Rev.6:9f.

[10] E.g., John 3:19; 7:7; Eph.5:11f.; and the continual castigating of false teachers and worshippers by the true prophets and apostles of the Lord. 

Rev. Fred Di Lella is pastor of Covenanted Reformation Church in TX which is part of The Biblical Reformed Synod of Christ the King.

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