“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (II Peter 1:3).
Before religious questions can be answered, it is necessary to determine the authority that will answer them. Denominations have not come from God. They originate with man as, for example, the Restoration Church, a new one in Athens, Tennessee area founded by Johnny Hope, who decided there needed to be a church to restore people from their hurt. Where did he get any authority for this when God’s divine power has already given all that pertains to life and godliness?
I have a case that is locked by a combination lock with the combination of numbers known only by me. I could tell you all that is needed to unlock the case. There is no other source to which you could go for that knowledge.
It is the Bible only that can give us the knowledge needed to answer the most important question man could ever ask, “What must I do to be saved?”
What would be the result if I said that I was going to follow:
The Bible PLUS Roman Catholic catechism and tradition?
Or, the Bible PLUS the Baptist Manual?
Or, the Bible PLUS the Koran of Islam religion?
Or, the Bible PLUS the Handbook of Doctrine of The Salvation Army?
Or, the Bible PLUS the Tenets of Faith of the Trinity Assembly?
Or, the Bible PLUS the Mormon books and belief in a living prophet?
Or, the Bible PLUS the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church?
Or, the Bible PLUS any one or combination of several other doctrines of man?
I could never learn how to become a Baptist by study of the Methodist’s Discipline. The Baptist Manual would not teach me to be a Catholic. It is belief and obedience of The Baptist Manual that makes one a Baptist, and one needs to hear and obey teaching of the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene in order to know how to be a member of that denomination.
Since it is the Bible only that has all the knowledge needed, the question of “What effort have I been making to obtain that knowledge?” needs to be considered, and, “Do I really believe that the Bible contains all that I need to know to be saved?” Would this knowledge be worth more than any other that I could ever acquire? What am I going to do to be sure that I get that knowledge? This source of knowledge from God is now in the book called the Bible. Am I going to accept any doctrine in addition to what the Bible says, or substitute for some of it, or omit some of it? Try to change some of it, or just listen to and obey it?
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time
past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days
spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all
things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
– Janet Randolph, 1932-2017