The Scripture and Good Works

By J.T. Williamson. The Bible Advocate, September 13, 1937

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Tim,.  3:16, 17. This text is the word of God and means what it says. But thousands of religionists today quote the impressions of their own minds which do not harmonize with, and which even contradict this word, and they call it the Spirit of God.

Be it known that the Spirit and the word must agree. Any spirit which does not agree with the word of God is not Christ’s Spirit. A certain party said, “I care not what the Bible says, I talk with God every day, That is good enough for me.”  Is this blasphemy? The word of God was given by the Holy Spirit if God. (2 Peter 1:10, 21). The above text says it was given by inspiration of God; then to say, I care not what it says for I have something better – oh! May God have mercy on such religionists.

After a friendly discussion with a preacher about the Sabbath, he exclaimed, I will frankly admit that you have the Bible on this, but I keep Sunday and the Lord wonderfully blesses me, and I know that He would not so bless me in my preaching if I were wrong.

This preacher considered his individual experience, styled as blessings, to outweigh Bible truth. I wonder if these so-called blessings may be that “strong delusion.” (2 Thess. 2:11, 12) ? When one walks in all the light which they have, no doubt God will bless their earnest efforts in His name till they learn the whole truth, but he that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. If we really do hunger and thirst after righteousness we shall be filled. (Matt. 5:6). Righteousness is obeying God, And we should hunger and thirst to obey rather than to disobey and obtain that strong delusion.

One lady, a seemingly strict religionist, promised and even signed up a covenant to keep all the Ten Commandments, after we had a Bible study about so doing. Then after we departed she says that she prayed to God for a special dispensation of grace. She prayed for God to privilege her to keep the first day of the week instead of the seventh, since she would have more favor, and greater prestige; that her influence with people generally, would be thus enhance. She reports that God granted her special request, giving her victory in her prayer. Bible evidence is nothing if prayer can change it. If one commandment can thus be changed, why then not another. Baptism is invalidated under this same religious guise with many people.

People quote Pentecostal experience and despise a commandment keeper. Emotional religion seems to be make the supreme test of Christianity. Brethren, there are many religions, but there is only one Christianity. A Christian, however should be religious, but religion is no test of Christianity. To be a Christian is to be Christlike in character. We have no example of Christ getting so religious as to fall on the floor, not on the ground like a dead person, frothing and foaming at the mouth, but we do read about an evil spirit doing this. Mark 9:20. I verily believe that the most damnable heresy abroad in our land today is the commonly accepted belief that any religion is Christianity. This belief is so deceptive as to be damnable. Brethren, let us bear in mind the scriptures furnish a man of God unto all good works and avoid quoting miraculous leading to do this or that.

I know of a certain man who seems to believe that every thought which comes into his mind is the Spirit of God, and that anything opposing this is the evil spirit; that anybody who opposes him manifests the spirit of the devil. Therefore he is privileged to use the devil’s clubs to fight the devil with. He will do devilish things, use unfair, and ungodly means to forward his ideas, and to down any and all opposition. He is smart in various ways, but surely exaggerated egotism has made him unsound. He craves power, and is determined to rule or ruin. We should feel sorrowful for any on who is so dangerously afflicted, and try to avoid heaping eulogy upon any worker lest he also be egotistical and vain. While the manifestations of Christians acts are the Spirit of Christ, let us cease to boast about supernatural and miraculous power. If you have faith have it to thyself. James says, “Show me thy faith without works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” Our works will show our faith without boasting.

More on good works for humans can be found in the free online booklet: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You? 

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