Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, commanded us to: PROVE ALL THINGS; HOLD FAST THAT WHICH IS GOOD." (1 Thessalonians 5:21) "NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT HE DRAWS HIM." My initial belief in the Lord came when the Bible was revealed to me as the Word of God. Another man might be saved by deliverance out of impossible circumstances where no Bible was present, but after coming to saving faith; he reads the Bible or hears it read and believes it is the Word of God. Our faith is grounded in the written Word of God where we are commanded to PROVE ALL THINGS.
Our faith in the Word of God and its Author increases as we obey the Word of God and discover its fruits in our lives. The more we PROVE ALL THINGS in the Scriptures, the more we find the Word of God is a Lamp unto our feet. As we grow from GLORY TO GLORY, we find ourselves walking less and less in our former spiritual darkness and more and more in the Light of the Lord.
When we approach the Bible as the holy Word of God, what is there about it that makes it so interesting and enticing to those of us whose faith is focused on it? How can we further PROVE ALL THINGS are divinely inspired in the holy Book?
Were there another sixty six medical journals books written by forty different physicians and surgeons during a period of 1600 years, of various schools of medicine all bound together in one book of medicine, what is the chance they would all be found in perfect agreement from beginning to end? How could a physician expect good results if his advisers are telling him one thing in one journal while offering other contradictory treatments in other journals gathered into that one book?
The holy Book is all one book once it is mastered. All of the prophets contribute to the big picture of prophecies past, present and future. They all use the same method of communication much like the police or medical practicioners have their own language. The Old Testament offers symbolic but literal suggestions of spiritual realities with Jonah three days in hell before coming back among the living. The body of Jesus was three days in the tomb while he went down into hell to preach to lost souls there. Where in all of the books of the world can anyone find prophecies set down in such a manner, binding the Old Testament to the New Testament over and over again as we search the far corners of holy Scripture.
In a very real way then, the Old Testament shines upon the New Testament and the New Testament shines upon the Old Testament, so that both are needed to understand the whole of God's present message to humanity.
There are hellbound sinners who can and will quote the Word of God fluently to make themselves appear to be righteous, but they know not the Spirit of truth nor are they motivated to learn the truth and live it. Yet, they may be so impressed with their quoting of the Scriptures as to believe they are saved. This is particularly true of the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormon cults, but it can also be true of sinners in general and those who want to go to heaven without believing in Christ as their Saviour.
The Bible can be a dangerous book. We are told: "THE LETTER KILLS, BUT THE SPIRIT SAVES." Some are getting conversation pieces out of the Bible LETTERS instead of a transformed life. Make sure you are searching the Scriptures for the Spirit of the Word. The Pharisees lacked the Spirit of the Word when they accused Christ of working on the Sabbath after healing someone in need. As shepherds, they showed more concern for the letter of the law than the disabilities of the afflicted.
To many, the Bible is historical or philosophical or psychological or it is just a guide. To those who are serious about where they are going and what they are going to inherit materially and spiritually, the Word of God offers a contract and a government ruled over by the Lord. When those who are committed to obey the Lord in ALL THINGS read a statement written in the imperative voice of grammer in the Bible, it should be obeyed as a command.
"PROVE ALL THINGS; HOLD FAST THAT WHICH IS GOOD," is a command.
If you are not already committed to obey the Lord in ALL THINGS, how will you obey the command to PROVE ALL THINGS? God is absolute. His servants speak in absolutes. Saint Paul is not advising us to check out just those things of interest to us in the Scriptures. He is saying you need to know the perfect will of God in ALL THINGS. Those who hide from the Scriptures for fear they might find something they would feel obligated to obey have the wrong strategy. Those who dust their Bibles off to carry them to Sunday Church services to make themselves feel holy are deceived also. Those who search the Scriptures diligently to PROVE ALL THINGS have the right strategy. They do not intend to fall short in finding out the perfect will of God so they can attempt to live a Christ like Life.
PROVING ALL THINGS does not stop with a thorough Scriptural search. We are to believe the Word of God and become more and more DOERS OF THE WORD, AND NOT JUST HEARERS. To PROVE ALL THINGS and do nothing would leave the student with dead faith."FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD." PROVING ALL THINGS is the obtaining of right knowledge to become a better DOER OF THE WORD.
Consider the wicked. The works of a terrorist are already dead. They are operating outside of the will of God. We are duty bound to not kill except perhaps in defense of our nation or our home. We are to love our enemies. We are not to commit adultery or fornication, nor are we to lie, cheat and steal. These laws are not only written in holy Scripture, they are written in your heart. Every believer already knows he is not called to strap explosives around someone's waist so they can blow up non combatants. We are to LET FAVOR BE SHOWED TO THE WICKED, YET WILL HE NOT LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS:" (Isaiah 26:10)
There is another command, we are to LET FAVOR be shown to the wicked by others, yet we are not obligated to show favor to wicked when we know them to be wicked. Quite the contrary. King David wrote: "I WILL KEEP MY MOUTH WHILE THE WICKED IS BEFORE ME." (Psalms 39:1) It appears the anointed King David refused to cast his pearls before the swine.
The command to "PROVE ALL THINGS, HOLD FAST TO THAT WHICH IS GOOD," is a strategy whereby we hope to get into the fine print of holy Scripture and learn what to do. We are to learn to discern who is wicked and how to deal with them as King David did, bridling his tongue when they are around. We are to sift through the dogma of religion and the darkness of our own hearts to come to a practical knowledge of the truth that Christ is, so we might live increasingly as he lived. In doing so, we hope to become one with the Lord.
We are to PROVE ALL THINGS, replacing wrong ideas with right ideas, while HOLDING FAST TO THAT WHICH IS GOOD, and we are to increasingly become DOERS OF THE WORD AND NOT JUST HEARERS." Too many times, the Word of God fades from our mind because we do not see the importance of it. To "PROVE ALL THINGS, HOLD FAST TO THAT WHICH IS GOOD," is an important command.
Let's go a little further with this command to "PROVE ALL THINGS:" Let's examine how you ought to prove a Scripture that is altogether spiritual. We are told: "ONLY BY PRIDE COMES CONTENTION,..." (Proverbs 13:10) If you do not already know that arguments, fights, contentions and treachery are rooted in egotistical pride, you should watch your behaviour and the behaviour of others to see for yourself if it is true. Pride is invisible, yet it is the deadliest of all sins resident in mankind and the fallen angels. It can be discerned.
In holy Scripture we find Christ "SEEING THEIR FAITH." (St Matthew 9:2) There is another example of the invisibility of the spiritual makeup of man, yet you should be able to learn to discern the presence of all things spiritual in yourself and in others whether those things be good or evil.
We all have pride to one degree or another. Whenever you see yourself in a contention, examine seriously your part in it. Did you help the discussion to heat up into a contention over some issue which escalated into a argument, and possibly into a fight? Should you not have departed in peace before the situation deteriated or were you "CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH" with a good attitude?
There is always the need to "RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD."
You ought to be willing to contend for the faith without arguing, but once you see the potential for a situation to degenerate into an argument; you should obey the command to: "LEAVE OFF CONTENTION, BEFORE IT BE MEDDLED WITH." (Proverbs 17:14) The head sees trouble coming and avoids it. The tail is snared in arguments and even fights.
Anger managment is a big deal in the psychological profession today. Wouldn't they love to call Proverbs 13:10 their own. By getting to know your own egotistical pride better so you can restrain your contentiousness in conversation, you have one of many truths by which you can be set free from the darkness of your self. It is a key to anger management. The other person is not making you mad. Your pride is puffed up and easily provoked.
Once you begin to get to know yourself better, you will find getting to know others easier. Discover your egotistical pride and you will be able to see the pride of others with a growing sharpness of ear.
Saint Paul had trouble with the Jews in Thessalonica where many came to a saving knowledge of the Lord before he moved on to Berea where they "WERE MORE NOBLE THAN THOSE IN THESSALONICA, IN THAT THEY RECEIVED THE WORD WITH ALL READINESS OF MIND, AND SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, WHETHER THOSE THINGS WERE SO. THEREFORE MANY OF THEM BELIEVED; ALSO OF HONORABLE WOMEN WHICH WERE GREEKS, AND OF MEN, NOT A FEW." (Acts 17:11/12) They PROVED ALL THINGS that Saint Paul was saying and held FAST TO THAT WHICH IS GOOD in believing in Christ. This was a good and noble beginning for them if they continued in the same Light to build the new man.
By searching the Scriptures, both Jews and Gentiles came to a saving knowledge of Christ. By searching the Scriptures to PROVE ALL THINGS and HOLD FAST TO THAT WHICH IS GOOD, you can hope to become "FULLY SANCTIFIED" through obedience of faith to the Spirit of the Word.
You have to give all to obtain all.
Move in absolutes to attain to absolutes.
You will find the Word of God challenging if you are trying to live it.
The only way to guarantee growth in it is to HOLD FAST TO THAT WHICH IS GOOD
once you have diligently proved a matter. When you've come to the knowledge of a truth,
it is not wise to backslide from it. You are building "A HOUSE NOT MADE WITH HANDS,"
and the building material is spirit. Each revealed truth is a spiritual brick. Your continuing
obedience to the Word of God is mortar to cement them all together. Keep building. Keep
searching the Scriptures. Keep PROVING ALL THINGS. Continue to HOLD FAST TO THAT
WHICH IS GOOD. Put becoming a DOER OF THE WORD above all other things in life.
By doing so you will be able to reap the divine harvest of Christ in you, the hope
May God help you. Amen.