It is OK for humans to argue with God and weigh the evidence in His Word: “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). The Lord calls men to meet with Him for a free discussion of His truths. He is not an unkind judge but a loving Father. God is rational, and desires men to know His will and walk in it. He says, “State your case, that you may be acquitted” (Isaiah 43:26). All His commands are given for the well-being of man.
The noble Bereans were commended for they “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). The Bereans used sanctified intelligence under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in studying the Scriptures. Having examined the evidence and having found what was true, they proved their sincerity by accepting the new teaching and walking by it. The Berean converts exhibited the right relation between reason and faith, avoiding naivety and skepticism.
Peter urged the believers to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). Jude echoed the same truth saying that we must “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3). A diligent study of the scriptures to understand the will of God is the believers’ only road to true knowledge. God’s children are to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18; Eph. 4:13; Phil. 1:9; Col. 1:9, 10; Eph. 1:17). The worldly people are entitled to expect church members to be able to present their convictions in an intelligent, convincing manner.
Paul said he was appointed for “the defense of the gospel” (Philippians 1:17). In following his example, he admonished that the Thessalonians to “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). And he asked Timothy to rightly divide the word of truth and to correct those who were in opposition (2 Timothy 2:15,25). Truth is sensible and is never afraid of the facts. Man’s reasoning powers were given him to use, and he can make no better use of them than to discover the treasures in the scriptures. God does not expect the Christian to be gullible. To that end, He bestows on the church the gift of distinguishing between true and false spirits (1 Cor. 12:10).
John urged the early Christians: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). The messages of teachers who make the claim of being accredited by God should be tested by the Word of God. “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).
In His service,
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