Is your faith based upon the Word of God, or opinions and interpretations of self and others?
Many people have opinions and/or facts about a number of matters. Often when various things are discussed some will proclaim, “That is your interpretation or your opinion, saying that they have a different idea about the matter.” Some things are in the realm of opinion, while other matters are factual. One might guess at the length of a rope. There might be a number of opinions about the length of it. However, once the rope is measured by a proven standard, it ceases to be in the realm of opinion. It is now a proven fact. Opinions and/or interpretations have no further place once a proven standard has been set. Please consider a few examples of each of these matters.
First, someone might inquire as to where Cain got his wife. We know Cain had a wife, a woman who “conceived, and bare Enoch.” (Genesis 4:17). Those are facts. Since “Eve…was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20), a fact, one may properly conclude that Cain took his wife from among his kin, but never have more than an opinion about who she was. All would do well to consider things that may be known, and omit questions like this.
Another might wonder if Methuselah died in the flood. It appears that Methuselah died the year of the flood. (Genesis 5:25ff). However, one can neither prove nor disprove when and how the oldest recorded human being, 969 years, died. All would wisely use time in searching the scriptures to learn about Jesus and how to please God (John 5:39; Acts 17:10-12; 2 Timothy 2:15), to inherit eternal life. (Mark 10:17-21).
Some question whether or not the number reported to be baptized on the day of Pentecost, “about three thousand” (Acts 2:41), could have been baptized. Their opinion is that such would be impossible. However, in around four (4) hours the twelve (12) apostles could have baptized three thousand (3,000), if each apostle baptized one per minute. If those who had been buried in water baptism (Romans 6:1-5) immersed some of the repentant respondents, this could have taken place in a much shorter time. The question is not whether or not these baptisms could have taken place, but have you been “baptized in the name of the Lord” as “commanded” (Acts 10:48) to “wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord”? (Acts 22:16; 2:38; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:20, 21).
A number have guessed about Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7), with such opinions as he was five (5) feet tall, had a withered hand, poor eye sight, was harassed by Judaizing teachers, and more. All such ideas are fruitless speculations. All we know for sure (fact) is found in verse seven, “the messenger of Satan.” Whatever Paul’s messenger of Satan was, Paul besought the Lord thrice (3 times), that it might depart from him. God said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul accepted God’s will, building strength upon his thorn. (2 Corinthians 12:9ff). We need not be concerned about Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Rather, we should become stronger in the face of whatever faces us adversely. (James 1:2, 3, 12).
These are matters of opinion, and we should leave them there. We should neither be troubled by nor divide God’s Kingdom over matters of opinion. We should be more concerned over the factual. Please ask yourself if you accept facts in a number of matters. For example, Paul once “lived in all good conscience before God” (Acts 23:1), rejecting Jesus and persecuting Christians. (Acts 26:9-15). However, once he learned that he was wrong, he obeyed the Lord (Acts 26:15-19), and faithfully followed Him until he was put to death for so doing. (Acts 26:20-28:31; 2 Timothy 4:6-8). Paul wrote Romans through possibly, Hebrews, calling on all to follow him as he followed Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Consider facts, not opinions and/or interpretations.
Fact, “There is a God in heaven.” (Daniel 2:28).
Fact, Jesus is God, Deity. (John 1:1-3).
Fact, The Holy Spirit is God, Deity. (Acts 5:3, 4).
Fact, The Holy Spirit moved the writers of the word to speak. (2 Peter 3:20, 21). The engrafted, implanted word saves the soul. (James 1:21). Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, His gospel. (Hebrews 5:8, 9).
Fact, one must believe in God to be saved. (Hebrews 11:6).
Fact, one must repent of sins to be saved. (Luke 17:3).
Fact, one must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God with all one’s heart before one can be baptized Biblically. (Acts 8:37).
Fact, one must be buried in water baptism to be saved. (Romans 6:3, 4; Mark 16:16).
Fact, one must live faithfully to be saved. (1 Corinthians 15:58; Revelation 2:10).
Fact, one must continue stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine (preaching), fellowship (contribution), breaking of bread (Lord’s Supper), prayers (Acts 2:42), and singing (Ephesians 5:19) to worship God properly.
Fact, the Christians at Troas met on the first day of the week to break bread, observe the Lord’s Supper. (Acts 20:7).
Fact, the first day of the week comes each week. (Calendar).
Fact, one must speak as the oracles of God to please God. (1 Peter 4:11; Colossians 3:17).
Fact, God has forbidden one to add to or subtract from His word. (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18, 19).
Fact, Jesus is the savior of His body, the church. (Ephesians 5:23; 1:22, 23).
Beloved, study the word of God, rightly dividing it, to arrive at the truth. Realize the difference between opinions, interpretations and facts. Obey facts. Disregard opinions, and do not waste your time on them.