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Why Full Belief in the Whole Bible is an Essential Doctrine of the Christian Faith

by | Aug 18, 2023 | News, Religion, The Church, Theology | 0 comments

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An unsettling trend of disregard for biblical inerrancy and authority has swept through the modern church, ushering in an era of half-hearted fidelity to the Word of God. Popular false teachers like Andy Stanley, who spends the majority of his time belittling the Scriptures and caving to the demands of the modern pagan culture, have paved the way for the erosion of Scripture’s absolute authority. By asserting that Christians should be “unhitched” from the Old Testament and that our faith does not hinge on belief in the Word of God, Stanley departs from the historic view of scriptural inerrancy. It is an alarming departure, demonstrating a clear dilution of the inviolable truth of the Bible.

In reality, a belief in the Word of God is most certainly an essential doctrine of the Christian faith. John 10:27 resonates with absolute certainty and unflinching authority. It reads, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” These words, spoken by Jesus Himself, are more than a figurative reference to pastoral imagery—they convey an essential, foundational truth about the nature of believers’ relationship with Christ.

The phrase “my sheep” denotes ownership and intimate familiarity. Christ’s sheep are those who belong to Him, ones He has chosen out of the world, won with His blood, and sealed with His Spirit. The relationship between the Shepherd and His flock is personal, specific, and grounded in unwavering mercy and love. In their absolute surrender to Christ’s will, these sheep will recognize His voice and follow Him, abandoning their own paths for His perfect path.

“Hear my voice” is a clear reference to the communication from Jesus to His followers. This communication is undoubtedly embodied in the Word of God—the Scriptures that false teachers like Stanley denounce. It is the God-breathed manuscript penned by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, preserving the audible voice of God throughout the ages. To suggest that the Holy Bible is anything less than the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God is to deny the voice of Christ Himself.

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“I know them” speaks of a profound, intimate knowledge that Christ has of His followers, one that is far deeper than mere cognitive awareness. This relationship isn’t casual. It’s an unwavering bond, solidified by the crucible of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Those who hear His voice, understand, and follow Him are undeniably His own.

In light of this, to claim adherence to Christ and simultaneously reject the Bible’s authority in its entirety is a spiritual oxymoron. Christ’s voice is the Bible. It is His words, His teachings, His truths, revealed to mankind. If one believes in Christ, one must, by the same breath, believe and obey His voice—the Bible, in all its immutable fullness.

When Jesus declared that His sheep hear His voice, there was no room for negotiation, no leeway for personal interpretation or convenient compromise. Jesus, the epitome of Truth, cannot lie. Thus, the deduction is both logical and spiritually inevitable: If one does not acknowledge the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, one is fundamentally estranged from the voice of Jesus. Consequently, one cannot be considered among His sheep.

God, in His divine sovereignty, gave us His Word to guide, correct, encourage, and ultimately lead us into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. It is not merely an ancient text, but the living, breathing voice of our Shepherd. Each verse, each word echoes with the vibrations of His voice, a testament to His love and His will for us.

In a world saturated with an endless array of voices clamoring for our attention, there is but one voice that brings peace, comfort, and direction—the voice of our Shepherd, Jesus Christ. To be His sheep is to recognize and hold fast to this voice, enshrined in the Holy Scripture, acknowledging its inerrant and infallible nature. Only then can we truly follow Him, enjoy His glory, and glorify His name. Anything short of this isn’t just a difference in theological perspective; it’s a rejection of the Shepherd’s voice, a step away from the flock of Christ. In God’s sovereign majesty, He offers us the choice—to hear His voice and follow or to wander astray.

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