Last week we saw the need for a standard to be followed in religion. "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 (II Tim. 3:16,17). Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (II Peter 1:20,21).
The word of God - the standard, is not to be altered by man. Notice how God in His word has told man this time and time again. " Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you (Deut. 4:2). Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Prov. 30:6) For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (Rev. 22:18, 19). We will not be judged by the words of men but by the words of the Lord. Men seek to put forth their ideas and not follow the standard given by God. How tragic is this fact. Imagine someone having a sincere heart, being a zealous worker but believing a man and never learning the truth God desires them to know. "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (I Tim. 2:3,4).
Have you ever noticed that even in our Lords life men were following the words of men and not those of God. Jesus said of this, "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:9). If this could happen when Christ walked among men, cannot it happen in our time? Of course it can and it has happened. The words of Jeremiah come to mind, "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23).
Dear reader, will you not heed the word of God? "Study to show thyself approved unto God … (II Tim. 2:15). Come to the knowledge and truth of God’s word, obey it as it is given to us in the Bible. Follow the standard, the Bible. Do as those in the book of Acts did, have faith in Jesus, repent of your sins, be ready and willing to confess the name of Christ before men, and be baptized for the remission of your sins. From that point on live a faithful life unto God. This is the plan of salvation God has given to us in His standard.
Is there a standard in religion? YES – it is the word of God.