Mar 19

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While the above question is one of which we might have asked ourselves in matters pertaining to religion, it is certainly a question that others have asked of us. How CAN we be sure we are right? Consider the following:
First, there IS that which is right (truth, God’s Word, the Gospel), and there IS that which is wrong (error, falsehood, false doctrine). Acts 13:10 speaks of one who would cease not “to pervert the right ways of the Lord.” Thus, there is that which is right. These “right ways” are the Word of God” (v: 7).
Also, 2 Peter 2:15 speaks of those “which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray.” Thus, there is that which is right, and that which is wrong. That which is right is described in verse 21 as “the holy commandment.”
Second, human beings CAN come to know that which is right. One verse will suffice: “Then said Jesus…If ye continue in my word…ye shall know the truth…” (John 8:31,32. Compare: Eph. 3:3-4). Young’s Concordance lists some 1600 verses which teach about things that can be known. 1 John 2:3 even states that we can “know that we know.” Thus, human beings can come to know what is right (that is: the truth, the commandments, the Word of God).
Third, HOW can we come to know the truth? One can come to know the truth on any Bible question by following the divinely approved example of Acts 15. The brethren had a question, they gathered all the relevant evidence of God’s revelation to them, then they drew only the conclusions which were permitted by the evidence.
This is the inspired principle put forth in Psalms 119:160 “The sum of thy word is truth.” In taking the sum of a census (Num. 1:2), all are to be counted.
Revelation 22:19 teaches the same principle. We are not to take away from the Word. Thus, for example, in studying the topic of prayer, since we cannot take away from God’s Word, we must gather and consider all the relevant verses on prayer, then harmonize their teachings and come to the conclusion of the teaching on prayer. Granted, it is easier said than done, but God makes clear that it can and is to be done (John 8:31-32).
Fourth, there are ways to check our conclusions. (1) If our conclusion is altered by the clear teaching of another verse, then our conclusion is in error (Mt. 4:6,7). (2) If our conclusion is involved in absurdities, then our conclusion is false (eg., The contention that the book of Revelation is literal, Rev. 1:14,20). (3) If our conclusion necessitates the knowing of that which cannot be known, then our conclusion is unsubstantiated (Consider God’s questions to Job). (4) If our conclusion implies that which is false, then our conclusion is in error (1 Cor. 15:12-20). (5) If our conclusion is involved in self-contradictions, then our conclusion is false (1 John 2:21). (6) If our conclusion involves a denial of major undisputed facts, then our conclusion is wrong (Mark 3:22-23).
Conclusion. Yes, we can be sure we are right. God expects us to be right, and He would not have us attempt that which is impossible (1 Cor. 10:13).

Gary Henson

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