- Bonus Article -
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)
The first thing that I would like to establish is the fact that, when the Bible mentions the Law, it is often speaking of the entire canon of Scripture, not just the Ten Commandments. The context will usually always clarify which is in view.
For instance in Psalm 19:7-9 the Bible says, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.” In these verses He makes reference to the Bible as the Law, as the Testimony, as the Statutes, as the Commandments, as the Judgments of the Lord. All of those statements are directed toward the Bible as a whole.
In this chapter we will discuss why the Bible is under attack. I believe the primary reason is recorded in Romans 3:20 which says, “...for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” God has given us a written revelation that is inspired and preserved with all the authority that’s vested in His person. In order to escape the authority, many have abandoned the Word of God, or attacked the Word of God.
He tells us in I Peter 1:25, “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever...” It is speaking of the written document that we hold in our hands, as well as the person of Christ who dwells in our hearts. The liberals and the cultists have ignored the written revelation and are operating by uninspired writings. The humanists have rejected the entire concept of God. The Charismatics and the Catholics make up the law of God as it suits them, either by the word of knowledge or by ex-cathedra, but we have the Law of God. It is His holy Law that reveals our sinfulness and causes us to recognize our need.
The Bible tells us in Romans 4:15, “Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” You understand that if there is no speed limit, you can go as fast as you want because there is no law to restrain you, no limits to exceed. If there are no game laws, there is no such thing as poaching because there is nothing to violate. If there is no set boundary, there is no such thing as trespassing or over-stepping one’s bounds. If there is no set authoritative book, then there is no violation of the principles of that book. Hence we find that many attack the Word of God to escape its authority, because it says, “Where the word of the king is, there is power or authority.”
In Romans 7:7 the question is asked, “What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” According to this verse, the Law of God, which encompasses not just the Ten Commandments, but the entire Bible is what reveals sinfulness in contrast to righteousness. It is what tells me that I’m doing the wrong thing and something needs to be corrected.
As we move on in Romans chapter 7 to verses 12-13 it says, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” The fact is that the Law was given so that I would see sin to be exceeding sinful. We are living in a day and hour when the authority of the Word of God has been undermined, and as a result people do not see sin as exceeding sinful. They say, “It’s just a little one. What’s so bad about...?”
If there is no divine authority, if there is no perfect Word of God, if there is no revelation from God, then man can decide for himself what is right and what is wrong. This is the origin of situational ethics which is constantly taught in our day. This is also one of the tenets of humanism. It puts man in the seat of God and allows him to determine what is right and wrong by his own rationale and by way of the circumstances that he is facing at the moment. The four verses that have been cited tell us that the Law informs men of what is right and wrong. The Law condemns men for wrong doing. In convicts them or compels them to correct things. It causes them to come to repentance, which is a change of mind that will ultimately produce a change in the course of their actions.
In II Timothy 3:16-17 God tells us the purpose for which the Scriptures were given. “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, throughly furnished unto all good works.” Doctrine is a declaration of what is right according to God. It’s foundational truth. Reproof is a declaration of what is wrong. It is a rebuttal. Correction tells us how to get it right, and compels us to do so. Instruction in righteousness tells us how to keep it right, or how to maintenance our righteousness.
Then we drop into chapter four where Paul charged Timothy in verses 1-2. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;” In this verse he reminds Timothy of the great responsibility of being a preacher. Then he tells him what to do with the Word. He said, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove,...” To reprove is kind of like turning the lights on, making somebody aware of the situation. If you are in the dark, you could get content with a lot of filthiness, but when somebody turns the light on and you see what you could not see before, it is going to cause discontentment and a desire to get rid of the filth.
The next word that we find is “...rebuke,...” That implies to put the weight on, or to make someone feel the pressure of those principles of which they are in violation. The next thing that preaching is to do is to “...exhort...” which implies to put on the invitation, or to give them a means of correcting what is wrong. We are to be instant which means to be always pressing the issue. We are to reprove, rebuke, and exhort and to do so with all longsuffering, which has to do with being patient with difficult people. We are also to do it with doctrine, which implies that this is not accomplished by insult and by human pressure, but rather the pressure of the doctrines of the Word of God. So the Bible is the authority of God and it will turn the lights on and expose sin and corruption. It will put pressure on them to do right. Finally it will draw them to the solution.
There have been many times when I have preached a sermon and somebody came to me after the sermon and said that they felt that they were under pressure.
I said, “Good. When you hear the Bible preached, you should feel some pressure from God.” People do not like that pressure. They do not like the lights to be turned on and be forced to see their filth. They do not like somebody making an appeal for them to respond, nor do they like feeling the pressure to change things.
People want to deny or diminish the authority of the Word of God. Therefore it falls under attack in an attempt to escape conviction, in an attempt to escape divine authority, and in an attempt to escape the penalty of sin without repentance and faith in Christ.
According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, the word law means a rule, particularly an established or permanent rule prescribed by a supreme power of a sovereign authority to its subjects for regulating their actions, particularly their social actions.
There are three basic kinds of law. There is imperative law commanding us concerning what shall be done. There is prohibitory law restraining us from what is to be forbidden. There is permissive law declaring what may be done without incurring a penalty. The Bible serves these three functions for the child of God.
There must be a sovereign authority in one’s life. Those who reject the sovereign authority of God become their own sovereign authority as did Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12-14 which says, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Here he declared his independence and exerted his will against the will of God at least five times. We all know the outcome of his rebellion. It reduced him to a devil. If replacing the will of God with his own will made a devil out of Lucifer, I wonder what it does to you?
There must be an accurate revelation of the Law of God, which we have in the King James Bible.
Let’s back up to the original question. Why is the Bible under attack? Very simply this, the same reason that people refuse to believe in God.
Let me give you a sequence. If there is no God, then there is no sovereign authority. If there is no authority, there can be no authoritative revelation or will of God. If there is no revelation, there are no absolutes, no concrete laws. If there are no laws, there is no human responsibility to obey laws. If there is no responsibility, there can be no transgression. If there is no transgression or violation, there is no penalty. If there is no penalty, there is no guilt or fear. If there is no guilt or fear, I can do what I want to do and choose to believe whatever I want to believe with no negative consequence or accountability. How convenient!
This is exactly what happened in the days of the judges according to Judges 21:25 where it says, “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” When we make comparison of that passage to Proverbs 14:12 we learn that, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” They did what was right in their own eyes, and on every occasion it brought the judgment of God. They fell into bondage and captivity as a result of the desire to escape divine authority.
Even now we have some preachers telling us that three to five percent of our King James Bible was lost in translation. Others say that there are contradictions in the Bible. Both of these statements are absolutely false, and they make many other such false statements. If the Bible is not accurate, then we would have to depend on these self-appointed authorities, who tell us how educated they are. All of a sudden we don’t have a revelation that can be trusted and we have to trust them to tell us what part is true and what is false. The amazing thing is that when people begin to search their three to five percent out to determine what they believe is error, they always choose the things that they don’t like about the Bible and try to eliminate them from the equation so that they can do what they like. They say they believe the Bible, but they reject its contents. I’ve heard men say, “I’m a King James man” and in the next breath claim that it is imperfect or uninspired.
The thing that I’ve learned through the years is that usually a man’s morality will dictate his theology. God intended for it to be quite the opposite. A man’s theology should dictate his morality, but in more cases than not, a man chooses a course of action and then adopts a theology that will accommodate what he has chosen to do, even if he has to eliminate some of the commands and statements in the Bible to justify his actions.
Some do it to escape doctrinal truths such as “...Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7) Others, to escape the fact that there is a literal Hell -- Luke 16:19-31, or the fact that the saved are commanded to come out from among them and be ye separate -- II Corinthians 6:17. They are also commanded to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature -- Mark 16:15-16. They are commanded to repent and be baptized, everyone of you -- Acts 2:38. There are many other statements that could be cited, but all of these things are seen as oppressive and offensive to certain people. They reject the divine revelation of God to escape authority, conviction, the need to repent, and the fear of consequences.
There are those who would say, “I had a vision, so I know it’s right. I had a word of knowledge.” Others say, “Men wrote the Bible. I don’t trust it.” Still others say, “I don’t feel convicted.” “I know it’s okay because I know my experience. I know how I felt.” “Everybody is doing it. It must be okay.” There are others who say, “It’s a new day. Those things are outdated. It won’t work anymore and people won’t do that anymore.”
Do you really believe that God was so near-sighted that He didn’t know how long things would go on? Do you really believe He said, “Oops, I didn’t know it was going to last until 2020. Sorry, folks, I only gave you Scripture to guide you until 2000. You’ll have to wing it from there. What I gave you is no longer valid.” God is the same yesterday, today and forever -- Hebrews 13:8. His Word is forever settled in Heaven -- Psalm 119:89.
People attack the Bible to remain willfully ignorant of God’s standard of right and wrong, so they are not condemned, so they are not convicted, so they are not compelled to respond. A man who does not hear the Bible at all will not know God’s standard and will feel no pressure to change. On the other hand, the man who hears the Bible, but denies its authority, does so to escape the conviction and the pressure to change. According to the Scriptures, willful ignorance is inexcusable. The Law of God is available and I am responsible. Those who trust their education more than the Bible will find themselves in a disaster in time, but it’s this condescending, humanistic, elitist spirit that is destroying so many lives because they are determined to attack the Bible rather than obey the Bible.
The answer to this is in John 2:5. “...Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”