Can We See the Bible Alike?
It has always amazed me that there are so many different religions today. How can there be so many different interpretations to the Bible? The question of whether or not we can all see the Bible alike is often asked and the answer is yes we can if we see it at all. There are no contradictory statements in the Bible and as a result we can see the Bible alike if we want to. If all would lay aside their prejudices and preconceived ideas and desire to know the truth and the truth only, we could all see the Bible alike as far as doctrine and practice is concerned. However, the greatest hindrance today to Bible unity is false teachers who teach erroneous doctrine to young people. The young tend to cling to this and never study the Bible with an open mind. It was the desire of Jesus and the apostles that we all see the Bible alike. The Apostle Paul told the Ephesian brethren in Eph. 4:1-6—
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 ¶ with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Paul urges us fervently to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. In other words, Paul urges us to see the Bible alike and to walk together in the Christian vocation. It is interesting that when Paul says there is but one faith (doctrine), many begin to balk; and when he tells us there is but one baptism, many openly rebel against God and his Word.
Paul told the Corinthian brethren in I Cor. 1:10-13 to speak the same thing and that is to be no divisions among you. I Cor. 1:10-13—
“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
Nowhere in the Bible can you find a more fervent plea for unity among God’s people than the one made by the Apostle Paul. After his plea for unity, Paul gives us the fundamental cause for most religious divisions and that is man’s desire to follow some religious teacher instead of studying the Bible for himself.
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” Jn. 17:20-23
Jesus prayer was literally answered to the first believers, who were all of one heart and of one soul: Ac. 4:32—
“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.”
Why is it that believers are not in the same spirit today? The answer is that they neither attend to the example nor to the truth of Christ. One may search the Bible and you will not find a more fervent prayer for the unity of Christians than found in this, the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus prayed that everyone who believe on him through the preaching of the apostles might be one in faith, one in doctrine, and one in practice as He and His Father are one in all things. Jesus even gives us one of the great reasons why he prayed for this unity and that is that the world, seeing the unity of Christians might believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that there is a reality in the religion of Jesus Christ.
There is no greater hindrance to Christianity today than the division that exists among those who claim to follow in the footsteps of Christ the Lord. In Amos 3:3 we read:
“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?”
Think about how great the force of Christianity would be if we were to speak the same things and if there were no divisions among professed Christians.
The Bible is eternal as Peter says in I Pet. 1:25—
“But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”
Barnes explains this passage in this way. “The Word of God is unmovable. It is fixed or permanent. Amidst all the revolutions on earth, the fading glories of natural objects, and the wasting strength of man, God’s truth remains unaffected. Its beauty never fades and its power is never weakened. The gospel system is as lovely now as it was when it was first revealed to man, and it has as much power to save as it had when first applied to a human heart.” So why it is that man continues to believe that he can improve God’s word by making continual changes to it is beyond our wildest imagination. Many use the rational that times have changes and the Bible was written for times past and yet when we read in the book of Revelation we find: Rev. 1:8—
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Therefore, we must conclude that God said it and that settles it. Those who choose to follow God’s commandments can look for eternal life and those who choose to make changes can look forward to eternal condemnation.