"You Can Prove Anything By The Bible."
But, that is a false statement! Such an accusation questions the authenticity of the Bible. And in so doing discredits God Almighty. The Apostle Paul stated: "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints" (1 Cor. 14:33). It is upon this premise that this matter will now be approached.
The only thing that can be proven concerning the Will of the Heavenly Father is truth. Jesus Christ (in speaking to the Heavenly Father) said, concerning His disciples, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth" (John 17:17). The Bible is the inspired Word of God. We learn from the Apostle Paul that all scripture is inspired of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
It is true that there are some false statements in the Bible. But before you are ready to declare that I just proved that the Bible contradicts itself, let me explain. Those false statements were made by false teachers, not by the Lord or His disciples. Now they are recorded in the Bible as stated. Nevertheless, they are false and proven as such in the Bible itself. The most vivid one is when the devil lied to Eve.
"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman. Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Gen. 3:1-6). The devil, in the form of a serpent, contradicted what God actually said.
Here is what the Lord said: "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:16-17). First Timothy 2:14 plainly states that Eve was deceived in the transgression.
Some claim there are contradictory statements in the Bible. If that were so then it would add weight to the claim that a person can prove anything by the Bible. But the truth of the matter is that no alleged Bible contradictions have been proven to be such.
We do not have the space to discuss all of the alleged contradictions in the Bible, but let us examine two passages in which it is said that God tempts man. Without examining these passages in depth they would appear to be contradictory.
Let us now look at some pertinent doctrinal matters and determine whether, "You can prove anything you want by the Bible." We must keep in mind that there can be a difference between what the Bible actually teaches and what someone may claim that it teaches on a given subject.
It teaches we must worship God according to truth as well as from the heart (John 4:24; John 17:17). It cannot be proved by the Bible that God authorized the use of mechanical instruments of music as a means of worshipping Him under the new covenant. Nor can it be proved that other innovations such as burning of incense, lighting of candles, sprinkling so-called "holy water" are authorized under the new covenant. It cannot be proved that every person can worship God acceptably in any way that he chooses.
However, we can prove by the Bible the following: God authorized singing in worship (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). Teaching God's inspired Word in the assembly of the saints as well as when we have opportunity to do so (Acts 20:7; 2 Tim. 4:1-5). The partaking of the Lord's Supper upon the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). Praying both publicly and privately (Acts 2:42; 1 Thess. 5:17). Contributing of our means upon the first day of the week in the assembly of the saints is authorized (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:7).
Concerning the church, the following cannot be proven by the Bible: That one does not have to be in the church to be saved. All churches have God's approval. That one church is just as good as another.
But we can prove by the Bible that there is only one church with God's approval (Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 2:16). Obedient believers are added by the Lord to His church (Acts 2:47). There is only one body, which is the church; just as there is one Heavenly Father, one Christ, one Holy Spirit, one faith, one baptism, and one hope. "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Eph. 4:3-6).
Concerning salvation we cannot prove by the Bible that being a good moral person is adequate to save anyone. Cornelius was a morally benevolent man who worshipped God. Yet, he needed to hear the inspired Word of God to be saved. That included the command to obey the gospel (Acts 10:1-2; Acts 11:13-14; Acts 10:48). None can prove that sincerity is sufficient for salvation (Prov. 14:12; Prov. 28:26). Nor that one can be saved by "faith only." "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (Jas. 2:24). Nor that one can be saved without being baptized for the remission of sins. "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).
On the other hand, we can prove the following by the Bible:
Concerning living the Christian life, we cannot prove by the Bible the following:
No, you cannot "prove anything by the Bible" — only what is truth. We must recognize the Bible as the only source that provides God's revealed Will. Therefore, it is essential that we study and apply it to our lives in order to please God.