II Timothy 2:15 (ESV) “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
Have you ever wondered how4 your pastor comes up with a sermon every week? Where does he come up with his three points all beginning with the same letter? Will he ever run out of stories of his growing up years, his children’s cute sayings, or his wife’s misfortunes which usually he rescues?
The AFLC seminary teaches first of all that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, and all-sufficient Word of God.
Due to a trip to Germany to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting the 95 thesis to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, I began looking at commentaries and reading books that were not my usual genre. I found this process led to more critical thinking and searching the scriptures to see where errors in my thinking might have taken root.
The accepted Christmas story of Jesus birth is an example of human thinking and simplifying that has led to misinformation. The wise men usually depicted with the shepherds at the manger the night of Jesus birth is not backed by scripture. The wise men most likely found Jesus when he was about two years of age. Luke 2:7 (ESV) “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” These exact words were spoken to the shepherds. Why? Bethlehem was the region where lambs were raised with the intent of being used sacrificially in the temple at Jerusalem. Because they were to be without blemish, they were wrapped in swaddling cloths. The shepherds would have recognized Jesus due to the unusual garments and that He was laid in a manger, not a cradle.
Commentaries and traditions we hold as valuable must be tested by Scripture ultimately. It is to Scripture we look to for truth. Some writings of men might help us understand the Scriptures but if they aren’t faithful to what Scripture teaches they must be received with skepticism or rejection.
II Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for very good work.”