Show Me the “Book, Chapter, and Verse”

Many of us have become accustomed to receiving news or new information daily via the Internet, television, or other media sources and we receive a lot of it. However, despite having instant access to news from all over the globe, we still often do not believe everything we read or hear. There are times when we have to confirm what we have heard before we accept it as truth. That is a good habit to have! The same thing should be true for spiritual matters. There are times when we hear things religiously affiliated that prompt us to check whether it is true or not. Biblical doctrines and theological teachings are something we should always take very seriously and we need to be absolutely certain regarding what we are willing to accept as true. To do this, there is a very simple test that can be used to confirm if something is true. Simply say, “Show me the book, chapter and verse.” Let’s call it the “BCV Test.” Most of the time, this simple test will erase doubt and expose error.Here is and example: some teach that salvation from one’s sins can be obtained by quoting a simple prayer and Jesus will then enter one’s heart as a “personal savior.” Is this true, or not? Let’s apply the “BCV Test” to determine if it is so. Upon careful examination, we find no verse in any chapter or book that affirms, or supports, this erroneous belief. This teaching includes the so called “Sinner’s Prayer,” however, it is also not found anywhere in the Bible. There exists no example in the Bible of anyone ever praying such a prayer and then receiving salvation. Neither do the words “personal savior” appear in any verse. While it is true that Jesus did, in fact, die for you and me, we still do not find the words that support that doctrine anywhere in the text. This teaching fails the “BCV Test.”So then, if a verse does not exist in the Bible to support a certain doctrinal teaching, why do people keep following it? The Bible answers that question also. Paul explained to the young preacher, Timothy, that this was going to happen (
2 Timothy 4:3-4). Man certainly has a tendency to invent his own form of spiritual enlightenment and to carve out his own religious path (Proverbs 14:12; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13). But that does not make it right, or in accordance to the will of God.Matthew 7:21-23 is a very powerful verse that every Christian should memorize. It reads, “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Bear in mind that Jesus says “not everyone.” This implies that many will arrive there, but not all will enter into heaven. There are many who call themselves Christians who are doing many good things “in the name of the Lord” and believe they are going to heaven. But according to this verse, not everyone who calls himself a “Christian” will be allowed to enter. Why? Because they did not meet the requirement of “doing the will of the Father.” In other words, only those that obey the commandments of God will enter. God has revealed His will through His Son (Hebrews 1: 1,2) and through His inspired writers, (2 Peter 1: 19-21, 1 Cor. 2:13), in the form of the Bible. There, we can find all that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1: 3) and understand what we have to do to gain eternal life (1 Timothy 6: 18-19
). For this reason it is important to confirm every word we hear regarding spiritual matters with what the Bible says; we confirm it with “the book, chapter and verse.”


What Must I Do to be Saved?

There exist no question more important than to ask “What must I do to be saved?” There is nothing more important in life than the salvation of one’s soul! The hope of eternal life is a gift that Jesus offers to everyone who desires it (John 10:10; Matthew 11:28). Through the sacrifice of Jesus, God has done His part in providing that gift, a means for man to return to Him, and now man has to do his own part in order to receive the gift. Understanding where to obtain that precious gift of salvation is paramount. But again, God provided the answer, in the Bible. So, where does one find salvation? Hopefully, this chart will serve as a useful Bible study tool for your spiritual walk, or help you to assist someone else with their’s, by providing some of the key passages for discovering the truth of God’s plan for saving man in that path of obedience (Romans 6:17,18; Hebrews 5:9). 
 
Remember, we must consider ALL that the Bible has to say on a subject, not just pick and choose verses as a proof text. The Bible tells us, “The SUM of thy word is Truth” (Psalm 119:160). Therefore, it is our responsibility to search the Scriptures diligently, just like the Bereans (Acts 17:11), in order to correctly discern the truth on any subject.


Not Even an Hour for God?

We are all busy! Nobody can deny that. Even though we have numerous modern conveniences, that are supposed to make our lives easier, we seem to be busier than ever before. When Sunday morning rolls around to go to church, we’re still pressed for time and often thinking about the things we need to get done or want to do. Are you like that? How often do you bring that mindset into worship? You may be sitting in the pew and be thinking about all kinds of things, instead of giving your full attention to God. If not that, then we often allow things to distract us, such as our cellphone.

While technology has certainly created easier access to the Bible and study tools through our digital devices (which is a good a thing), how often do we just “quickly check our Facebook wall” or respond to that incoming email, or text? Have you ever noticed someone browsing the Internet during worship? It happens and it happens way more often than it should! Please understand a very important aspect of worship; God is the audience, not us. We are to render adoration to Him. While we certainly receive a benefit for being in worship, we need to realize it’s not for our entertainment, nor is it about us, it is all for and about God. He is expecting our full attention as we fulfill our duty to Him. Are we not robbing God of what is due Him by allowing ourselves to be so distracted? What would your reaction be if the actors of a play (or a movie) stopped performing for a moment so they could check the latest beep on their smartphone? Or, what if a waiter stopped in the middle of fulfilling your order so they could engage in a Twitter exchange? Wouldn’t you be outraged? Wouldn’t you demand their full attention, because after all, you are paying for their services? While these are woefully inadequate examples in comparison to the seriousness and sanctity of worship and the fact that God purchased us through the blood of His Son, I hope they will at least help you to see the point.

We should give our full attention to God and focus our thoughts on Him during the worship hour, including the Bible study hour. Think about it from a little different perspective. If Jesus were to return at that very moment, during the time of services or study, what would you be holding in your hand? Will you be holding a copy of God’s word, full of notes and markings, as you study to know His will? Will you be holding the hand of a loved one as you sing praises to God? Will you have your offering ready, about to put it in the plate? Will you be holding the cup, which represents Christ’s blood shed on the cross? Or, will you be holding a smartphone and surfing the Internet? Will you have just written “LOL” or “OMG!” to a crude joke someone just texted you? Will you be hitting the “Like” button on something that is, perhaps, inappropriate for a Christian? Think about that for a minute! Worship is serious business! We all have busy lives and we may have amazing technology at our fingertips (neither of which is sinful, in and of themselves), but let us not allow them to distract us from our true purpose on this earth. The Bible teaches us to, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Can we not give God at least an hour or two of our time during the week to fully focus on Him? – TS