Paul declared that “the gospel of God” that he preached was backed up by the Old Testament. He begins his epistle to the Romans with these words: “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God (which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures)” (Romans:1:1-2). In every city Paul entered on his missionary journeys, he went first of all into the synagogue and proved to the Jewish congregants that what their own prophets had foretold concerning the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ had fulfilled, including His death on the cross and His resurrection: “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them [in the synagogue], and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the [Hebrew] scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ” (Acts:17:2-3).
Christ did exactly the same. He scolded the two disheartened disciples, who knew the tomb was empty but didn’t believe that Christ had risen from the dead, as they were walking to Emmaus from Jerusalem three days after his crucifixion. He said, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things [i.e., rejection by Israel and crucifixion], and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke:24:25-27. He told His disciples repeatedly that “all things must be fulfilled, which were written I the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Luke:24:44).
It would be folly to step into eternity trusting (in rejection of God’s Word) one’s own ideas or the ideas of some church or religious leader. All who would know their eternal destiny for certain must rely upon what the Bible itself proves to be true about salvation and living the Christian life. Because of the irrefutable proof that it is God’s Word, the Bible must be our authority.
We commend the Bible to each reader. Do not take our word, but search God’s Word for yourself. Why is this personal study necessary? Because to whatever extent one relies upon some third party (pastor, priest, preacher, author, church, etc.) to interpret the Bible, to that extent one has lost contact with God and His Word. God wants to speak to each individual through His Word and through Jesus Christ, not through some intermediary.
The Bible itself says, “Faith cometh by hearing…the word of God” (Romans:10:17). In our earnest desire to know the one true God, we must turn to the Scriptures alone. It is up to each one to check it all out from there, to the only infallible authority and, having examined the proofs, to believe the Word of God. Such is the basis of true faith—the only faith that saved for eternity.