In 1 Corinthians 8:2 the Apostle Paul addressed those in the congregation who preferred their own version of Truth over God’s version, telling them that they did not know what they thought they knew (spiritual Truth), and that in fact they knew nothing about the ways of the Lord. THESE WERE PEOPLE IN GOD’S TRUE CHURCH. Like the Laodiceans of Revelation 3, these counterfeit Christians were living a lie–Satan’s lie. They knew only darkness. And because they put forth their darkness as God’s light, God called it “great darkness” (Mat. 6:23). They had rejected His Truth and had substituted their own. Jesus identified the real Truth in John 17:17 when He said to the Father, “Your Word is Truth.” Note that He did not say that God’s Holy Bible is part of a larger truth system. He stated with finality that the Holy Bible is the one and only source of spiritual Truth. In John 14:24 and 15:10 He said that to reject that Truth in whole or in part is to reject God Himself.
Because the man Jesus of Nazareth obeyed God’s Word He became the Word of God in the flesh. This is noted in John 14:6 where He professed: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through Me (by obeying Him as I do–1 Jn. 2:6). Jesus was the Word of God in the form of a human being (Jn. 1:1-4,16/Rev. 19:13). Because He was 100% human, He had to learn to obey God: Jesus “learned obedience by the things that He suffered” (Heb. 5:8). Because, as a human being, He obeyed God perfectly, He can and does require His fellow human beings to overcome Satan’s temptation to sin exactly as He did (Rev. 3:21), to live exactly as He lived relative to righteousness (1 Jn. 2:6) and to purify themselves as He did (1 Jn. 3:3) in order to inherit eternal life. See Jesus of Nazareth: God, Man or God-man? As stated often in the past, EVERYTHING COMES BACK TO THE WORD. Beginning with God (later to come to earth as Jesus of Nazareth) in the Garden of Eden, He, His prophets and apostles repeatedly told God-seekers that in order to qualify for eternal life they had to0 obey the Holy Bible as it is written. Not one jot or tittle can be changed, deleted from or added to (Mat. 5:18). He is the God who does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. There is no shadow of turning in Him.
But there are billions who proclaim loud and long that they do not need to obey the Word of the Lord because they have already been saved by merely believing in Jesus Christ. Satan and his demons believe in Jesus Christ. Simon Magus believed in Jesus Christ. Ananias and Sapphira believed in Jesus Christ. Judas Iscariot believed in Jesus Christ. Modern day preachers and billions of their followers believe in Jesus Christ. If one of these people is saved, then they are all saved for He is not respecter of persons. If faith in Jesus is all that is required for salvation, then all of the above are saved and born again. For all of these people, the Apostle James’ question: “Can faith save you?” elicits a resounding “Yes.” The voice of God from His Holy Bible responds with a resounding “No.” Who is telling the Truth? Each God-seeker must answer the ultimate question: Must I believe and obey God’s written Word in order to receive salvation? The answer depends on whom we look to for our salvation–the Biblical God or the church god. Whose truth is the real Truth? Who is the true God and who is the counterfeit god? Who provides light and who provides darkness?
The God of the Bible said that only a few salvation-seekers would answer the above questions correctly, enter His strait gate and walk His narrow way to life. The vast majority, He warned, would enter Satan’s wide gate and walk his broad way to death (Mat. 7:13,14). In the focal passage Paul was writing to both strait and wide gate enthusiasts among the parishioners in the church at Corinth. Recall that wheat and tares grow together in the same field, that good and bad fish live together in the water, that good and bad fruit trees grow together in the orchard and that sheep and goats all belong to the same shepherd. These facts shed revealing light on the Words of the Apostle Peter who wrote to those who called themselves God’s people, telling them that only a few within their midst were righteous and would therefore be saved. Then recall that he warned that the saved would “scarcely” (just barely) make the cut. Or as we say, ” … by the skin of their (spiritual) teeth (1 Pet. 4:18). L.J.