The Weight of the Evidence
The Weight of the Evidence study is for Christians (and others) who hold beliefs and convictions which play a role in shaping character, and affect everyday life. It is important to have a solid base of true, and accurate, information in which to establish our beliefs. This study will help you understand more regarding how to develop a foundation for these things that you can safely stand on.
The foundation should be established upon a reliable source of authority, which for the Christian is the Bible. The material that comes together to build that foundation is called the weight of evidence.
In these times when every wind of doctrine seems to have been let loose upon the world, it is essential that truth, as God has revealed it in His word, be clearly understood. Christians have a responsibility to know individually, for themselves, the truth and be able to reply intelligently when asked what they believe, and why.
In Ecclesiastes 4:12 we are told: … a threefold cord is not easily broken. … and the same holds true with subjects of importance found in God’s word. The more cords (Scriptural evidence) a subject has, the stronger that evidence appears, which can lead to conviction and assurance that what is being learned is truth.
The Bible tells us how the weight of evidence for discerning truth can be established, and the result of having such evidence.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:105
For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:3-6
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: Isaiah 28:10
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2 Corinthians 13:1
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15
In addition to these things the word of God needs to be studied with the following guidelines and goals in mind:
Be careful for nothing [don’t worry about anything]; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6
Ask God for the wisdom you lack
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5
Let the Holy Spirit guide you in the search for truth
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16: 13, 14
Don’t try to predetermine a subject’s accuracy
Study a subject until the weight of evidence has been established as clearly as possible.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3: 5, 6
When you are studying God’s word don’t forget that Jesus is the Truth
Jesus is the center for all truth. He said: I am the way, the truth, and the life… John 14:6
Allow Him to extend your understanding, keep an open mind, and remember… God alone has an infallible understanding of truth.
Light is progressive; More can be learned and understood
…the path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18
Be sincere that you may grow and mature in spiritual things
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby… 1 Peter 2:2
Many people read and study the Bible, but many do not come to the same conclusions
Part of the problem for this rests in the fact that subjects often have not been impartially and completely examined before decisions were made regarding them.
Another reason is that people are sometimes taught that a subject has a certain meaning, and they are encouraged go to the Scriptures to try to prove that what they heard is true, instead of letting the Scriptures reveal the truth.
Trying to discern the truth of a subject by approaching it with pre-conceived ideas is not only unreliable, but it can also become harmful to the development of spiritual life. It is much better to let the Scriptures speak for themselves.
Gather as many references about a particular topic which the Bible contains. After you are assured that you have as much of the available evidence secured, weigh (study) carefully (and prayerfully) each reference to understand what the Bible record reveals. There may be some verses that seem to fit together well, and others may not.
Examine the context in which each reference was found
If a verse doesn’t seem to apply to what you are reviewing, don’t try to make it fit. Before long a true light will shine forth on your subject of interest; and deeper truth will be discovered. If it is accurate it will be able stand the test of further examination, and still remain true. The balance can be found.
There are some subjects of interest that only God will be able to fully answer. It’s wise not to indulge in speculation and theories when a solid base of evidence is clearly lacking.
In God’s time all things will be revealed. If the counsels that have been presented in this article are faithfully applied, better and more accurate conclusions regarding truth can generally be reached.
We hope you will find this also to be true.
This article was written by Chris Teske
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