Sound 1-1:    GRACE TO KNOW!

 God through Christ gives us the grace to know sound doctrine and sound
faith.  When I first mentioned THE SOUND OF A SOUND FAITH to people,
the question was asked “What is sound faith?”  At that time I could only
reply “that is a good question”; for we all know the different sounds of faith,
churches, denominations, and religions that clamor in the world for attention.
{This is the age of a proliferation of the heaping up of teachers with
itching ears as we will look at in the fourth chapter.}
 The immediate answer is that God gives us through Christ the grace to
know sound doctrine, and then the grace to have confidence in what we
know!  

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of confidence, of love,
and of a sound mind.”

The sufficient answer which demands some additional explanation is
that SOUND DOCTRINE (this, of course, includes sound faith) IS
“EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD”, to
borrow some words from Jesus as quoted from the Apostles and recorded
in the Bible.  Hardly anyone interested in the Bible as the Word of God
would deny that sound doctrine is every word that proceeds out of the
mouth of God.  
However, it is much like the global statement that “Christ is the answer for
all the problems of the world” which leaves unanswered many
complementary questions such as which Christ:  the Christ of the Mormons,
or the Christ of the Lutherans, the Christ of the Bible of most Christians, or
the Christ of some television evangelist that are in Christ‛s work for the
money?   (It should be obvious that there must be in the world today “wolves
in sheep‛s clothing” that Paul told the Ephesus‛ elders that would come
immediately after his departure.  And when you also consider the danger of
popularity in Christ faith [the difference between the majority of “many” and
minority of “few” of Jesus‛ teachings, it seems most probable that the
popular television evangelists are the “wolves in sheep‛s clothing”.}
Because of the many faiths in the world today, many religions, many
interpretations of the Bible, we can not back away from the simple conviction
that came from the teachings of Jesus Himself who said,  If any man will do
His (God‛s) will, he will know of the doctrine if it came of God.  It is important
to get the exact wording as recorded in John 7:17  by the Apostle John (who,
by the way heard it for himself from Jesus):  

“If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine,
whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.”

 The bottom line of this very fundamental principle of Bible understanding
{hermeneutics, to use the word of preachers and Bible scholars} is that
understanding of the Bible is an individual matter that is largely determined
by a persons will to do what it teaches
.  In other words, a good attitude
promotes good understanding and a bad attitude promotes bad
understanding.

Although we desire in our preaching and teaching of sound faith not to
be brutal, there are some simple Bible facts that must be faced up to as we
struggle with the problem of
why so few people really understand the Bible...