Sound Teaching Principles
1. That which is explicitly taught in Scripture and is essential ( Diety of Christ, Resurrection, Salvation by Grace thru faith, etc. )
2. That which is implied, where interpretation may differ ( like finer points on gifts )
3. That which is surmised which we should never mix with the first two. Theories which we can personally & loosely have on the side, but should never be treated as sound doctrine.
" IN ESSENTIALS UNITY, IN NON-ESSENTIALS LIBERTY, IN ALL THINGS CHARITY. " ( RUPERTUS MELDENIUS or Peter Meiderline ? - many other people also get credit for this motto which has been used by many confessions over the years since the Reformation and credit given to Augustine has yet to be verified by anyone.)
“Words easy to be understood do often hit the mark; when high and learned ones do only pierce the air.” ( John Bunyan )
" I have undertaken to translate the Bible into German . This was good for me; otherwise I might have died in the mistaken notion that I was a learned fellow. " ( Martin Luther )
In the English language we are fortunate to have many good translations due to the scholarship and work of hundreds of translators over the years. All of us can go directly to the Scriptures and learn the truths of the Bible. This was the example of the writers ( By God's design ) of the New Testament who simply translated Hebrew quotes faithfully without extensive Word studies. We also have access to hundreds of Scholars who in many cases helped to prepare study Bibles and hundreds of Christian books which give us a greater historical understanding of the Bible and it's message to us. These links given here on these pages will give us access to some of those servant scholars who have encouraged us to be Noble Christians who search the Scriptures daily and test every teaching against the Scriptures. The quote by Luther above is a reminder that the work of translation was done by servant scholars over the past 1950 years for the rest of us to read directly what the Lord is saying to each one of us. No one needs to be a Greek or Hebrew Scholar to understand the Scriptures. Again, this was made clear by the fact that the New Testament was written mainly in Greek and contains many Hebrew quotations faithfully translated without any word analysis given at all. The Scriptures are understood with the help of these translations and then the Holy Spirit takes over to help us understand as we come with open hearts to His Word. Through the years missionaries have faithfully put the Bible into the common language of the people. Faithful Scholars gave us the Bible in our own languages and stepped aside to let the Holy Spirit do His work. Good translators, translate and do not interpret for us. Useful Scholars also gave us many helps in English like the Net Bible , but don't get caught up in the minutia of the footnotes. The meaning is already there in the text, faithfully translated. The notes are not part of God's Word and should be read with great caution. The Scriptures are God's Word to us today and can be trusted completely. THE ONLY LANGUAGE YOU NEED TO KNOW TO STUDY THE ENGLISH BIBLE IS ENGLISH.
Finally, make sure you find a good church where you feel at home and which is centered around Christ and His Word; Where God's message and God Himself is the center of attention.
Be careful to examine all teaching in light of the Scriptures and to separate that which is explicitly and implicitly taught in God's word from man made teaching. We also need to have room for differences between us on those non-essential teachings which are not explicitly taught in Scripture, but are implied and where interpretation may differ. Here on the top of this page are the three considerations which can help us center on what or Who is most important in Scripture. Humor helps.
DL Moody: "God chose me for himself, but the devil chose me for himself. ... There you have it “double predestination”.