Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: How to Establish the Pattern – Implication

patternist-2.pngThe third principle we affirm is authority is established through Divine implication. The principle is wrongly under attack as an arbitrary invention of man rather than a God ordained principle.

By “Divine implication,” we mean truths to be found in God’s word that are not explicitly stated. Instead, they are implicit in the text of scripture. We use our God given ability to reason to INFER the truth that is IMPLIED.

A simple example of this principle is Jesus’ debate with the Sadducees in Matthew 22. They denied the resurrection. Jesus answered, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God” (29). He then established the truth about the resurrection by appealing to Exodus 3:6. He argued the phrase, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” implied a resurrection. Though Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were physically dead at the time God spoke these words, the words “I AM” are used rather than “I was.”

The inference Jesus made? “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (32). The text does not explicitly mention the resurrection. Rather, it is implied.

One caveat, the implication must really be there. Our inference must be necessary as we examine the text. It is not acceptable to say that it MAY be so. We are not to read possibilities into the text. That is eisegesis. Instead, we take out only what is actually there. That is exegesis, our goal.

We must not deny the validity of a principle used by the Lord Himself as we seek to establish authority.

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