Biblical Authority - #4
By Mark J. Ward
In continuation of this series, let us consider: unavoidable conclusions. What do we mean by this term? An unavoidable conclusion is a conclusion that is mandated without question. This is NOT to be confused with a mere "inference" or "possibility"! An unavoidable conclusion is something that is inescapable.
What does this have to do with Bible authority? After all, isn't an unavoidable conclusion a by-product of "human reasoning"? The Bible says that "it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps". Many people erroneously teach that reasoning has no place in the life of a child of God or Bible interpretation! These people conclude that man cannot use "logic", "discernment", or "reasoning" whatsoever, for such would result in error! Is this true? What does the Bible teach on this matter?
We all use unavoidable conclusions in our daily activities (albeit probably unknowingly so to many). Think with me for a moment on the following: Have you ever been thrust through with a sword? Probably not many readers have! All things else being equal, if you were thrust through with a sword, then "it would harm you". Why do we know this? It has happened to others. We know that our physical makeup is no different than they. We would "unavoidably conclude" that the same would be true of us if we were thrust through with a sword.
Again, don't confuse unavoidable conclusions with "inferences" that have more than one possibility! They are not examples of unavoidable conclusions! But, when there is NO ALTERNATIVE, no OTHER CONCLUSION that MAY BE REACHED...then the conclusion is said to be unavoidable.
Another example, if your landlord tells you to pay the rent on the first day of the month, when do you pay? Quarterly? Weekly? Daily? Yearly? NO. You pay EVERY month...WHY??? Becuase every month has a first day. Note that the word "every" is NOT in the previous statement. We unavoidably conclude that the landlord deems the rent due EVERY MONTH. Can you begin to see how we use unavoidable conclusions in our everyday lives?
Now, please notice the following examples of unavoidable conclusions that are found in God's Word, by looking at the chart (not exhaustive) below:
When God Said
And We Read that:
It is Unavoidable to Conclude:
1. In the law given to Moses, the High Priest was to come from the tribe of Levi...
Jesus is a High Priest, but is NOT of the tribe of Levi, he is from Judah...
That there has (of necessity) been a change in the law
2. In the law given to Moses, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy...
Every week has a seventh (sabbath) day...
they were to keep EVERY Sabbath day (weekly) holy
Can we see from the examples above that there is no alternative except the one that is the "unavoidable" conclusion in these matters? We are not dealing with mere possibilties or things that might be inferred, but rather with clear instances of necessary inferences, or unavoidable conclusions.
Yes, we MUST read, study, and use our God-given mental faculties to "discern" and "reason" what God Wills for man to do! God did not reveal His written Word in command form ONLY! We must realize that via the approved and disapproved examples, direct statements (sometimes in the form of commands), and even sometimes via unavoidable conclusions, the "right or wrong" of a matter will be determined. We must add up all that God has said on a particular matter and harmonize His Word (Psalm 119:160).
Let us "sharpen our skills" in this area of our understanding. It is possible for us to use the good sense that the Lord blessed us with to understand His Will. We need to read, meditate, study and grow in God's Word daily. God bless us all in what is right and may we be defeated in anything that is wrong.
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