Back to the Bible 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • May 24, In the year of our Lord, 2015


  1. What Should the Church Emphasize? 
    1. Should the church present meaningless doctrine?
      1. Shall we fear to challenge people to follow God’s will.
      2. Shall we offer
        1. non-distinct,
        2. psychology-oriented doctrine
          1. that defends nothing,
          2. that upholds nothing, and
          3. that amounts to nothing?
    2. Healthy teaching is
      1. straightforward,
      2. simple,
      3. unadulterated, and
      4. Bible-centered.
    3. If the church presents a message
      1. that does not offend anyone,
      2. that does not emphasize working for the Lord,
      3. that does not touch the real needs of people,
        1. the church will be
          1. spineless and
          2. ineffective.
        2. Second Chronicles 15 reveals a time in Israel’s history
          1. when they lacked Bible-teaching, and
          2. the results were not good,

            1 Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him:

            “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin.

            The Lord is with you
            while you are with Him.
            If you seek Him,
            He will be found by you; but
            If you forsake Him,
            He will forsake you.

            3 For a long time Israel has been
            without the true God,
            without a teaching priest, and
            without law; 4 but
            when in their trouble
            they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and
            sought Him,
            He was found by them.

            5 And in those times
            there was no peace to the one who went out, nor
            to the one who came in, but
            great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands.
            6 So nation was destroyed by nation, and
            city by city, for
            God troubled them
            with every adversity.

            7 But you,
            be strong and
            do not let your hands be weak,
            for your work shall be rewarded!”
            (2Ch 15.1–7).

  2. Therefore, Let Us Go Back to the Bible 
    1. Not to denominational doctrine
    2. Not to psychology
    3. Not to games, gimmicks, and gadgets
    4. Not to feelings
      1. Proverbs 28 warns against following feelings,

        26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
        But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
        (Pro 28.26)
      2. Games, gimmicks, and gadgets
        1. do not lead to the Gospel.
        2. Otherwise, the Lord would have told us to use those things.
      3. We thought to Christianize psychology, but psychologized Christianity.
      4. We thought to use the Bible to dominate denominational doctrine, but denominational doctrine dominates the Bible.
    5. Prophets, Jesus, and the apostles show the way for us to follow,

      20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (Isa 8.20).

      16 Thus says the Lord:
      “Stand in the ways and see,
      And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
      And walk in it;
      Then you will find rest for your souls.
      But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
      (Jer 6.16)

      11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen (1Pe 4.11).

      1. Think about the example Jesus set
      2. throughout His life and even in His death,

        25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” 27 So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live” (Luke 10.25–28).

        1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
        Why are You so far from helping Me,
        And from the words of My groaning?
        (Psa 22.1)

        5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
        You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
        (Psa 31.5)

      3. How did Jesus fight off the devil?

        4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

        7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”

        10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matt 4.4, 7, 10).

    6. Not in any of those passages,
      1. did the prophets, Jesus, or the apostles,
      2. use denominational doctrine, psychology, games, gimmicks, gadgets, or feelings.
  3. This Requires Cherishing God 
    1. Job set an example for us,

      12 “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
      I have treasured the words of His mouth
      More than my necessary food.”
      (Job 23.12)
    2. If I cherish God, I cherish whatever He has said.
      1. How do you handle a letter from a loved one?
      2. You do not worship the paper, but
        1. you cherish every word
        2. your loved one said to you.
          1. Every letter any of you have sent me,
          2. I still have, but
            1. I do not worship it.
            2. I do love you.
              1. Every picture or note that one of your children gave to me,
              2. I have kept, but
                1. not to worship it,
                2. rather than because I love your children.


  1. We have to have confidence in God. 
    1. Do we believe He knows what He is doing?
    2. Do we believe He gave the correct word in the first place?
    3. Do we believe that if we
      1. plant and water His word,
      2. He will give the increase.
        1. What if the increase does not come?
        2. Is that on us or
          1. on the Lord and
          2. on the people who reject His word?
  2. The Bible only makes Christians only. 
    1. That is all we call you to be, because
    2. that is all the Lord calls you to be,

      24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” 25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.  26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” 29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains” (Acts 26.24–29).

      1. The question is: Is being a Christian only enough?
        1. What do you need to add to it to make it better, or
        2. what do you need to take away from it to improve it?
      2. The God of heaven knows how to make us what we need to be.
        1. The choice is yours.
        2. Do you want to be
          1. a simple Christian,
          2. nothing more,
          3. nothing less?
            1. If yes, then believe and obey His word only.
            2. Do not add anything else.
  3. Here is how you begin. 
    1. Mark 16.15–16
    2. Acts 8.31–35, 38