Recently, I have heard a lot of talk about people picking and choosing what they want to believe in the Bible. My Dad, once said that if you don't believe everything you read in the Bible, you should just sit down with a Sharpie and cross out the stuff you want to ignore. Can you imagine doing that? I can't, but essentially, that is what we are doing when we read Scripture and don't accept it as truth.
What is the basis of my belief system?
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed. That means that every word came from Him.
Who am I to pick and chose?
He is the Creator of the Universe. He holds everything in the palm of His hand. It is because of Him that the sun and the moon rise everyday. It is because of Him that our earth continues to orbit, without crashing to destruction. I can't compete with that. If God has said it, I need to believe it.
Sometimes it is hard for our human brain to accept everything we read in the Bible as real and truth. We (and I) need to overcome that spirit of unbelief. Our enemy would like nothing better than to distract us and take us down a different path.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! - Galatians 1:6-9
Paul is specifically referring to Christ being the only way to salvation, but I think that we could apply that to the rest of Scripture. The word grace used in verse 6 is the greek word Charis which means the grace of God that "strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues". Scripture is supposed to teach us, warn us and enable us to be more like Christ.
That scares me a little and it should! If anyone believes anything other than what Christ taught, they will not go to heaven. That is the "curse" from verse 9.
So what can we do about this?
Read and learn what God says about living a life that brings us closer to Him. That means reading the Bible at times other than Sunday during church.
We need to prepare our minds to accept His truth.
I love the Joel Olsteen quote that he uses before teaching. Everyone listening to his messages stands, holds up their bible and says, "This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do. Today I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess my mind is alert, my heart is receptive; I'll never be the same. In Jesus name, God bless you."
Pray for all of our unbelief to be overcome.
There is a story in Mark about a man who brings his son to Jesus to be healed. The disciples try and cannot heal the boy. Jesus says to them, that their lack of faith (and unbelief) is what kept them from living in the power of God. The man says to Jesus, "help me overcome my unbelief". The MacArthur Bible Commentary says it perfectly. "Admitting the imperfection of his faith, mixed as it was with doubt, the desperate father pleaded with Jesus to help him to have the greater faith the Lord demanded of him."
We can go confidently to the only one who can help us!
Lord, I believe that the Bible is a gift from you. Help me to read it, learn it and accept it as Your truth. I confess that I have not believed everything You said. Please help me to overcome my unbelief. In Jesus, precious name, Amen.