Graphic of a Bible - our authority in all religious matters A standard is that which is set up and established by an authority as a criterion, test, or reference. In matters that concern the soul, a standard is the source of right (true) answers to questions which concern the salvation of the soul.

It is obvious that standards are necessary in ordinary activities of life. There are standards to properly operate a football, basketball, or baseball game. There are standards to mail letters and packages through the Post Office. There are standards for paying taxes on properties, autos, and incomes. In fact, without these standards, chaos would prevail.

The Bible is God’s standard for men. But when it comes to the abiding by the God’s standard, people will reject it. Why? Because people either do not realize the Bible is God’s standard for Christian living and worship, or they know it and do not care!

When people reject the Bible standard (either knowingly or ignorantly), they will establish themselves as the authority and develop their own standard. They establish for themselves a false standard. There are many feeble appeals to humanly originated standards.

SOME USE THEIR FEELINGS AS THEIR STANDARD. Feelings are fickle and fleeting. One moment a person may feel secure in their emotional high, but then depression sets in. Now, security is gone. They have trusted in themselves, that is, in their feelings. Solomon said, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof is death” (Proverbs 16:24). Jeremiah concurred with Solomon by saying, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Man’s feelings are not the standard for they cannot save.

SOME USE THEIR CONSCIENCES AS THEIR STANDARD. One should never violate their conscience (Romans 14:23). But what if the conscience does not think there anything wrong with committing adultery? Would that make adultery right? Of course not! The conscience does not tell man what truth is. Truth must be learned from the Bible. Jesus said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Truth is external to the conscience, and truth must be learned. Therefore, the conscience must be taught what is right, good, and acceptable to God. Even though Saul said he had lived “in all good conscience”, he thought of himself as the “chief of sinners” (I Timothy 1:15; Acts 23:1).

SOME USE THEIR HUMAN CREEDS AS THEIR STANDARD. But human creeds are just what they are; HUMAN. They are not divine! Proverbs 16: 25 and Jeremiah 10:23 apply again. “It is not within man that walketh to direct his steps.” If the creed says more or less than the Bible, then it violates Revelation 22:18, 19. If the creed says the same as the Bible, then it is not necessary. Human creeds are not acceptable and ought to be rejected.

CHRISTIANS USE THE BIBLE AS THEIR STANDARD. Why? Because it is the all-sufficient standard (II Timothy 3:16, 17). It teaches us how to go to heaven. It explains how to be pleasing to God in daily living and worship. It warns of false teaching and evil doers which would eternally jeopardize our souls. God’s standard must not be overlooked, shunned, or neglected.

Gilbert Gough