For God is not the author of confusion,
but of peace,...
1 Corinthians 14:33
Knowing this first,
that no prophecy of the scripture
is of any private interpretation.
2 Peter 1:20
God is the author of order, out of order comes peace. Order in life, as in all things, necessitates borders, boundaries and rules all built upon a base of set principles. These principles are the general truths, the accepted conventions, that all else is founded upon. As it is in life, so it is when it comes to the study of God's word, there must also be order, rules governing a proper understanding of its teachings and doctrines in opposition to private interpretations which give no regard to any such guiding limitations. The biblical precepts are simply God's stated principles or the general truths on how he has determined and established all things; no doctrine or teaching can be correct if it attempts to evade or fails to conform to any one of them.
There are only two religions in the world, the right one and the wrong one. They are quite easy to tell apart. The wrong one is based wholly or in part on man's works, the right one is not of man's works. The wrong one says don't worry it will be alright, the right one says your dead and one heartbeat from hell. The wrong one says you've got time, the right one says today, now. The wrong one makes allowances, the right one demands sinless perfection; and provides it for you.
D. Paul Walker
In the forward to the book "Forerunners, A History of the English Baptists" lies one of the great truths of religious understanding, a description of the true Church and its false counterpart.
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts. 17I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone, because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.
The intrinsic value of everything is known by putting it to the proof. The dross falls off by the test to which it is subject, and there remains behind the fine gold. The present day is one that subjects everything to the crucible. Every age has its characteristics and the age in which we live has this as its prominent feature. The veneration of bygone years and the reverence bestowed by ancestral worth, the blessing of mature judgment, enlarged understanding and exalted intellect; such pleas characterized the years gone by, but are now regarded as among the littlenesses of a childhood state or the weaknesses of times that had not the courage or the manliness to speak out; all is as nothing in the estimation of our modern thought. Everything must yield to the crucible of criticism, as if it had never before been tested. We are in the age of manhood, when it is noble to doubt and manly to deny; when the imbecility of bygone years has given way to a self-proclaimed intellectual vigor, and elevated understanding, and a higher tone of religious thought.
In the "The Methodology Of Salvation" it was discussed and the biblical evidence given showing that salvation is by grace through faith and as such cannot be wholly or in part by works.
Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;…
Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Sink the Bible to the bottom of the ocean, and still man's obligations to God would be unchanged. He would have the same path to tread, only his lamp and his guide would be gone; the same voyage to make, but his chart and compass would be overboard.
Henry Ward Beecher
If God has called you to be really like Christ in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility and put on you such demands of obedience, that He will not allow you to follow other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.
Others can brag on themselves, and their work, on their success, on their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.