Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 23, 1961

Advice Or Guide?

Carl A. Allen, Crockett, Texas

"Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16-17) The Bible has been misused, disused; slandered and blasphemed; abused and reviled, but it still is the means of God directing man while on the earth. Contained in the contexts of this book are the commandments, which man is required to keep. (2 Jno. 9-11; Gal. 1:8-9) Contrary to what many think, the Bible is not an advice book but a GUIDE book.

There are in the world many who have guides other than the Bible. Many religious organizations have what may be termed as "creed books;" because, within these books is the doctrine of their faith. Obviously the reason for these books is to explain their doctrine. I will admit that they are needed because most of the doctrine taught by them cannot be found in the Bible; hence, the book of explanation. These books become their guide while the Bible lies as an advice book, to be accepted or rejected according to the will and discretion of man.

I have often asked myself the question: "Which shall it be: the guide book or the advice book?" From the teaching of the scriptures set forth in the first paragraph the Bible must be used as a guide book. Anything more than the Bible is too much, and anything less than the Bible is not enough. I want just the Bible that I may have the hope of eternal life. (Acts 20:32)

If I teach just the Bible I do not need a book of explanation of what I believe. I teach that baptism is essential to salvation and this is confirmed by the scriptures (Mk. 16:16); that baptism is immersion (Col. 2:12); and that it is for the washing of sins (Acts 22:16), or for the remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) I do not need such books as: "The Confession of Faith," "Discipline of the Methodist Church," "Catholic Belief," "A New Baptist Church Manual," etc.; (which have been written by men), to confirm what I teach. I just turn to the Bible and point it out. Why? Because the Bible is my guide book.

When men begin to teach doctrines that cannot be found in the word of God; then, the curse of heaven is upon them. (Gal. 1:8-9) How will it fare with you; my friend on the day of judgment? Will you then look upon the Bible as an advice book instead of a guide book? (Jno. 12:48)