Only one commandment from Jesus??
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(All quotations from the King James Version unless stated otherwise).
The answer is really in the question. If you believe there is ‘One and only Command of Jesus’ then you are sorely in need of knowing a little more about the Bible.
When Philip preached to the Samaritans, they were converted on the basis of being taught ‘the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ’. Not ‘the One and only Command of Jesus’..
Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
You will notice that ‘the things’ is plural.
Jesus reproaches the Sadducees for not knowing the scriptures:
Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
Jesus upbraids his disciples for not believing the things written by the prophets in the Old Testament. This would indicate that they were familiar with the scriptures. Jesus expounds the scriptures to them. He doesn’t say that all they need to know is ‘the One and only Command’.
Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken... 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
When Paul exhorts Timothy, it is not to do with ‘the One and only Command of Jesus’, rather it is to do with doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
If God has caused some 66 books to be written by direct inspiration through some 40 writers is it not reasonable to suppose that God wants us to read them?
2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
As to ‘How well does a follower need to know the Bible’ we need to know, at the very least, enough to avoid being led astray by false teachers.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
We need to know enough to be able to prove for ourselves that the gospel preached is correct.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Paul’s advice to Timothy is clear.
1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine... 15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
There is one doctrine.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
2 John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
There is one gospel.
Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
The word of God is designed to be an inexhaustible supply of food for our spiritual well-being. If we neglect it we do ourselves a disservice.
Matthew 4:4... It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free Bible study course on www.thisisyourbible.com? You may take this course either online or by regular mail.
This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort. You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.
I hope you have found this helpful.
May God bless you,