The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it.
On the surface this sounds like a very honest approach to the Bible, doesn't it? I mean, it's saying that God is right no matter what we think, isn't it? I used to think so, but not anymore. Instead, it has forced many to become religious manipulators against their own better judgment. I know ... I was there. I felt the contradictions in my innermost being as I watched fear undermining the bits of freedom I sought to instill in those who heard me. I just didn't get it. All I knew was that I had to teach "the whole counsel of God". And I had wished that it didn't have to be that way. I loved what I was learning about freedom in Christ, but if I didn't tell those believers about their "responsibility" then how would they know that they needed to act according to God's will?
But then again, how is it that I could have studied my Bible and not have known the answer to that question? Jesus said it rather simply,
You search the scriptures, because you think that in THEM you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of ME John 5:39
I had that verse memorized and I understood how it applied to religious UNBELIEVERS, but I didn't have a clue that it was just as appropriate toward us religious BELIEVERS who still held to the error that BIBLICAL understanding meant SPIRITUAL understanding.
When I say things like this it usually raises the issue of the "inspiration of the scriptures". The funny thing about it is that I had approached the Bible from that basis and lo and behold it was the Bible itself that made it clear to me that the life is not found in the BIBLE, but only in Christ. Go figure. And in this instance, the Bible also tells me that the Spirit of God within me through the miraculous work of God is the reason I know God - and His desires. Fear teaches us to think that God is not doing His work in His children.