“Remain in My Word”
“If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”—JOHN 8:31, 32.
What It Means: Jesus’ “word” means his teachings, which came from a higher source. “The Father himself who sent me has given me a commandment as to what to tell and what to speak,” said Jesus. (John 12:49) In prayer to his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, Jesus said: “Your word is truth.” He frequently quoted God’s Word to support his teachings. (John 17:17; Matthew 4:4, 7, 10) True Christians, therefore, ‘remain in his word’—that is, they accept God’s Word, the Bible, as “truth” and the ultimate authority for their beliefs and practices.
How Early Christians Measured Up: The most prolific Christian Bible writer, the apostle Paul, shared Jesus’ respect for God’s Word. He wrote: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial.” (2 Timothy 3:16) Men appointed to teach fellow Christians had to “hold fast to the sure and trustworthy Word of God.” (Titus 1:7, 9, The Amplified Bible) Early Christians were admonished to reject “the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.”—Colossians 2:8.
Who Fit the Pattern Today?: According to the Vatican’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, adopted in 1965 and quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “It is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the [Catholic] Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence.” An article in Maclean’s magazine quoted a minister in Toronto, Canada, who asked: “Why do we need a ‘revolutionary’ voice from two millennia ago to guide us? We have fabulous ideas of our own, that are constantly weakened by having to tie them back to Jesus and Scripture.”
Regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses, the New Catholic Encyclopedia states: “They regard the Bible as their only source of belief and rule of conduct.” Recently, a man in Canada interrupted one of Jehovah’s Witnesses as she was introducing herself. “I know who you are,” he said, pointing at her Bible, “by your signature.”