SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Wednesday August 14, 1996


What unbiblical doctrines are the counterpart to the teachings of the following passages?

Jesus did not teach that the church is built on Peter and the bishops of Rome through the centuries. Matthew 16:18 contrasts Peter (Greek: petros), a movable stone, with the immovable Rock (Greek: petra), Christ, upon whom the church is established. "For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 3:11, RSV). Peter himself taught that Christ is the foundation of the church (1 Peter 2:6-8; compare Eph. 2:20). Moreover, He alone is the Head of the church. No human bishop can usurp His divine authority. (See Eph. 1:22, 23; Eph. 5:23.)

There is no Bible support for confession of sins to a priest. Only Christ is our Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5; 1 John 2:1; Heb. 9:15).

Some churches have gone beyond the sixteenth-century reformers, teaching that the doctrine of salvation by faith/grace alone releases believers from the requirement of obeying God's law of Ten Commandments. By contrast, the Bible teaching of obedient works of faith is unmistakable. The Ten Commandments remain God's great standard of righteousness to which He asks us to conform by dependence upon Christ (Rom. 3:31; Rom. 7:7, 12, 14; Rom. 8:3, 4; Rev. 12:17).

Other churches deny the full deity of Jesus Christ, asserting that He is either an inferior deity or merely a human being. The Bible teaches that Christ is God, equal in authority and power with the Father and the Holy Spirit (Col. 1:19; John 5:18; John 8:58 [compare Exod. 3:14]).

Yet other churches teach that the saints are secretly raptured to heaven before Jesus comes. The Bible teaches that not until Jesus appears with His angels are the saints taken to heaven (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-54).

Because of their acceptance of the natural immortality of the soul, many churches today are open to the influence of spiritism. (See Rev. 16:13, 14; 2 Thess. 2:8-12.)