Balancing the Sword - A comprehensive study guide to life's manual
Perfect to frame the discussions of your family worship or a church-wide study.


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Bonus:  Biblical Basis for Endorsements

Did you know that the Bible encourages the use of  testimonials, reviews, and endorsements?  That's right!  We should strongly consider the opinions of others within the body of believers.  Does this mean the masses are always right?  No.  However, twice Solomon wrote, "in the multitude of counsellers there is safety" (Pr. 11:14; 24:6).  In Proverbs 15:22, he stated, "Without counsel purposes are disappointed:  but in the multitude of counsellers they are established."  In essence, Solomon gave three confirmations of the same thought.

We should avoid giving our own endorsements as much as possible.  "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips" (Pr. 27:2).  This does not mean that we cannot assert our positions, nor does it teach that we cannot defend ourselves when questioned.  Both Jesus and Paul assumed positions of authority and defended their reputations.  "It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.  I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me" (Jn. 8:17-18).  Paul opened his third chapter of 2 Corinthians asking, "Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?" (2Co. 3:1).  His reputation and authority had been thoroughly questioned by some troublemakers.  Later in the epistle, Paul asserted, "Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more. . ." (2Co. 11:23-30).  He continued in the next chapter, "I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me:  for I ought to have been commended of you:  for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing" (2Co. 12:11).

Generally speaking, we ought not to trust those who endorse themselves, especially when they are the only ones testifying of their goodness.  Notice what Jesus said,  "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.  There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.  Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.  But I receive not testimony from man:  but these things I say, that ye might be saved" (Jn. 5:31-34).

The Apostle Paul said of himself and those who stood with him, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves" (2Co. 10:12; cf., Ro. 16:1).  

We need to seek a minimum of two or three reputable endorsements.  Legal actions under Mosaic Law had to be supported by witnesses who could withstand questioning.  For, "at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established" (Dt. 19:15; cf., Nu. 35:30; Dt. 17:6; Mt. 18:16; 2Co. 13:1).

The most important lesson we draw from the significance of witnesses is that Jesus has called us to be as John the Baptist--a witness for the great Shepherd and Lamb of God.  We people see us, are we an "epistle written . . ., known and read of all men" (2Co. 3:2) that clearly points to the beauty of Christ?  Do others believe that the Word of God transforms (Ro. 12:2) sinners to have the fruit of wisdom and holiness?  The Devil--"the accuser of our brethren" (Rev. 12:10)--lays His greatest accusations against Christ to condemn Christ as only a man, as egocentric and delusional, as bigoted, as unfair.  We are the multitude of witnesses that testify against those accusations.  Please, dear brothers and sisters, let His perfection and love be evident by our words and actions.

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Balancing the Sword is a structured study guide for every chapter of the Bible.