Monday, June 3, 2013

Does the Bible have to command something 3 times for it to be a requirement for the Christian?

I had never heard this line of thinking until receiving this question yesterday. The individual who asked this question states that it is being taught by some that “God has to say something three times in the bible for it to be followed by Christians”. Is this true?

Answer: No, at times God only has to say something once for it to be a command. 
There are no passages of Scripture that state a command must be repeated in 3 places for it to be law. It is true that one should look at the entirety of Scripture to be sure that the conclusion they are drawing about a command is valid, however, if a command is clear, precise and easy to understand, why would it need to be repeated 2 more times? How many times does God have to say “Don’t steal” for one to understand that one should not steal?

As already mentioned, there are no passages of Scripture that require a command or teaching to be repeated 3 times. There are however, several passages that tell Christians to do what God says.
    • "He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day” (John 12:48).
    • “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (1 John 3:24).
    • “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
    • "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (Matthew 7:21).

The Bible is more than just a book of “commands”. It contains great promises, wonderful examples and true guidance on how to live a godly life. It is true that God requires obedience and it is true that one must study Scripture in order to determine how God wants us to live. It is NOT true, that God must say something at least 3 times in order for it to be followed. In fact the command to “not forsake the assembly” (Hebrews 10:25) is only mentioned once. I would imagine that if a person is promoting this line of thinking, it is to avoid following a command of God, because this idea is not supported by Scripture.

By Cliff Sabroe - Quotations from NASB95