Can Declarative Statements Be Binding Upon Men Today?

Yes.

Some believe that only expressed commands in the Bible are bound upon men today. But what about declarative sentences in the Bible? Are any of them binding?

A declarative statement is simply declaring or making a statement of what something is or is not. For example, the sky is blue. It is from studying the specific, declarative statement, the immediate context (what surrounds that specific declaration), and the remote context (the overall context of the Bible), and using the principles of logic that we can derive whether a given declarative statement is for us today.

An example of a declarative statement that is not binding upon us today is as follows:

1. 1 Corinthians 14:27-32. The reason that this declarative statement (and others like it) is not binding upon us today is because the miraculous age of the first century was only for a limited period of time and has since ceased (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; Ephesians 4:7-16). [NOTE: Though this specific case involving the miraculous no longer applies/is binding today, the underlying principle (that two male speakers in a congregation should take turns in speaking so as to not cause confusion in the church.) is still binding].

There are other declarative statements that we know that are binding upon us today. It is from studying the specific declarative statement, the immediate context (what surrounds that specific declarative statement), and the remote context (the overall context of the Bible), and using the principles of logic that we can derive whether a given declarative statement is for us today.

Below are a few examples of declarative statements which are binding today:

Mark 16:16 - The sentence structure is not in the form of a command (it is not in the imperative mood), but is declaring that something is the case. The sinner who "believes and is baptized shall be saved." The sinner who "does not believe will be condemned." From the remote context, Acts 2:38 and Acts 10:47,48 gives water baptism as a commandment that is necessary to obey in order to be saved from a person's past sins. As long as people sin, people are going to be in need of a Savior who can save them from their sins. It is declared as fact that the required, initial obedience involves a mandatory. scriptural belief and immersion.

John 20:30,31 - The sentence structure is not in the form of a command (it is not in the imperative mood), but is declaring that something is the case. The person who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God can have life in His name. From the remote context, Acts 16:30 teaches that belief is necessary in order to be saved from a person's past sins. It is declared as fact that the required, initial obedience involves a mandatory. scriptural belief (among other acts of obedience).



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Joey FerrellHermeneutics