What saith the word?
The claim has been made that God was very direct in communicating to us His will, and therefore inference is not needed. This promotes the idea that if God did not say “don’t do it” then it is o.k. Let’s consider a few things which show this is not the case and that inference is needed, especially in the case of the silence of the scriptures on certain subjects. Notice, Deuteronomy 1:5 (KJV) On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying,
In Deuteronomy 1:5 we find Moses declaring the Law to the Israelites. The Hebrew word which is translated as “declare” means to “explain”. When you explain the Law, you are explaining the meaning and how it applies. But, you cannot explain how it applies without using reason, inference, and connecting the words to a correct application. That simply cannot be done without using common sense, utilizing other verses to stop contradictions, and then drawing a necessary inference. An application is always an inference that helps us determine how we are to perform and apply those words to ourselves.
The teaching of inference is not limited to the Old Testament, and is also found in our new Testament. An example can be found in Acts 18:26 (KJV) And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. The word “expounded” means to “expose or declare” something. Clearly, this was done due to a lack of understanding.
Declaring and expounding means to draw the inference of both meaning of words and proper application of words. There is never an escape from having to reason through the process of understanding and proper application. To some the term "inference" sounds rather complicated. Some visualize a dark and complicated reasoning method when they hear the phrase “inference” or "necessary inference." Inference is a reasoning process that is necessary for all in studying the Bible. In studying the cases of conversion in the book of Acts we find the apostles commanding the people to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38). Additionally, we find that every account of conversion involved baptism. It is a necessary inference that we, today, are likewise commanded to do the same as part of our conversion process. Inference helps us to understand that baptism was not only for 1st century Christians.
Don't let anyone fool you about the common sense of reasoning through commands and examples for any Biblical topic. To suggest inference of the scriptures is not necessary is to claim that God does not require reasoning upon His words to properly apply the commands requiring obedience.
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