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Scripture Reading: Luke 12:54-57

Bible Authority, Part 10


Necessary Inferences: Judging What is Right



1.  How to establish and apply Bible authority has always been under attack by the wisdom, will and traditions of men, Matt. 15:3, 7-9.

  a.  Some reject the binding nature of apostolic approved examples.

  b.  Another such area of attack is on necessary inference as a Scriptural way of establishing binding authority.

2.  An equally disturbing development is mistaking personal opinions as necessary inferences, and then binding them on others.

3.  Jesus expects us to judge what is right by drawing correct inferences from the evidence that exists (what His word says), Lk. 12:54-57.



  A.  Necessary inference (NI) is a matter of judging “righteous judgment” that is based on revealed truth, Jno. 7:24.  Therefore…

    1.  NI must be deduced from what God has spoken in Scripture, Matt. 22:31-32.

    2.  Every inference is not a necessary inference, Jno. 21:20-23.

    3.  NI is not rendered from subjective sources such as feeling, personal conviction or conscience, Acts 26:9, 23:1.

  B.  NI will harmonize with all that is revealed and previously known to be true.

    1.  Example of an inference that was not necessary (that led to perverting truth) is found in 2 Pet. 3:4-9:

      a.  Some said the Lord was not returning because they inferred everything was as it has always been (3:4).  Their inference was flawed…

      b.  They willfully failed to take into account:

        1)  The flood (3:5-7), and 

        2)  The nature of God (3:8-9).

      c.  Therefore, Peter exposed their error, noting that they were “walking according to their own lusts” rather than from a determined resolve to do the will of God (3:3; Jno. 7:16-17). 

      d.  When one is driven by his own lusts he will draw unnecessary inferences that twist the Scriptures (see 2 Pet. 3:16).

  C.  NI is the only conclusion that can be inferred from what is said or done. 

    1.  Gen. 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

         -We necessarily infer God existed before creation, although not stated; the natural and only conclusion inferred from what is said.

    2.  Gen. 12:10; 13:1: Although Scripture does not overtly say Lot went to Egypt with Abram, we necessarily infer it from the information that is provided:

       a.  Lot had traveled to Haran with Abram (Gen. 11:31).

       b.  Lot traveled into Canaan with Abram (Gen. 12:5).

       c.  Abram went down to Egypt (Gen. 12:10).

       d.  When Abram left Egypt, Lot was with him (Gen. 13:1).

            -(Hermeneutics, Dungan, 91-92)

    3.  Matt. 3:16: We necessarily infer that Jesus went down into the water before he “came up…from the water.”

  D.  NI is a conclusion or judgment that is inferred (discerned) from what is known, Lk. 12:54-57.

    1.  They inferred “a shower is coming” when there was “a cloud rising out of the west”, Lk. 12:54.

    2.  When they saw the south wind blow they inferred, “There will be hot weather” and were correct, Lk. 12:55.

    3.  Jesus expects us to use NI to arrive at truth, Lk. 12:56-57.

    4.  John 3:2: Nicodemus nec. inferred Jesus was a “teacher come from God” because:

      a.  Jesus was working miracles (signs).

      b.  Miracles only occur with the power and presence of God.

      c.  Therefore, Nicodemus necessarily inferred that God had sent Jesus and was with Jesus.

    5.  John 9:30-33: Blind man used NI to silence the Pharisees:

      a.  God doesn’t hear sinners (Prov. 15:29).

      b.  Miracle of sight to the blind means God is with such a one.

      c.  Since Jesus gave him sight it must mean Jesus is from God!

  E.  NI is a decisive way of establishing Bible authority, Acts 15:12.

    1.  Illus. – Authority for frequency of Lord's Supper relies on NI, Acts 20:7.

    2.  Illus. – Authority we have to allow remarriage is based on NI:

      a.  Matthew 19:9: And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.

      b.  We necessarily infer that when fornication is the cause for putting away one does not commit adultery in remarriage.

      c.  Without NI there would be no scriptural remarriage.



  A.  Some Necessary Inferences that Bind Truth upon Us:

    1.  Salvation by faith without law of Moses, Acts 15:12.

    2.  Existence of God, Rom. 1:20.

    3.  Jesus the Son of God, Jno. 20:30-31.

    4.  Resurrection of the dead, Matt. 22:31-32.

    5.  Frequency of Sabbath (bound on Israel), Exo. 20:11.

    6.  Frequency of Lord’s supper, Acts 20:7.

    7.  Right of remarriage given the innocent, Matt. 19:9.   

  B.  Personal Opinions (Scruples of Conscience) must not be Bound on Others, Rom. 14:1. “Is your inference truly necessary?”



1.  NI establishes divine authority; we must rightly divide God’s word to draw the necessary inferences.

2.  Accomplished by carefully holding to the revealed word of Christ without speculations, opinions and “disputes and arguments over words”, 1 Tim. 6:3-4.


Illustration of a person failing to respect the necessary inference for scriptural remarriage in Matthew 19:9:

In conclusion, marriage is for life, and not even adultery is an exception to divorce and remarry. If couples divorce, they are to remain single or be reconciled according to 1 Corinthians 7:11. If anyone divorces and remarries while their spouse is still alive, then they are living in adultery and must repent and forsake the sin. It is a matter of salvation as no adulterers will inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)

Blessings in Christ,"