“Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’” (Acts 7:48–50, ESV)
For about six years, I taught various courses in a small seminary extension in Savannah Georgia. The courses I taught included the Bible, Bible Doctrine, Pastoral Ministry, and Systematic Theology. On the first day of class when I taught Systematic Theology, I would normally hold up the textbook and give a short introductory speech. It would go something like this.
“Here is the textbook for this course. It is a pretty good book. If it was not, we would not use it. However, it is not infallible. There is only one source that is infallible. It is this other book.” Then I would hold up the Bible. I would then state, “If your understanding of theology, Bible doctrine, and biblical interpretation is not based upon what is contained within the sixty-six books of the Bible it is not correct. Seek to master the Bible and you will do well.”
Too often people tend to shoot from the hip when it comes to biblical and theological premises. People want to base their understanding on traditions, what another person has stated, and sometimes personal feelings rather than developing their views from the Bible. This is a sure fired way to espouse error. People need to know the Scripture.
Stephen when questioned by the high priest, demonstrates what it means to know your Bible, the Scripture. Stephen understood that those that opposed his message of the Messiah had accused him of speaking against the Temple and the law. He begins his apologetic by reviewing the history of Israel up to the construction of Solomon’s Temple. Then he gives the high priest a correct biblical explanation of the infinitude of God. He tells them that God does not dwell in houses made by the hands of men. He quotes the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, from Psalm 11:4, which states that heaven is God’s throne and the earth His footstool. Stephen had a view of God that was transcendent, exceedingly great and beyond full human comprehension. This understanding came from his knowledge of Scripture.
Today, people get into trouble because they do not study the Bible. They will study books about the Bible. They will listen to the teaching of others, which is good. Yet, they most often do not scrutinize what they read and hear based upon the Bible itself. Every believer must study the Bible, all sixty-six books of it. For the Bible is our only infallible source of theological truth.