Possible Inference Versus Necessary Inference

by Terry Wane Benton

It is "of necessity" (necessary) "a change of the Law" for Jesus to be a priest since He was not a Levite (Hebrews 7:11f). In other words, the evidence of Psalms 110 and Jesus being that priest after the order of Melchizedek forces the necessary implication that the Law of Moses would see a change. That is not a "possible" inference. It is a necessary inference, and God expected us to draw from the evidence that necessary inference.

A "possible" inference would be that Philip could run fast to catch up to the Ethiopian chariot. This inference is unnecessary because the chariot could have been moving slowly, or the angle made it possible to catch up. It could be true that Philip was a fast runner, but that is not a necessary inference.

The Samaritan woman drew a necessary inference that Jesus was a prophet. She considered the evidence more thoroughly and wondered if Jesus was the Christ of prophecy. It was a necessary implication from all evidence available that Jesus is the Christ, but she had not yet considered all the evidence. When you consider only part of the evidence, you may see only possible implications, but you may later see more evidence that moves possible inference into necessary inference. Peter presented enough evidence on the day of Pentecost for people to "know assuredly" (a necessary inference) that "this Jesus you crucified is now both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). When we consider all the evidence, we draw the necessary inference that Jesus is both Lord and Christ. That is no longer a mere "possible" inference. It is a necessary inference when all evidence is fairly analyzed.

People who think Jesus was just a good and wise teacher like Moses or Confucious have not considered all the evidence. Jesus was far greater than Moses and Confucious. He is both Lord and Christ. The total evidence forces that conclusion. It is not a mere "possible inference." It is a necessary inference. There are such things as possible inferences, but there are also necessary inferences drawn from tested and total evidence.

You are a sinner, condemned before God, and in need of the salvation offered in Christ Jesus. That is not a possible inference. That is a necessary inference from the total evidence on that topic. There are such things as "possible inferences," but there are also "necessary inferences." Those who pretend otherwise are showing signs of unreasonableness, which is an inference from the evidence that sometimes mounts up to an inescapable conclusion. God expects us to look at the fruit on a tree and reach the necessary inference of what that fruit is displaying.

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