“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness … that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:16)
I am currently participating in a Bible Study that I do not believe is accurate — at least not according to the scriptures. The study, delivered by a well known speaker includes a host of videos and each week, those of us who attend watch the video and then discuss its content. But me? I have preferred to hold back on my thoughts until this particular study is finished because I don’t believe one can effectively dispute something if they have not considered the range of perspectives offered in a study such as this one — in its entirety. For me, that would be like judging a movie based on one specific line, or referencing one sentence out of a whole story, or cutting one paragraph out of a speech. It would, as a consequence, completely change the context.
But when we read our Bible, we are reading His Word. The entire Bible is God breathed and it gives an EXACT account of what has happened in the world and what will happen. More importantly, the Bible outlines the greatest love story ever told. As such, the scriptures are full of life-giving information that our Lord God and Saviour wants us to instill in our hearts. To this end, He ensures that every word is placed exactly where it should be so that those of us who seek Him and His righteousness can understand His unique plan for our lives. The Bible states in Hebrews 11:6 that “without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
But more often than not, I see the Bible being cut up into small portions and a specific scriptural passage used to prove a particular point. At times, sadly, I have done this too. I have used verses in my blogs without always reading the entire chapter for context. As long as the verse goes with what I am trying to say, in my mind, it must be an accurate assessment. Right? Hardly, and this explains why I have been rightly corrected for doing this because when you take a verse out of the proper context or in isolation of other scriptures that together need to be included to align, the message changes. Just like taking one line from a movie.
Although my use of a verse or verses in this fashion has never been intentional, I do not profess to be a Biblical scholar. I am an ordinary woman who is seeking the truth, and trusting the Lord Jesus for my knowledge and wisdom in a real world that does everything it can to take my focus away from the Lord.
So, when I spoke up today in Bible study and said that I didn’t agree with everything this study had to say, I was blessed. Why? Because the leader of the study told me she too always accepted what she heard with caution until she could compare the Bible Study contents to scripture and ensure that the message could be scripturally supported. This is why we need the scriptures from the ENTIRE Bible to align if we are to understand the meaning.
You see, the Bible is a living document. The Word of God — delivered to us at a significant cost. This one book shares the story about how much God loves us, and how far He would go to bring us into fellowship with Him. To make us His sons and daughters. His children. No longer servants but His friends. The Bible includes the history of the apostolic church and outlines the purpose of the entire universe and all the people in it. In saying this, if you are looking at the scriptures and wondering if you are understanding the meaning correctly, then compare the specific verses that you are reading to other verses on the same subject in the entire Bible. In this regard, a good concordance is helpful, but the same can be found online.
Just remember, that the old testament represents the old covenant whereby people were subject to the law. The new testament or new covenant is about this current time in which we live — on this side of the cross — and is known as the covenant of grace. It tells us how the law served as a schoolmaster to make us aware of our sin but when we accept Jesus into our hearts, and make Him Lord of our endeavours, we are saved by grace. There is nothing that we could do to earn our salvation. Jesus paid the price once and for all. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 3:24-25; Hebrews 7:19; 9:22; Hebrews 10)
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where [is] the wise? Where [is] the scribe? Where [is] the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified — unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness — but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are … that no flesh should glory in his presence.” (I Corinthians 1:18-29)
So, what have I learned? Whether it is a preacher, a good friend, a Bible study leader, a famous well-known author, etc., that is teaching you the truths from the Bible, make sure that you can back everything that is being said scripturally before you accept it as truth. Why? Because history shows that many people have used the Bible in the past to destroy lives and to deceive people, causing numerous misunderstandings.
Instead, put on the full armour of God. Be competent and equipped with the Word of God for EVERY good work that comes from Him who dwells in you.