The Sum of God's Word
by Ken Barnes

The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.
(Psalm 119:160 NASB)

All of God’s word is true, yet taking one part of it without considering the other parts, will not lead you to the truth.

You can make the Bible say whatever you want, just by emphasizing one portion and ignoring other parts. The Bible always interprets itself. You must compare Scripture with Scripture.  Most false religions base their beliefs on certain verses in the Bible, but not the full counsel of God.  The New Testament admonishes us to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV).  Find out what a verse means in the context of where and when it was written and compared to other Scripture.

In the Bible, you have absolute and relative truths.  Absolute truths are ones where you see no alternative meanings in any other segments of the Bible.  A relative truth applies to a specific time frame or cultural setting, but cannot be universally applied.  An example of this is men and long hair. In I Corinthians 11:14Paul forbids men to have long hair, yet in Numbers 6:5-6, the Nazarites were forbidden to cut their hair. Apparently, the length of hair for a man is not a universal issue.  Taking an absolute truth and making it relative is liberalism.  Making a relative truth into an absolute is legalism.  Neither path brings us to the truth.

Are you rightly dividing the word of truth?  Do you have a favorite verse in the Bible, but ignore its balance in other parts of Scripture?  If you are, you may be trending toward liberalism or legalism.  Only the sum of God’s word is truth.

 



I worked for seventeen years as a missionary with Youth With A Mission.  My missionary work has taken me to Mexico, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, and the Ukraine.I hold a Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University.  [email protected]

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