Are You Covered?
The Fine Print
It comes with tools. It comes with watches. It comes with mattresses. In fact, it comes with most everything you purchase anymore that is of a non-edible nature. What is it? The warranty.
I must admit I am struggling to remember the last time I actually read the fine print of a warranty. However, from what I recall, this microscopic text usually consists of legal jargon that baffles the mind or, maybe with a stroke of luck, puts one to sleep. One concept routinely found within this jungle of wee little words is a list of situations in which this warranty would be rendered null and void.
Among other reasons, manufacturers often consider themselves removed from responsibility should the consumer use the product in a way other than it was designed to be used. In other words, if you use your hedge trimmer to try and cut down that tree in your yard that you can barely wrap your arms around and the hedge trimmer catches on fire in the process, the manufacturer strangely is not going to be replacing that hedge trimmer for you. They rightly refuse to be held responsible for a failure resulting from misuse of the product. It wasn’t a mishap on the manufacturer’s side but rather a misapplication by the user that caused the problem.
Whether we realize it or not, the same thing can be done with the Word of God. We can attempt to use Scripture in ways that it was never intended to be used. This often happens when we select a small text from the Word and try to use it to justify our thinking on something without considering the intent of the paragraphs surrounding it and its meaning in light of Scripture as a whole. If our interpretation of one verse contradicts what the Bible says in other places, we are inappropriately handling that verse. God does not contradict himself, but rather the Scriptures exist in perfect unity from the first word in Genesis to the last word in Revelation.
Just like manufacturers do not honor misuse of their product, God will not honor misuse of his Word. He is not bound by a our erroneous employment of his instructions. Furthermore, our calculated “misunderstanding” of the Scripture will not be the standard by which we are held accountable when we stand before him. We will be judged in light of the Truth as He intended it, not the truth as we chose to conveniently see it.
God never intended for the Truth to be hard to come by. In fact, he so wanted us to come to a knowledge of the truth that He sent someone to help us discover it. That someone is the Holy Spirit.
When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future. (John 16:13)
One of Holy Spirit’s duties is to open the Word of God to us and give us understanding so that we can know the truth and thereby be made free. As we diligently seek to know the Truth through prayer and study, Holy Spirit will open our eyes to see the wonderful treasures in God’s Word.
One thing Holy Spirit will never do, however, is speak anything to us that contradicts God’s written Word. The Scripture in John 16:13 says that He will not speak on His own. That means He will never speak apart from God the Father and Jesus the Son. If we ever think that the Spirit is speaking to us something “new” that isn’t backed up by the written Word of God as a whole, we better listen again. It just doesn’t happen.
The Final Print
Rightly divide the Word of God and we will find that it proves itself true again and again. Wrongly divide the Scriptures and we might as well be banking our life upon the fantasies of a grocery store tabloid. The power of the Word comes in the proper perception of the Word. God wants us to get it. God has made a way for us to have it . It is Truth and that Truth will set us free.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15)