If you are in the habit of conversing with Christians, and even non-Christians, you might notice a trend:
People tend to take snippets out of the Bible and base their life decisions on those snippets.
This is an issue, and it can be a huge issue. The Bible is meant to be read, understood and followed in its entirety. If you believe that certain parts of what God says are “for real” and other parts of His Word are simply “advice”, you are heading down a dangerous path.
The Bible, as a whole, is God’s instruction manual to His people, similarly to how you have an instruction manual for your car.
If, with your car, you follow the advice about changing your oil regularly but don’t follow the advice about replacing your brakes as needed, you are obviously headed for trouble. The Bible works much in the same way.
It is meant to be read, understood, and followed as a whole. This doesn’t necessarily mean you do every task listed in the Bible, as some suggestions are based on the habits of the time period, and some are based for all time.
For instance, in the book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 23, verse 12-13, the Israelites are commanded to leave the camp when they have to “poo”, dig a hole, and cover it up. This is a task instructed for the specific time and place, and is not necessary for most people in the modern world due to the blessing of the modern sewer system.
However, when God says in Proverbs 22:7 that the borrow is servant to the lender, and in Romans 13:8 that we are to “owe no man, except in love”, He is giving us instruction for all time.
My point here is that often times we take and follow the rules and instructions in the Bible that are comfortable for us, and dismiss the rest as garble. This leads to so much destruction in life, as we see from the many people in the world who suffer from serious financial problems and life problems that have arisen from the accumulation of debt, for instance.
But, the Bible is Too Hard to Understand
Someone once told me that we each have the right to interpret the Bible as best as we see fit. This is a lie. The Bible is NOT subject to our interpretation – we are subject to the instructions set forth in the Bible. It is our responsibility to work continuously to find out what God means by a specific instruction or law, and not be content to ASS-U-ME that we know what He’s talking about by hanging onto one specific verse instead of the Bible as a whole.
We learn to do this by committing to reading the ENTIRE Bible, over and over again, until we “get it”. This is no easy task. I’ve been reading the Bible daily for over 6 years now, and I still have lots to learn, but the puzzle pieces are starting to fit into place for me now. When I read a section of the Bible, I’m more easily able to put it together with the rest of what the Word says because I better understand the Word in its entirety.
If you are truly looking to get the most out of your relationship with Jesus, and are wanting to walk in His best for your life, then bless yourself by becoming a student of the Word – the entire Word - of God.