I’m really bothered by people who focus only on the negative side of their faith. There are some that are SO engrossed in the rules, keeping the rules and on others keeping their rules that they miss what the gospel is really all about. For example, a bulletin article from a church I won’t name, rolled across my desk last week. The title of the article was, “5 Reasons We Should Study the Bible.” Here were their five reasons to study the bible…
- So we can increase our knowledge to fight against false teaching.
- So we can stand against false doctrine.
- So we can tell our lost friends the truth about the bible that they don’t want to hear.
- So we can defend the truth against new teachings.
- So we can be uncompromising in our fight against unscriptural teaching.
WHAT? I’m really confused on this. I don’t know about you, but I think somewhere the writer missed the most important things like …
- Study to learn God’s will for your life.
- Study to learn how to be more like Christ.
- Study to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Savior.
- Study to learn about what Jesus did for you.
- Study to learn about forgiveness, salvation and love.
- Study to learn to share the gospel with others.
- Study to learn to show kindness, mercy and grace to others.
- And on and on…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for taking a stand when needed, but if those first 5 points are the only reason you’re studying your bible, you’re missing what the bible is all about. The gospel is NOT about rules, it’s about relationship. It’s not a plan for debating those you don’t agree with, but a plan for salvation. It’s not a lesson on how to do the smack-down on your unscriptural friends, but it’s a lesson in God’s love being so great that He’d let his Son die for us. THAT is what the bible is all about.
Jesus told the Pharisees in John 5:39, “You’ve got your heads in the scripture (the bible) thinking you’ll find eternal life there, but you miss it … it’s right in front of you (Jesus).” All the Pharisees did was spend time in the scripture trying to make sure they and others were right about stuff. Because they were so concerned with being right they missed Jesus, the very one who was right in front of them.
Like it or not, I’m going to say it … if your religion is only about those first five points, I don’t want to be a part of your religion. It’s okay to stand for what the bible teaches, but don’t get SO caught up in doing it that you miss the important stuff in the bible… like Jesus.