I read this past week where someone stated, “I need to use a quote from the Bible to argue my position.” The person was trying to make a point on a particular issue and was looking for some divine backup.
This highlights a common practice in today’s culture, a total disregard for the Bible’s position on an issue while wanting the Bible to back their position on an issue. The Scriptures were not inspired and preserved to lend support to our own personal agendas.
The Scriptures were written to reveal to us God’s divine nature and holy will for His glory and our good. They give us an understanding of His perspective on the many issues we come across in life so we can make good decisions that glorify God and are best for us. God does not want us to be enslaved to our passions and sin. He wants us to live free from enslavement to our sin nature.
Sadly, many ignore reading and studying God’s Word misapprehending its meaning and subsequently misapplying it to lend support to their own personal perspective. Here is a typical example.
When Christians speak out against sin and immorality their accusers will quote, completely out of context, Matthew 7:1 where Jesus said, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” If they took the time and expended the effort to read down through verse five they would discover that Jesus was addressing those hypocrites whose lives are so seriously flawed they have no business pointing out the flaws in others.
To refrain from making judgments contradicts the admonition of Jesus who commanded us, “do not judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment,” John 7:24. The collective counsel of Jesus in these two verses tells me I am to avoid hypocritical and superficial judgments, and to make righteous judgments.
It is not hypocritical or unrighteous for believers to align themselves with the teachings in the Scriptures that condemn lying, stealing, immorality and all other sins enumerated in God’s Word. That is righteous judgment.
When we are told we should not judge we are being told to ignore the command of Christ, and our accusers are doing the very thing in which they condemn us; they are judging us as intolerant and judgmental. One cannot accuse another of judging without making a judgment of the other person.
Getting back to my original point, Peter tells us, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God,” 2 Peter 1:20-21.
In every instance in the Scriptures God is revealing to us His will, and the purpose of Bible study is to determine what God’s will is and then to live it. We are not to twist the Scriptures into conformity with our agenda; we are to conform our will to His.