On Being Christian

read different

At the conference I attended in Thailand, there was quite a lot of discussion about living under grace versus the law. As Christians, we humbly and gratefully accept God’s grace in our life. Almost immediately, we set about doing everything we humanly can to keep it. And helpfully pointing out to others where they can improve, as well.

Case in point, Romans 3:23. I’ve heard this verse quoted a million times like this: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Period. We legalists quote this verse to prove to people that they’re sinners. Everyone is… see here, the Bible says so. When actually, that verse ends in a comma, and the very next phrase is, “and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (We don’t so much quote that part.) Maybe because it actually gives almost the opposite message as verse 23 out of context.

In the words of Greg Koukl, you should never read a Bible verse. Always read a paragraph, maybe a chapter or even more – to make sure you understand the context.

6 thoughts on “read different

  1. Like John 3:16 (favorite and oft quoted), but we omit the continuing idea in 3:17, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should have life through Him.”


  2. EXCELLENT!! Hebrew didn’t have puncuation, so OT stuff can get away with a little more. This was written in Greek! They had indicators showing the beginning and ending of a thought, so there’s no excuse for cropping off the parts we don’t want to emphasize. God apparently wanted it in there, so who is ANYBODY to decide not to include it?
    Every judgment in the Word is tempered with Mercy on His Children.


  3. Thanks for the comments!
    Joe – so happy to hear from you! 🙂
    Brad – thanks for another excellent example.
    Jeff – yeah, we legalists continually get thrown by that mercy biz. Except – you know – when it applies to ME. ha


  4. Romans 8:1 is another verse that has been read ending with a period after “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (PERIOD)” However, there is actually a comma at the end of that phrase as well. It’s good to check out what we’ve been taught by actually what is in God’s Word! Good for you, Jan!


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