Vol. 8, No. 9
Priscilla's Page *Editor's Note*
~ Page 15 ~
Since we are all students of God's Word until we die, we need to make absolutely sure what we are "quoting" from time to time is actually in Scripture. There are statements we have heard perhaps virtually all of our lives, and taken for granted were in the Bible, when in fact they are nowhere to be found. How many of the following statements can be found in the Bible?
"Cleanliness is next to godliness."
"Money is the root of all evil."
"God helps those who help themselves."
"As long as there is life there is hope."
"Spare the rod and you spoil the child."
"Honesty is the best policy."
None of these statements can be found in Scripture! These are just a few of many such statements that we hear and accept as biblical. For the purpose of this article, the six mentioned above will be addressed.
The Bible does not say, "Cleanliness is next to godliness." It does say, "For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come" (1 Timothy 4:8). "But godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6).
The Bible does not say, "Money is the root of all evil." It does say, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed away from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Timothy 6:10). "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy" (2 Timothy 3:1-2).
The Bible does not say, "God helps those who help themselves." The Bible does say, "If He should set His heart on it, if He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together and man would return to the dust" (Job 34:14-15). Since he is our Father and we are his children, every breath we take is totally dependant upon him! Jesus put it this way, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). "For in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28a). "And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God" (2 Corinthians 3:4-5). God is the initiator and sustainer of our existence! Not on our best day are we capable of helping ourselves or anybody else without God!
The Bible does not say, "As long as there is life there is hope." In Romans 1:18-32, Paul lets us know unmistakably that Jews and Gentiles alike are unrighteous sinners in need of redemption. In verses 22-28 we read the phrases "God gave them up to uncleanness," "God gave them up to vile passions" and "God gave them over to a debased mind." The Bible does say, "Who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:32). In his plea for Israel's obedience God said, "But My people would not heed My voice, and Israel would have none of Me. So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels" (Psalm 81:11-12). We need to understand we cannot blame God for the consequences of our self-willed, self-serving and self-directed choices! This will lead to God giving us up!
The Bible does not say, "Spare the rod and you spoil the child." The Bible does say, "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly" (Proverbs 13:24). "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him" (Proverbs 22:15). "The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother" (Proverbs 29:15).
The Bible does not say, "Honesty is the best policy." The Bible does say, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (1 Timothy 2:1-2 KJV).
Our abiding in the teachings of Christ is dependant upon our attitude and commitment to the truth. Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him" (John 14:23). "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).