Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Very Least Point of Scripture is Important

And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. (Luke 16:17 KJV)

What is a tittle?

According to Easton”s Bible dictionary, A tittle is a point, (Mat_5:18; Luk_16:17), the minute point or stroke added to some letters of the Hebrew alphabet to distinguish them from others which they resemble; hence, the very least point.

Notice the Lord is likely using the word allegorically. He means that there is nothing contained in the Old Testament Law that is unimportant. It all points to the coming Messiah and when the Messiah came, He fulfilled or met the requirements of all that was written in the Law. By extension, I think we can assume that the whole of Scripture, New Testament and Old, is important and should be understood and obeyed in its context.

There are some who will only put their confidence in the red-letter parts of a red-letter Bible. These are the words of the Lord and they are willing to say that these words are inspired. But they question the validity of much of the rest of the Bible. There are some who distinguish between the essential and nonessential truths of the Bible. While I understand that in our day there is much confusion as to Biblical truth, I maintain that if the Lord inspired it, then it is important to Him. If it is important to Him, it is important to me. There are some who just assume that a gracious God cannot really expect us to understand much of what is written in the Bible because of language problems and the different culture that existed 2000 years ago. But the Lord has given us the Holy Spirit, and the Lord says he will speak concerning the Lord Jesus and will guide us into all Truth.

In the Old Testament, there was a day at the end of the period of the Judges when everyone did that which was right in his own eyes. Unless we believe that the Bible in the original manuscripts was inspired and will not pass away, we will become like those Old Testament Saints. We will leave the order of the church up to the conscience of each individual member and disorder will be the result. Women will take the place of men in the church, excommunication and discipline will be done based on the social consciousness of our society rather than on the basis of Scripture. There will be people in the local church who are not baptized in a Scriptural way and there will be people in the local church who cannot explain how they were “born again.”

Is it Legalistic to Obey the Word of God?

Now I realize that I am often considered legalistic when I comment on these things. But legalism in the Bible is making rules where there are none. It is seen by trying to convince New Testament believers to keep the Old Testament Jewish law. Under grace, we are not required to do that even though all of the Old Testament law is good and illustrates New Testament principles. But in this day of grace, we keep what the New Testament says about the Old Testament law. We take our marching orders from the epistles and not from the first five books of the Bible. We rightly divide the word of Truth by seeing what the Lord says about a doctrine, then we try to understand how that doctrine was carried out in the Acts of the Apostles, and then we look for our teaching in the Epistles and for illustrations in the Old Testament.

Man-made rules not supported by the Bible at all are another form of legalism. I remember when a person couldn’t have “white wall tires” on their cars because they were too worldly. I remember when women were asked not to wear red because it was distracting and red spoke of the blood of Christ. Some Christians think head coverings for women should be hats and some think that they should be veils, but the Bible only speaks of covered heads. I could go on and on.

The Word lives and Abides Forever

Peter writes, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” He says "ALL FLESH IS AS GRASS, AND ALL THE GLORY OF MAN AS THE FLOWER OF THE GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND ITS FLOWER FALLS AWAY, BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER." He further states, “Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you (1 Peter 1:23-25 NKJV).”

I am constantly hearing that God does not mean what He says for one reason or another. I think we need to change our minds and recognize that even the smallest part of Scripture is important to God. I work with written words enough to know that not everything we write is clear to everyone. But I think we all need to come to the Bible asking the Holy Spirit to guide us in our understanding of the Lord’s will, and then we need to do our best to obey what is written. Let us not consider any part of the Bible to be outdated, unreliable or not applicable to us. And that should be particularly true of the New Testament epistles which were written by those who understood the relationship between the different sections of the Bible.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of October 27, 2019

 

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