The “Sum” Of God’s Word Is Truth
The Word of God gives us everything we need to be “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17), but we need to always remember that it is all of God’s Word that does this and not just parts of it. The Psalmist stated an important principle when he said, “the sum of thy Word is truth” (Ps. 119:160 ASV). There is great danger involved in simply taking select passages from the Bible and forming a doctrine based on them alone. This is obviously why the Holy Spirit inspired passages like Psalm 119:160. We must understand the importance of studying everything the Bible has to say about any topic before we form conclusions on what God’s intentions are. Let’s explore the importance of understanding this Biblical principle and examine some of the dangers of ignoring it .
God has always been consistent in the way He has dealt with mankind. God sets forth guidelines, blueprints, or patterns for how He wants His will obeyed and accomplished. God gave Noah a specific pattern for building the ark. He gave Moses a specific pattern for how to build and furnish the tabernacle. It was Noah’s and Moses’ responsibility to insure they followed all of the pattern or guidelines to be pleasing to God. God has given us a pattern to follow today as well. We can see God’s will for the church all throughout the New Testament. We have direct commands in the New Testament, as well as the examples of the early church’s work and worship, to study. This is the pattern and blueprint God has given us for today. It is vital that we study all of what the New Testament says on any given subject because we learn from the specific commands as well as the examples of people living and obeying the commands. For example, in the book of Acts we see different commands given for becoming saved, but we also can study actual examples of people becoming saved to learn more about God’s will as well. It becomes dangerous when we only pick or choose a few select text to support our belief instead of studying them all.
Many in the religious world have developed false plans of salvations by ignoring what all the New Testament has to say about the matter. For example, millions of people teach one can simply say a sinner’s prayer or make a simple confession of faith to be saved. The proponents of this belief refer to Roman 10:9,10 to support the idea that belief and confession is all one must do to be saved. When we apply the principle of Psalm 119:160, and check the rest of the New Testament regarding God’s plan of salvation, we see that there is much more involved. The New Testament also teaches the need for hearing God’s Word (Rom. 1:16, Rom. 10:17), repenting of sins (Acts 2:36, Acts 17:30), and baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38). To leave important passages like these out and put all the emphasis on one passage like Romans 10:9,10 would do a great injustice to what the rest of God’s Word had to say on the matter. One would have to willingly ignore all of the examples of people being saved in books such as Acts where they did more than just what was stated in Romans 10:9,10.
I used the plan of salvation as an example in this article, but the principle applies to any topic from God’s Word. A sincere Bible student will study to see what all of God’s Word has to say about any and every topic they consider, because the sum of God’s Word is truth. -Ed