Thinking in Paragraphs

Saturday, Feb. 25                        

“We need to think in paragraphs, not sentences.”  This comment by Tom Thieme in our Monday night men’s Bible study caught my attention.  The thought behind this is that we too often focus on one small part of a big issue.  It reminds me of the blind men describing an elephant.  The elephant is much more than a tusk, a trunk, or an ear.  In terms of understanding God’s Word, it’s so easy to pick out a single statement and build it into a major doctrine.  I suppose that we all have done this at times.  An example of this: “God is love.” 1 John 4:8.  That’s a true statement, but to use it to mean that God will not allow anyone to go to hell is ignoring other equally true Biblical statements.  Because God loves us he died on a cross in our place. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  OK, I used two single verses in two different books, but the rest of Scripture supports my position—which is my point.  His dying on the cross in our place was motivated by love.  But we still don’t have the whole story.  Jesus’ death was a necessity because we are incapable of living a holy life on our own, it is a free gift of grace, and it is received by faith alone, without our having to do anything to earn it.  So Tom’s statement, though true, could be expanded.  Not just to think in paragraphs, but to include the entire Bible.  I’m with you, Tom.  A pertinent bit of advice.

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