ルカ 11:35 だから、あなたのうちの光が、暗やみにならないように、気をつけなさい。

The English says “is not” and the Japanese says “does not become” darkness. I think that's a pretty big difference. I'll have to check with my Greek scholar wife to see which is the more accurate translation! God's Word is light, but sometimes we turn it into darkness by our interpretation of it. That is of course a problem in taking verses out of context, but it even happens with supposedly expository preaching, when the liberty of the Holy Spirit is exchanged for legalism. Jesus' biggest arguments were with the Pharisees, who were very much the Fundamentalists of their day. By standing on the letter of the Old Testament Scriptures, they missed the intent completely. As Paul said, the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). That's not at all to say that what is written is unimportant, or that we can be cavalier in our interpretation. It is saying, as Jesus says in this verse, that we must not use the Bible as an instrument of bondage. That is darkness and not light! The Bible is to set us free so that we don't have to obey the flesh and the devil. It is indeed to lead us into righteous, holy living, but not by being bound by legalism.


As a pastor, this is a matter of particularly vital importance to me. I must be faithful in speaking the Word, but I must do so by the power and in the love of the Holy Spirit, or the light will become darkness. I should love the Word as much as the writer of Psalm 119 loved it, but I must apply that Word in the love of God toward the people He sent His Son to redeem. I see church leaders who dilute the Word to the point of nonexistence in an effort to make their churches attractive to non-believers, and I also see church leaders who take some Biblical truths and teach them accurately enough, but in violation of the love and grace of God. God is not pleased with either one! I am to be true to the Word in every detail, but as Paul makes very clear in 1 Corinthians 13, I must do so in the love and grace of God, or it will benefit nothing.


Father, this is humanly speaking a very difficult line to follow. I ask for Your grace, guidance, and power, particularly with those I see who are straying far from it to one side or the other. May I be Your agent of grace to all I encounter, so that Your light may not be dimmed in me, but shine clear and bright to draw many into the intimacy with You that You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


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