What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

“What The Bible Says - Vol. 6 / No. 21”

What The Bible Says

Vol. VI - No. 21 / February 11, 2024


    Whenever my grandad would lead a public prayer, he would frequently ask God something to the effect of, “Please help us to take advantage of opportunities to teach others so their blood won’t be upon our hands.” Growing up, I had no idea why he prayed that; I actually thought it was really strange. It wasn’t until I was much older that I understood why this request was a recurring line in my grandad's prayers.

    In his farewell speech to the elders of the church at Ephesus, Paul said, “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27). Paul’s statement goes back to what is said in Ezekiel 3:18-19: “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.” When it comes to dealing with people caught up in sin, it can be easy to try ignoring what these folks are doing. However, we can't just stick our heads in the sand and ignore when people are acting contrary to what God requires; we are obligated to warn them (in a loving way, of course [see Ephesians 4:15]). This type of action is seen in the very context of Acts 20:26-27. 

    Prior to stating he was innocent of the blood of all in Ephesus, Paul explained, "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house" (Acts 20:18-20); then, Paul reiterated, "Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears" (Acts 20:31). One definition of "warn" is to "give (someone) forceful or cautionary advice about their actions or conduct" (Oxford Languages Dictionary). I imagine Paul's plight in Ephesus would have been much easier on him both mentally and physically if he had not spent so much time warning people about how their actions and conduct were condemning their souls. Instead of warning people of their sins, he could have done what most preachers do today and just spoke "smooth things" (Isaiah 30:10) to everyone and, thus, avoided all those tears and trials. Yet, Paul understood that if he neglected opportunities granted to him in warning people of their wickedness, he would be held accountable.

    Each individual person is solely accountable for their own sins. No other person carries the guilt or the punishment of sins that we commit. For example, Ezekiel 18:20 says, "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself." Likewise, 2 Corinthians 5:10 tells us, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done." No person will be judged by God based on the actions of others. However, if we aren’t doing our part in warning people of their wickedness, their blood will be upon our hands, which means God will hold us accountable for not trying to help people who we know are lost in sin. —Dylan Stewart



    Many people think the Bible can be interpreted many ways. This is not so! It is not a matter of what the Bible says but does the Bible mean what it says? Do you have a strict or a lose interpretation? Do you have a conservative or a liberal interpretation? Does your view of the Scriptures cause you to do only what is authorized or does your view allow you to do anything that is not expressly forbidden?

    For example, does your view of the Bible cause you to wear only the name Christian (Acts 11:26) or does your view permit other names to be worn religiously? Does your view of the Scriptures call for baptism to be a burial in water (Colossians 2:12) or will it allow for sprinkling or pouring? Does your view of the Bible cause you to sing in worship unto God (Ephesians 5:19) or does your view permit you to play on mechanical instruments of music when worshiping God?

God has always demanded a strict interpretation! In Genesis 4:1-7 animals were what God had authorized for sacrifices and this was what Able used. But Cain, like so many people today, thought God would accept anything in worship to Him and offered up vegetables for his sacrifice. God accepted Able's but rejected Cain’s worship. In Numbers 20: 2-12, God told Moses to speak to the rock and water would be provided for the Israelites but, instead, Moses spoke to the people and smote the rock. Although water came from the rock, God informed Moses of his sin and forbidded him to enter the promised land. Yes, when God gives commands He is strict in what He says!

    What should be our view? In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read: ''All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be pe,fect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Then in 2 John 9, we read, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

    We must make up our minds and realize anything revealed in the Bible is the result of God's wisdom and inspiration. When we act upon those things which are revealed, we are acting by faith and doing only what God has authorized. Anything believed and practice which is not revealed in the Scriptures is a product of man's wisdom and is an opinion of man. When we act upon it, we are acting upon man's opinion and doing things by the authority of man. What is your view of the Bible? —E.R. Hall, Jr.



There's only one place where success comes before work: the dictionary!
Too much time is wasted by some people telling how busy they are.
There are no traffic jams on the strait and narrow way.
No matter how bad your situation, you can lose your temper and make it worse.
A Bible in the hand is worth two in the bookcase.
There is no right way to do a wrong thing. 


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--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
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Albertville, AL 35950
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