What the Bible Teaches
There’s a difference between what the Bible says and what the Bible teaches. The Bible says a lot of different things that it doesn’t necessarily teach. Let me give you an example. A part of Psalm 14:1 says this: “‘There is no God.’” O my! Does the Bible teach atheism? Absolutely not. This is what the whole verse says, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.” Context matters.
Here’s another example. Paul writes this in 1 Tim 5:23: “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” If we take this passage at face value, we will conclude that God demands we drink wine for an upset stomach. Is this what the Bible teaches? No. Paul’s instructions here are to Timothy, not to us. Nevertheless, there is application in this passage for us: sometimes we should care for ourselves by taking some form of medicine.
It’s easy to quote a single Bible verse as the conclusion of a matter. That can get us into trouble, though, especially when we fail to account for how context and other passages influence interpretation. A simplistic faith rests solely on what the Bible says. A mature faith rests on what the Bible says and on what the Bible teaches. Don’t settle for a simplistic faith. Instead, as 2 Tim 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”