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What makes a whole Christian?

American pastor A.W. Tozer once said, “The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.”

If nothing less than the whole Bible makes a whole Christian, then the number of Christians in the world is grossly exaggerated!

That’s a frightening thought, even though it’s only a half-truth (we’re not saved through reading/hearing the whole Bible).

What is true is the realization that when we only read/hear parts of the Bible we want to read/hear, we’re in dangerous territory. God gave us the whole Bible, not a condensed Bible, because every page of every book in the Bible is useful one way or another for knowing and growing in Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16).

Think of it this way: If the whole Bible is the whole truth of God, then to read, reflect and respond to less than the whole Bible is to read, reflect and respond to something less than the whole truth. When we respond to something less than the whole truth, we’re a cult!

The Apostle Paul was keenly aware of this. He did everything possible to proclaim the “whole will of God” (Acts 20:27) because he knew if he shrank away from declaring everything God wanted his listeners to hear, he would be held responsible for their eternal death!

What are you basing your life on? The whole truth, half the truth, a quarter of the truth or a few nuggets of truth? Anything less than the whole truth isn’t really the truth. That’s why, when we give testimony in a court of law, we’re asked to swear by Almighty God, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The whole truth …

Are you ignoring half of the Bible? Maybe it’s time to speak to God about this – to promise to read, reflect and respond to the whole Bible and nothing less than the whole Bible.

© Scripture Union Canada 2020

2 Corinthians 4:5

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