Scripture is important in the life of a Christian. It is through the reading, teaching, and preaching of Scripture that one learns about God and spiritual formation transpires. There are many applications of Scripture for daily life and learning, but space will not permit me to write about the depth of Scripture. Yet this blessed gift to humanity is often misused by those that profess to live by it.
It is possible that one’s use of Scripture can be anti-scriptural. In other words, we can handle the Word of God in a manner that is not only counterproductive but also the opposite of its intended purpose. Thereby the use of Scripture becomes anti-scriptural. One uses Scripture in a manner that Scripture does not dictate. How is this possible? Let me submit an example as food for thought.
Spiritual warfare is real. Scripture states “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of [a]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV).” One must recognize that you have an enemy: “Be [a]sober, be [b]vigilant; [c]because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV).” From such Scripture passages one understands the battle of which he or she is involved. The evidence is clear that the devil is our enemy.
The devil, that serpent being more subtle (cunning, crafty) than any beast of the field (Genesis 3:1), will not present himself as a red horned pitchfork being. He works in disguise and will use other people. This is where we encounter the issues. We “weaponize” Scripture and use it not in speaking to the situation or the problem, but against the people that we are here to win to Christ! One defeats the purpose when he or she uses Scripture as a weapon against other people!
Some may read and think, “Scripture is our weapon!” Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Scripture is described here in the manner of a weapon. However, it is also supposed to be life giving, Paul describes it as “living.” Furthermore, this passage does not mention that one uses Scripture to harm another individual. The context of this passage involves Joshua and Israel observing the Word of God concerning the Sabbath and that none should perish from disobedience. This leads to the words “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” The Word of God should “kill” self and the sin that leads one to disobedience.
One must discern if he or she is trying to “kill” a person or “kill” the sin that is causing the problem. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Scripture is not intended to make me or anyone else “God’s hitman,” but rather it will make one complete. Scripture is not meant to be utilized for one to get vengeance on another. Scripture will not always come with a welcomed reception, but the messenger must have the proper motive. Currently there is hostility in our culture for anything that disagrees with the order of this world and Christians that live according to the dictates of Scripture are perceived as antiquated.
This brings me to the point, let the spirit and motive in that one uses Scripture be with conviction in one’s heart and tears in their eyes. This doesn’t mean that one backs down from his or her convictions or that one should compromise Scripture to appease others. What it does mean is that we use the precious Holy Writ in a manner that would be productive. Psalm 19:14 is the closing thought: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my [a]strength and my Redeemer.”