I want to start out today's blog using a story as an example.
The lab tech printed out the paper sheet which showed her original DNA profile. The paper was filled with columns of ovals shapes in ladder like chains with some parts of the pattern being darker than the others and some parts of the pattern with no color at all. She set the paper aside and proceeded, one by one, to see which one of her samples matched the original. She would do the same with each one as she let the machine spin and the computer analyze each sample. As each sheet was printed out on her copier, she would line it up under her original sample. Some samples did not match with the ladder like pattern at all. The dark parts were where the light ones were, and the light ones were where the dark ones were. Those samples were easy to discard. The harder samples were the ones which lined up really well. There was very little discrepancy between the original and the sample. They were close, but not close enough. She was forced to discard those as well. Here and there, though, there would be a sample which was perfectly matched, and it would line up perfectly. Those were the keepers.
I write this story as an example of what we should be doing as Christians with every book or bible study in which we participate. We should be checking it always against the one and only original work which is the Bible. There are some which line up perfectly, some which are really close, and there are some which are so far off they should be discarded. How can one possibly know which one is which?
We have to read God's word to know God's word.
I used to be guilty of spending more time doing studies or reading more books than I was at reading God's word. Now, I read a few books a year, but I read God's word everyday.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NASB) says, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths."
How do you know the original? You have to spend more time in God's word than you do reading a secular book or a Bible study. I have learned a ton from many books I have read over the years. We have such information available to us today with our technology and the time we live in. It should always be tested though through the lens of the Bible. Does it match up, or is it just tickling the ears? We must be careful to not be mislead.
"Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them." Deuteronomy 28:14, NIV