Can a Concordance Give Me the Complete Picture?

Posted: July 12, 2006 in Thoughts on Getting Ready for Christ's Return

A concordance helps me find a Scripture when I already know a word in the verse. I also use the concordance to see how a word is used in Scripture, and whether its definition is limited in scope or varies widely.

However, if I want to know all about my salvation, looking up saved and salvation will be insufficient. We may wonder, “Can I lose my salvation?” We may try to answer it by using the concordance. Looking up saved and salvation does not seem to help, especially when passages like “being saved” or “will make you wise for salvation” (both referring to Christians) seem to muddy the waters.

It’s better to find out the Scripture’s terms and phrase our questions accordingly. Once we learn the lingo regarding our salvation (or any other topic), we can ask the questions the way God wants to answer them. Instead of asking, “Can I lose my salvation?” we should ask:
“Can I let sin have dominion over me?” (answer: Rom. 6:11-14).
“Can I fall from grace?” (Gal. 5:4-6).
“Can I become so foolish as to reject faith and return to the law?” (Gal. 3:1-7).
“Can I live in such a way that the Lord would deny me?” (2 Tim. 2:12).
“Can I do something so as to make the Lord remember my sins?” (Matt. 6:14-15).
“Am I living for righteousness by trusting God, or am I living in self-righteousness?” (Phil. 3:9).

As we see from the questions above, a concordant search with the words saved or salvation will not turn up all the answers. We need to read the whole Bible to understand the depth and nuances of our salvation. In the YahooGroup forum, I go from passage to passage through each book, examining the verses that touch on how God may judge us at the end. It’s seldom you’ll find the words saved or salvation in these passages. It’s also rare that the word judge appears, and yet they are all about how God will judge us.

Do make the effort to read through an entire book or epistle from beginning to end. Read the Old Testament and the New. See if you can grasp the flow of thought from beginning to end of a book. If you have a hard time studying the Word for yourself, different books and web sites will give you several helpful approaches.

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