Sinning Through Misuse of God’s Word
by Christine Egbert
In Matthew 12:36-37 Jesus (Yeshua) said that on Judgement Day, we will all have to give an account of the words we’ve spoken. By those words, we’ll either be justified or condemned. Now, that is sobering! For we’ve all been guilty of sinful speech, at one time or another. We can use our words sinfully in so many ways. It’s not limited to what we call four-letter words. Our words can be used to malign, to hurt, to frighten, to manipulate, to offend, and, in the biblical sense, to curse.
In this article, I will focus on another way I’ve not yet mentioned, that words can be used sinfully. But first, let me comfort you with this: 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous that He will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Now, that’s good news! But what if we don’t know we’re sinning with our words? And don’t think that can’t happen. It happens all the time.
Every time someone quotes Scripture (God’s Word) out of context, it’s a sin. Satan did it intentionally. He urged Jesus (Yeshua) to throw Himself down, off the wing of the Temple, quoting God’s Word: “He shall give His angels charge concerning You, and they shall bear You on their hands, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.”
Psalms 91:12, which Satan quoted, wasn’t sinful, but using it out of context, to tempt Jesus (Yeshua) into sinning, was, and Satan knew it.
But what about those who quote Scripture out of context, without realizing it? They’re not likely to repent. They don’t realize what they are doing. And don’t think that God is okay with the sins committed in ignorance. He isn’t. Remember that old adage: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse!” That adage comes from Torah, from Leviticus 5:17: “If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s (Yahweh’s) commands, even though he does not know it, he is guilty and will be held responsible.” Now, those are sobering words.
By now, I’m sure you’ve figured out the focus of this article. It’s the sin of taking God’s own Word out of context. This sin is committed every time someone ignores the thousands of times Scripture regales the benefits of keeping God’s Torah, then cherry-picks soundbites from Scripture, like the KJV translation of Romans 10:4, which reads, “Christ is the end of the Law.”
The Greek word translated as “end” in the KJV and most other English versions is “telos” (τέλος) – Strong’s G5056. Literally, telos means: to set out for a definite point or goal. Here’s the same verse as it is translated in the Tree of Life Bible: “For Messiah is the goal of the Torah as a means to righteousness for everyone who keeps trusting.”
Let me not close with the twenty or so cherry-picked verses, written by Paul, that many misuse to promote their agenda, but with some questions Jesus (Yeshua), the Word of God, might ask on Judgement Day, to those who twist His Scriptures:
Did I not say that I didn’t come to destroy the Torah but to fulfill it?…that heaven and earth would pass away before one jot passed from My Torah? Did I not warn that those who break My Torah and teach others to break it will be called least in the kingdom?
Did I not warn in My Word that those who call Me, “Lord, Lord,” but practice lawlessness will not enter My kingdom?
Did I not say the way to show Me love is to keep My Commandments? And how many times did I make it clear that My Commandments are My Father’s? I came only to do His will.
At My departing, did I not command go into every part of the world and make disciples by teaching them to do everything I commanded?
And what about My servant Paul? Did Paul not teach that the Torah is holy, that it’s just, good, and spiritual? Did he not emphatically declare that faith establishes Torah? Disregarding Paul, some chose to believe a lie told by those who, as Peter warned, twist Paul’s words to their own destruction. With itching ears, they dared to call My glorious Torah that is a blessing to all who take hold of it, a curse. Paul never taught that. Paul declared My purpose in sending My Holy Spirit. It was to give believers the power, the grace, to walk in My Spirit and fulfill the righteous requirements of My Torah.
And what about My servant Jacob, who was renamed James? Did he not say that there is only One Lawgiver who is able to save and destroy? I am that Lawgiver. I am the Word made flesh. I am the Torah. Every time one speaks evil of Torah, they speak evil of Me. When My Torah is being called a curse, I am being called a curse.
Did I not warn in a Proverb that the prayers of those who turn their ear from hearing My Torah would be an abomination? And in my Psalms, did I not assure that those who walk in My Torah will be blessed and have great peace?
I am the One who inspired My Prophet Isaiah to declare: “The LORD (Yahweh) was pleased, for the sake of His righteousness, to make Torah great and glorious.”
I inspired David, My Psalmist, to declare “The Torah of the LORD (Yahweh) is perfect, converting the soul,” yet it is rejected.
My Prophet Ezekiel said that when My people are saved and cleansed from sin, they will walk in My Judgements. My people will keep My Statutes. They will do them. But they didn’t. They chose things in which I have no pleasure, things I call an abomination. They twist My Word. They claim I did away with My Torah, that I nailed My Torah to My Cross. But I do not change. I am the same yesterday, today, and forever.