by Tammy Phillips
“Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”
Proverbs 30:5 (NKJV)
In Psalm 119:9a (WEB) says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.” There is nothing in the world more powerful than God’s Word ingested, memorized and walked out daily. God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, is our Shield, our Protector. Our reverence for God is often seen in how seriously we take His Word.
God’s Word is called inspired because He divinely influenced a select group of people to write the scriptures. In other words, the scriptures are “God breathed.” So God’s Word is not to be altered.
In Genesis 2:15-17 (NLT), God gave clear instructions to His brand new creation: “The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, ‘You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden — except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.’” The next time God’s instructions about the tree in the middle of the garden were addressed was in Genesis 3:2-3 and language is added: “and we cannot touch it.” The door was then opened for the serpent, the ultimate liar, to walk in and further dialogue about God’s directive.
Revelation 22:18-19 (NKJV) says, “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Additions, subtractions, and substitutions to what God has commanded is disobedient and sinful. This is most obvious when we take scripture out of context, thereby changing its meaning and intention.
For example, Philippians 4:13 (NASB) states, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” But the preceding verse 12 says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” So the “I can do all things” refers to Paul’s ability to endure hardships as a result of his “sold out for Jesus” lifestyle. This verse is rarely presented contextually so it renders a meaning different than intended.
We must be careful not to add words or meanings to God’s Word.