So, I got your attention with the blog title eh? Well, you probably clicked on this to debate the most powerful verse in the Bible, rather than actually find out which one I believe it to be, right? Thought so. Well, I will just out it out there, and if you agree or disagree with me, either way is fine, since every verse of the Bible will speak to each person differently, so feel free to disagree. Now, before I state what I believe is the most “powerful”, I should probably state that this is by no means the most “important” verse. I think other Christians will agree that if they had the chance to share only one verse with a non-Christian it would be John 3:16, that states the entire basis for Christianity in one sentence – “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal [everlasting] life”. This I believe is the most important verse in the Bible, and should be one of the first of many that I hope you share with others who are lacking God in their lives, but as far as powerfulness goes, this is where I turn to the book of James.
For those who do not know, in a nutshell, James is a great book for those Christians who think they have heard everything the Bible has to say, and are just coasting along on auto-pilot through life. In my opinion, James contains the most challenging verses in the Bible. These “challenging” verses are ones that call for accountability, on our part as Christians. James is basically like the Advanced guide, once you know and understand all the basics, on how to live for Christ. This book does not hold back, and even says in many places what makes up a true believer. James is definitely not a book I would throw at someone who is unfamiliar with the Gospel, or much less has not even accepted Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior yet. It is a book that really is most effective for those who have completely understood the basics and have a good grasp of their relationship with Christ. I find that is is most effective for those of us who have been a Christian for our whole lives and think we have it all figured out, and that the Bible contains nothing new for us. Well, take a look in James; read 30 verses a day, see what it has to offer you.
Now, without further ado, the most powerful verse in the Bible. The reason this verse is so powerful in my opinion is that it does not say “Christians, do this…” or “Follower of Christ would do this or that…”, but rather, this is a verse that applies to everyone, Christian or non-Christian. There will of course be some non-Christians who even after hearing this verse, will come up with some excuse why it does not apply to them, which goes back to the whole M.O. of being a non-Christian. It is much easier to walk your own path, and ‘do your own thing’ without accountability, than to accept the responsibility that comes with being a Christian; which by the way, is the hardest part. I could spend another paragraph on this easily, and perhaps it should be a separate post, so on to the verse.
Wow. The verse states no conditions, if’s, and’s or but’s about it. It is straightforward and to the point (another good feature of the book of James). That fact, combined with using the ESV (English Standard Version), which is the most literal translation of the original Hebrew, makes this verse all the more powerful. Nobody in their right mind could debate the meaning of this verse, or try to interpret its meaning into anything other than what it clearly states in black and white. This basically says, in more practical words, ‘When you know what is right and wrong, and still do the wrong thing, you have sinned’. It does not say, …”except if this is the case…” at the end does it? James does not give conditions or places in life where we can use conditional ethics. Right and wrong are black and right. My sociology teacher in college would have had me convinced otherwise, but that’s the world for you; always trying to convince you that in some situations, wrong things can be “OK”. Sorry, no thanks, not for me. You are either doing the right thing or the wrong thing, and followers of Christ know the difference; and guess what?…it does not change from day to day.
Heck, everyone knows the difference, Christian or not. Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge, giving us awareness and discernment to all mankind. That is my point…you do not have to be a Christian, like it or not, for this verse to apply to you. All humans have discernment between right and wrong. Between the morally correct choice versus the more self-advantageous choice. Which one are you going to choose? Are you going to ignore this verse out of convenience, and do what you want to do anyway? Hoping that God will just let is slip by since there are other people out there doing much worse things? A sin, is a sin, is a sin. There are many Christians out there today, myself included, that sometimes will think ‘God could not possibly care if I do this, just for a little bit, then move on to do other things’, even though I know it is something I should not do. Well, you are who you are when nobody is looking. Let the record show, that phrase is actually a secular phrase, that is not stated in the Bible. This verse carries with it a universal foundation. It is Biblical, and it is worldly that if you know the right thing to do and chose not to do it, you have in fact sinned. No two ways about it, which is why I believe this to be the most powerful verse.
Please feel free to comment, share, discuss…I will be checking the comments and replying to them myself. Unfortunately because Satan is hard at work everyday in peoples lives, I have to approve comments, due to those who just want to swear, call names, and post other non-constructive comments. Do not let that keep you from posting though…I will check this regularly to keep the discussion going.
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