The Pryor Times

September 6, 2012

Now or not

Adair Church of Christ
Ryan W. Kepke

ADAIR — A pesky stumblingblock to proofreaders is catching the “correct error”—the word that is spelled correctly, but is the wrong word. Failure to note these flaws can result in everything from nonsense to saying the opposite of one’s intent. Consider: “That which for sometime was prevalent among men is not appearing among women.” The author meant to say “is now appearing,” but the not-for-now slip reversed his meaning. Thus the misuse of only one letter in one word can have a profound effect.

In Biblical matters, examples abound wherein men intentionally substitute their own not for God’s now, thus contradicting the statement of God’s Word, for example:

This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23). Adam spoke these words upon observing that God had made Eve of one of his ribs. The evolutionist’s version of this statement of fact is, “She is not bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, but she evolved from a lower form over millions of years.” The humanists and materialists thus deny even a hint of “intelligent design” (never mind the infinite Creator) by changing only one letter of one word in the Bible.

But now we have been discharged from the law” (Rom. 7:6), referring to the law of Moses. Men have changed God’s now to their own not: “But we have not been discharged from the law.” Judaizers in the first century did so, seeking in vain to bind circumcision on the church (Acts 15:1). Roman Catholicism has borrowed heavily from the law of Moses, including its exclusive priesthood, vestments, holy water, incense, and candles. The 16th century reformers likewise made (and their progeny make) the same fatal error, thus justifying such things as infant “baptism,” sprinkling, tithing, sabbath-keeping, and instrumental music. The authority of Moses’ law ceased when Jesus died (Col. 2:14; Heb. 9:15–17; et al.). Those who submit to its authority in one point are obligated to submit to all of it (Gal. 5:3), but in doing so, they fall from God’s grace (v. 4).

The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us” (1 Pet. 3:21a). Millions have been convinced by their teachers and preachers that “baptism doth also not save us,”—it is not necessary to salvation. One must choose between an inspired apostle and mere men who deny what he plainly stated. The Lord, Ananias, and Paul also placed baptism before salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 22: 16; Rom. 6:3–4; Gal. 3:27).

On only one wrong letter of one word may hang one’s eternal destiny—not a small error at all.