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Ye Do Err

Ye Do Err

   It is interesting that the word “err” is found only twenty four times in the King James Bible. Of these occurrences, only two are referencing “New Testament” people, those known as Christian. The first of these particular references is found in James 1:16 where an admonition against it is given. Do not err, my beloved brethren. The final reference to “err” is found in James 5:19. Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; . . . The other four “New Testament” references of “err”, are speaking of the Old Testament people of God.   These are found in Matthew 22:29, Mark 12:24, Mark 12:27 and speak directly to Israelites during the time of Jesus, and Hebrews 3:10, speaking of the people of Israel that were slain in the wilderness for “erring” and refusing to do as God directed in His Word.

   The Bible has long been recognized as the Word of God, but many fail to take it as it is, God’s Word written to His people. Think about it; would God need to write a book to tell those who are always in error that they are wrong. God’s Word was written to His people. In the Old Testament times we see that the written Word of God was delivered first to Moses in the form of the tables of stone. These are the Ten Commandments.   The rest of God’s written Word was delivered by the Spirit to the prophets as Hebrews 1:1 informs.   God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,  Are there any who would deny that the people to whom God spake by the prophets were any other than the “fathers” of the nation of Israel?   Are there any that would contest that Israel was the people of God during the Old Testament times?   In the eighteen O.T. occurrences of “err”, all were directed to God’s people.

     Thus, it stands to reason that once “New Testament” time began, following the preaching on the day of Pentecost, when people became “Christians” through obedience to the commands, from that time forward God spoke to His “New Testament” people. To show this, we again go to Hebrews chapter 1; this time to Hebrews 1:2 we see the fact that God “hath spoken unto us by His Son. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;  The “us” here are Christians, as this was written in the “Christian age”.  

     The word “err” means to stray. When we consider “err”, what word comes to mind?   One word is “error”.   Is it possible then that these words were chosen by the Spirit to admonish the “people of God” not to stray?  This is also logical. What would you call it if the wicked or evil “stray” from error or wickedness? Such is impossible as conversion requires a conscious action on the part of the one that is departing wickedness or evil to be obedient to God’s Word. The proof lies in such passages as 2Peter 2:18-19. Here we see the contrast between obedience and wickedness.   For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 

     While the Bible in Romans 3:23 affirms that “all” have sinned, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; this does not mean that all must remain in sin.     In Acts 3:19 the Spirit had Peter speak to the people who witnessed the healing of the lame man. God wanted them to leave the error of Judaism and be converted to God’s New Testament plan of Salvation. This is the only way they could be saved.  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;  When God removed the old Law to make way for the New, God’s people were expected to convert and follow that New Law.  

     Notice that Peter spoke the Word of God to them. This is the same thing Jesus said in Matthew 22:29 to those who tried to ensnare Him with their words about something in which they didn’t even believe.   He said: Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.  Several years later the Spirit had Paul write in Romans 1:16 that the gospel is God’s power to save. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  This is what every Christian is to do. Christians are to call people out of error. If that person is not a Christian, one is to teach them the gospel plan of Salvation and if one who is a Christian errs, they are to be taught to repent and pray that they might be restored.   Acts 8:22 is where Simon was so taught. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 

     Don’t “err”!  Apply only God’s plan.   Go to His Word. Read what it teaches about how to be saved, to remain saved and follow it. Do it because you love God. To follow man’s many plans will not take you where you want to spend eternity.   Even in the Old Testament, before Salvation was offered in Christ, God’s people were told this in Jeremiah 10:23.   O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. 

                                      Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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