Someone recently said, “You are not supposed to change Scripture. Scripture is supposed to change you.” This statement is profoundly true, and it leads us to some deep insights if we take the time to reflect on what it means.
First, it is extremely important that we don’t try to change what the Lord says. The devil has always been trying to deceive mankind into disbelieving the Word of God. Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” From the very beginning, Satan tried to place doubt in people’s minds about what God had said. He tried to get them to change the Word of God.
We are frequently warned against misappropriating the Scriptures. At the close of Revelation, we find this dire reminder—“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” (Rev.22:18-19). The principle applies not only to the book of Revelation, but to the entire Bible—we must not change the Word of God!
Yet many try to change what the Bible says about: the nature of God, the creation of the world, the universal need for salvation, the fact that Jesus is the only way to God, the way to become a Christian, the importance of holy living, etc. The list goes on about the ways people have tried to omit, or add to, what the Word of God says. We must be diligent in our efforts to cling to the truth of the Bible.
Not only must we refuse to change Scripture, we must allow Scripture to change us. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
All through the Bible we see examples of people who were changed by what God said. Gideon was changed from a scared farmer to a brave warrior. David was transformed from a proud adulterer to a repentant worshiper. Zacchaeus went from being greedy to being generous. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, we read about a number of church members who had been profoundly changed after believing and obeying the Word of God—“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
If you are a follower of Christ, take some time to reflect on how the Word of God has changed you over the years. For many, there was a sudden, dramatic change in lifestyle when they repented and turned to Jesus for forgiveness. For all of us, there is a steady, on-going change as we continue to apply the Bible to our lives and make progress in our spiritual growth.
So, let’s be careful not to change anything the Bible says. And let’s be certain that we allow the Bible to change us for the better.