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5 Things I Can’t Find In My Bible

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not in the bibleThe Bible is perfect and its Author is perfect. God’s Word is truth (John 17:17) and is our all-sufficient guide (2 Tim. 3:16-17). While there are some things that are difficult to understand (cf. 2 Pet. 3:16), the Bible is clear and understandable. We make a mistake, however, when we believe something the Bible does not teach. Below are a few things you may be surprised aren’t taught in the Bible.

1. We can be saved without works of obedience.

There is nothing more wonderful and undeserved than the reality of God’s grace, which has been offered to all people (cf. Titus 2:11). His grace cannot be earned (Eph. 2:8-9), and thank God for that! Compared to God’s glory, holiness, and perfection, we will always be “unprofitable servants” (Luke 17:10) – regardless of how well we follow His commands. Because of the depth and seriousness of sin, there is no way to earn our way into heaven.

Contrary to what many believe, God’s grace is conditional – not on works of merit, but on works of obedience. “Obedience” and “grace” are not opposites. Grace saves us only through faith (Eph. 2:8a), and faith and works are inseparably part of one another (Jas. 2:14-26). Faith is not an inactive mental acknowledgment or mere acceptance of truth; Biblical faith is active and wholly submissive God’s Will. For example, Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8, NKJV), and it was his obedient faith that put him in contact with God’s grace (cf. Gen. 6:22; Heb. 11:7). Likewise, we are saved by obeying God’s plan of salvation (1 Pet. 3:21; cf. Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:4). To “continue in the grace of God” (Acts 13:43), we must live faithfully to Him (Rev. 2:10c). The blood of Jesus stops cleansing us from sin when we stop walking in His light (cf. 1 John 1:7).

2. God ridicules honest doubt. 

We all wrestle with doubt. Sadly, some think of themselves as ‘bad Christians’ because they struggle with doubt from time to time.

In reality, Jesus welcomed honest doubt – even among people who had witnessed His miracles. When Thomas doubted whether He had actually risen, Jesus didn’t ridicule Him. Rather, He gave him proof (cf. John 20:26-29). When John the Baptizer expressed doubt that Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus didn’t respond with a rebuke. He gave him proof (cf. Matt. 11:2-6). When the man asked Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief! (Mark 9:24), Jesus didn’t scoff at the man. He healed his son and gave him proof.

God doesn’t ridicule honest doubt. He welcomes it. It is dangerous to hide your doubt without taking it to Him.

3. The common phrases many think are directly from the Bible.

While some of them may vaguely be taught in principle, the following phrases are not found in the Bible:

  • “Spare the rod, spoil the child”
  • “Cleanliness is next to godliness”
  • “This too shall pass”
  • “God helps those who help themselves”
  • “God works in mysterious ways.”

They just aren’t in the Bible. (So stop saying they are!)

4. God is only concerned with the sincerity of the heart.

God hates worship that is without heartfelt sincerity (cf. Matt. 15:8). Yet, what is rarely taught these days is that God also hates service that isn’t done in Truth (John 4:24). Everything we do must have the authority of Jesus Christ and His Will (cf. Col. 3:17).

Perhaps nothing illustrates this point better than the example of Uzzah, who attempted to rescue the Ark of the Covenant with a sincere motive (cf. 2 Sam. 6:6-7). God struck Uzzah dead because the Ark was not treated how He had specified (1 Chron. 15:13-15; cf. Num. 4:5-6, 15, 18-20; Josh. 3:4). 

Likewise, just “meaning well” isn’t good enough. We must follow all of God’s truth (cf. Psa. 119:160). Jesus Christ through His New Testament must explicitly or implicitly authorize everything we do in His name. 

5. If you live for God, bad things won’t happen to you.

Many believe that because they experience hardship and difficulty, they do not have God’s favor. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Gen. 6:8), but he had a hard life. Mary found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Luke 1:28-30), but she had to endure the rumors and scandal that must have surrounded her pregnancy. Jesus found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Matt. 3:17), but lived a difficult life (cf. Isa. 53:3) and died on a cross (Matt. 27).

In fact, Christians are promised hardship (cf. 2 Tim. 3:12). Bearing the cross of Christ daily is difficult (cf. Luke 9:23). But the bad things that happen in this life should cause us to look forward even more to heaven (2 Cor. 4:16-17). 

Your comments are welcome and encouraged, even if they are in disagreement. However, please keep your comments relevant to the article. For my full comment policy, click here.

11 Responses to 5 Things I Can’t Find In My Bible

  1. Jason Moon August 14, 2013 at 2:00 PM #

    Good article!

  2. Dawn Richter August 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM #

    #5-Anyone remember Job?! >.>

    • Rob April 15, 2014 at 10:01 AM #

      All the titles in bold are things that are not found in the Bible

  3. Wanda Gilbert August 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM #

    I would like to say Thank You for loving the Lord and doing all you can to save souls.

  4. Pierce August 15, 2013 at 5:33 PM #

    While the phrase “spare the rod, spoil the child” is not in the Bible, it does have even more serious statements about those who do not discipline their children (see Proverbs 13:24 and 23:14).

  5. wd40nductape August 16, 2013 at 4:58 AM #

    I really like your blog site, and all the great info you provide, and study materials. On the “5 Things…” article, I noticed a sentence stating that we are to carry Christ’s cross (“Bearing the cross of Christ daily is difficult (cf. Luke 9:23).)” My understanding is that He calls upon us to bear our own cross daily based on the passage in Luke. Any thoughts on that? Thanks! :-)

  6. Chuzzlewit August 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM #

    Just another great passage that seems to fit right here (Romans 5:1-2) – love the KJV & NKJV’s translation here…we have “access” to grace when we “stand” in faith. No standing in faith…no access to grace. Compare with Hebrews 10:26-27!

    Enjoy your work Ben.

  7. Josh Lifford April 14, 2014 at 2:13 PM #

    Great Article Brother, I appreciate your work! Thank you…

  8. Lawanda April 15, 2014 at 1:04 AM #

    I’d like to point out that the words, “gospel plan of salvation” or “God’s plan of salvation” are nowhere to be found in the bible either.

    • Ben April 15, 2014 at 10:14 AM #

      We certainly read about the plan God has for the salvation of mankind from sin in the Bible (Acts 2:38). In fact, you could call the entire Bible God’s scheme of redemption. The “trinity” is not found in the Bible either, but does that mean you don’t believe in the Godhead? God is not described using the word “omnipotent,” yet do you believe He is? Nor is He described using the words “omniscience” or “sovereignty.” Do you deny these attributes about God? Do you believe in the “providence” of God? Are we not allowed to use words that are not found in the Bible? Where did that rule come from?

      This article is about things commonly believed but not taught in the Bible. Let us never teach things that God, through His Word, has not revealed to us.

  9. Brebowers April 17, 2014 at 9:59 AM #

    If you really consider worshipping in “Spirit and Truth,” you have to be careful who you are accusing of false worship. For example, many worship acts done in the first century church have been changed in the Church of Christ today.The “five acts of worship” are not taught in the Bible, either. I attend a Church of Christ, but I also study for myself and have realized some falsehoods that are being taught as biblical truth. We try very hard to get it right, but we cannot claim perfection.

    Also, if you notice throughout the NT, Jesus is more enraged over false humility and pride than the Jewish acts of worship….

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