The Letter Kills


Who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

~2 Corinthians 3:6, NASB


Mere Bible study, however diligent, does not make a person spiritual.

~John B. Phillips

The Bible is a wonderful book. It is inspired by God, and it reveals His nature as well as ours. It points us to Jesus who is the way of salvation. John Phillips says the Bible is like a sign on the side of the road giving us directions to our destination. We follow the signs, but we don’t stop, build a memorial and worship the sign. We follow the instructions in the Bible, but we do not worship the Bible; we worship the God of the Bible and the Savior it reveals. Some people spend hours studying the Bible, memorizing verses, extracting life principles and making themselves knowledgeable of the Bibles content. But these same people can be as dry as a powder keg. They are long on knowledge and short on compassion. They have the letter down, but they are not spiritual. The Pharisees were your typical example: they knew the scriptures, at least the letters but they missed the Spirit, the intent or the message which was Jesus. George MacDonald said, The true heart goes to the blessed Book not as an idolater but as a disciple; not to worship the Book, but to learn the will of Him who made the Book, and that has made His Spirit to understand the Book.

They had an “Ah ha religion.” If they caught you plucking grain on the sabbath, they said “Ah ha, we caught you violating the sabbath.” They were infuriated when Jesus healed the man with a withered hand on the sabbath. They had zero concern for the man, their only concern was the letter of the law, but they had totally missed the spirit of the law which was to help man and not add to his burdens. God created the Sabbath to bless us and help us and they perverted a good thing into a bad thing. Some of the most self-righteous, bitterest and prideful people I have ever known quoted scripture chapter and verse. Bible study is good, it revives the soul but to study the Bible for your pleasure or to gain knowledge so you can use the Bible as a hammer or whip is to miss the spirit of the law. This pious self-righteous attitude, like that of the Pharisees, will kill a conversation, kill an opportunity to show kindness, kill an opportunity to be a positive witness, kill your influence; and it will even kill a prayer meeting. Always be humble and kind.


Bro. Vardon Windsor was promoted yesterday evening. Pray for Dale and family as they make arrangements. They are thinking about Saturday. Reagan’s wedding is also Saturday at 3:00 with the rehearsal Thursday night. Ty has a double hitter at Section Saturday and my brother and nephew have birthday parties in Athens, but I will not be able to attend any of these events. I need to be four people on Saturday. It is just one of those things you can’t help.

Keep praying for Pastor Ben, those battling cancer and Jo Ann Lennox. Jo Ann is slightly better. Have a good day and thanks for reading the blog.

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