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The Biggest Little Word In The Bible

Woody Hayes, legendary football coach at Ohio State University, used to take a lot of criticism when his team was not throwing the ball. When that happened he would remind the team: "Three things can happen when you throw a forward pass, and two of them are bad." Somebody picked up on that, and said sermons are like footballs — it's best to keep them down on the ground and out of the air. I have read and heard that the great 20- century preacher N. B. Hardeman used to teach his preacher students, "Put the hay down where the calves can get it and the cows will do alright." Is the Bible so "up in the air" its message cannot be understood by the masses? I once heard a preacher at a teacher workshop trying to convince attendees the Bible was very difficult to understand. Thankfully some preachers and teachers in the room (some who personally knew the preacher as a friend) took him on and reminded him that when it comes to the plan of salvation, basic teaching about the church and Christian living and how to please God and go to Heaven, the Bible is not all that difficult to understand for those committed to studying it. After all, the apostle Paul reminded Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:15 that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus," and in the context Paul was referring to the Old Testament scriptures!

What is the biggest word in the Bible? Words like 'righteousness, justification, salvation, atonement, sanctification, reconciliation, propitiation, etc.," pop up frequently in the text of standard translations of the Bible. Although the length of the average word in the Bible is less than five letters, some still (mistakenly I am convinced) believe the word of God is too complex and difficult for the average person to understand. In reality, the biggest word in the Bible may be only two letters long — the little word "in." For example, Ephesians 1:3 informs us God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ." The word "in" occurs about 120 times in Ephesians alone! Ephesians 2:12-13 draws a dramatic contrast between Christians and those who are not Christians — at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." Did you read carefully? Spiritually, every accountable person on earth is in one or the other of but two locations — in the world" (and without hope) or in Christ" (and near to God)! To be in Christ is to be vitally connected to Him. Romans 6:3-5 reveals that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death" and that in baptism we are "... united with Him." From this vital union and connection with Christ flows everything the Christian needs for spiritual life and health! You may be in the money, in the know, in good health, in the good life, or in a 1,000 other things most people treasure and trust — yet never be "in Christ." Since we all live on the brink of eternity, the most important question you can ask is not where are you in life but who are you in. Think about it.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ