"The sum of Your word is truth" (Ps. 119:160)
Considering only one verse to prove a point can be dangerous. Many verses, when taken out of context, have several plausible interpretations. But if we conclude on one interpretation without considering the sum of God’s word, we can easily find ourselves with an improper understanding of God’s will. Consider the following example in reference to salvation.
Ephesians 2:8 – "For by grace you have been saved through faith"
A plausible explanation of that verse is that we are saved at the point of belief in Jesus Christ. But notice another verse.
1 Peter 3:21 – "Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you"
A plausible explanation of that verse is that baptism is the only thing that is necessary for us to be saved. While these are both plausible explanations for these two verses, neither one is correct.
We must look at the sum of God’s word. Is faith necessary for salvation? Yes! Is baptism necessary for salvation? Yes! These passages do not contradict each other. Rather, they compliment each other.
When studying the Bible, let us be careful that our interpretation of a passage does not conflict with another passage. If it does, we need to reexamine our conclusion. The word of God is truth. Truth harmonizes with truth. As Jesus said, "the Scripture cannot be broken" (Jn. 10:35).