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Why Red Letters?

Why do some Bibles highlight the words of Jesus in red?
Isn’t it all the Word of God?
Absolutely! Every Word of God – the entire Bible as we have it today – is the inspired and inerrant Word of God, written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. So why make some of it red and the rest in black.
Jesus says: 
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. ~ John 6:63 NASB
Jesus says of His own words, they are "Spirit and are Life." Jesus is the “Word made flesh” (John 1:14) God spoke the Word (Jesus) and created all things. There is no more powerful force in the universe that the Word of Jesus.
If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing… ~ 1 Timothy 6:3,4 NASB
Paul tells us that all doctrine must line up with the teachings of Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate plumb line. We must judge all doctrine and all our theology against the life and words of Jesus. It is a big mistake to take the words of Paul and allow your interpretation of them to “trump” the words of Jesus. This goes for the Old Testament as well. For instance, if you take the example of the life of Job and superimpose it over the life of Jesus, and explain away the words of Jesus based on the life of Job, you are misunderstanding.
Paul also tells us:
…attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” ~ Colossians 2:2b,3 NASB
Here we see that true wealth and treasure is all hidden in Christ. Hebrews 1:1-4 tells us that Jesus is the express image of God, so if we want to see what God is really like, we should not dig around in the Old Testament, but rather look at the clear image of God – Jesus.
This blog, "Another Red Letter Day," will focus predominately on the red letters – Jesus’ own words - and hopefully encourage and challenge the reading community to move closer to Him, and conform more fully to His likeness. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds, so unlocking these words of Jesus can only result in our conforming to His likeness, line by line, precept by precept.

Thanks for reading!

Ben

29 thoughts on “Why Red Letters?

  1. Saved 2 the Utmost aka Mom

    Hi Ben! Just wanted to stop by and say a big "THANK YOU" for liking my recent post and stopping by our blog. It's always a joy to find another new "star" in the world of Christian bloggers. Be blessed and continue to seek out that better understanding of the truth.

    God bless,
    Ma Chris

    Reply
  2. Seth Meyers

    Ben,

    As I was reading, I wasn't sure what you meant in a few places:

    "It is a big mistake to take the words of Paul and allow your interpretation of them to “trump” the words of Jesus."

    Are you saying that Paul's epistles are not inspired? If they are inspired, do you think he can contradict Jesus? If he can't contradict Jesus, aren't the words of Paul qualitatively the same as the words of Christ?

    And I love focusing on the words of Christ, by the way.

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Hey Seth,
      Great questions!

      I absolutely believe Paul's writings are just as inspired as Jesus, but I have heard, many times, people use the things Paul says as if they somehow negate what Jesus taught.

      I think we need to read it all, and when we find seeming contradictions, we must press in, until the Lord opens our eyes.

      Paul in some cases builds on what Jesus taught and demonstrated.

      Jesus is the Word made flesh, and express image of God. If we are seeing something in Pauls teaching that you can't picture in Jesus life, you might need to rethink what you think Paul said.

      I hope that helps clear up what i was trying to express.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Ben

      Reply
      1. Seth Meyers

        Thanks for your reply, Ben.

        I can see your perspective, since I too have experienced some people pitting one Biblical author against another. However, in my interaction, they've used Jesus to counteract Paul! (ie. New Perspective on Paul; emphasis on "social justice" viz a viz churchplanting; Paul's position on homosexuality; etc.)

        And I'm not saying you're doing that. Just that I've been involved with others who have.

        Reply
  3. cshowers

    Ben, a few months ago, the Lord placed it on my heart to begin a monthly post called "Share the Love." In this post, once a month, I feature someone's blog, depending on who the Lord lays on my heart to share with my readers. This isn't an award or anything, it's just something the Lord placed in my heart to do. And for April's "Share the Love," He's placed your blog on my heart. Below is a link to my "Share the Love" page, which explains it much better than I have in this little comment box. 🙂 Anyway, all I need from you is your permission to feature your blog, and a link to your favorite post, out of your many posts that you have written.

    My email address is cshowers@live.org, and you can email your response to me there, so no one knows before April 1 whose blog will be featured. If you want to share why your favorite is your favorite, that would be great and I'll include it, but if not, that's ok too. I truly do appreciate the sound biblical teaching that you present on your blog, which is why I'd like to feature you, so that my readers who are not familiar with your blog will come and visit you.

    Many blessings and much love in Christ,
    Cheryl

    Reply
  4. Mirada

    Thanks for the card--"awful thoughty" of you. Mislaid your email address, but will keep looking through the stack of papers--mine has changed (the one on this comment should work). Tonight's Spaghetti Night--should I serve you up a plate with garlic bread? Hope you're not iced/snowed in--praying for you and the fam (how's Baby Girl doin'?).

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      So glad to see you kiddo! The baby is growing and discovering and basically being beautiful. for email you can just you ben@anotherredletterday.com. Spaghetti sounds great but i am kind of stuffed at the moment. Perhaps i will reheat in the morning while i decide what to do with what ever snow we get.

      It is a serious blessing to see you out and about. You've been on my mind.

      Reply

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