Ever since I was old enough to be paying attention, I heard over and over in many Christian contexts that you get saved by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 16:31 was always quoted, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
This is certainly true, there is no other way to be saved than by grace through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
But as I got older and began to read the Bible, I noticed that I was never told the whole verse. There are words missing from the version I heard over and over. And, no, it’s not because the King James is outdated, it’s in the King James, and it’s not a Greek textual difference either, it’s even in the Greek.
The full verse says, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
The last three words get dropped routinely. I believe the main reason for this is that it draws up a context that will need to be explained, taking away the focus of getting our person saved that we just partially quoted our verse to.
No one wants to go through the details of who apostles were, why they were in prison, how an earthquake came and released the prisoners, how the prison guard wanted to kill himself, etc. I mean, just bring up the first two points and anyone you’ve been talking to has all sorts of questions and the Gospel presentation will be thwarted.
So, we drop the last three words to keep on point. Perhaps a smaller issue is that we don’t want to bother to explain to a person that even if you believe, your whole family still might not be. “But it says. . .” Yes, yes. Yes I know, but hey, how about that weather?”
So, as all Christians know, when you come across a particular passage of Scripture that is hard to explain or deal with, it is best to ignore it and perhaps it will go away.
It’s cold out and it has been snowing.