Being able to quote Scripture verses is not the same thing as speaking what God desires to say in any given situation.
Don’t get me wrong. I very much respect and honor the Scriptures. However, slapping a ‘proof text’ on an argument isn’t the same thing as knowing the Word of God in that situation.
Arguing scriptures may just be a person’s ability to present reinforcements of doctrines, or positions they already believe is ‘Biblical.’ We do love our doctrines, don’t we? They may just enjoy the thrill of the argument. They may think they are serving God when they are actually doing the same as Paul when He killed Christians in the name of God.
So, how are we to know if the Scriptures we quote are actually the heart of what God wants to say?
I’m glad you asked.
What is the fruit? Did it produce misunderstanding, strife, discontent, accusation, fear, anxiety, and division? Did it stir up a greater love for God, and each other? Did it cause you to feel superior because you set the person straight (in God’s name)? Did it create an atmosphere of hope, personal humility, and respect? Was real faith increased in you and the person you’re speaking with?
Remember, because you are able to quote Scripture verses doesn’t mean you are speaking what God wants to say! It also doesn’t mean you actually know the Bible. A person may have an excellent memory of Scriptures that support their pre-determined position…but it may not be what God is saying at that moment.
To know Scripture is to personally experience the life of those verses.
May we learn to experience the God-like nature of the Scripture we quote. May we speak with God His Words of life that sets free instead of further binds.