What a difference one little word can make. Take “also” for instance. This first came to my attention sitting in a lawyer’s library with a friend. My friend had pointed out a statute to the lawyer, thinking this statute made his case. The attorney pointed out that it was not an all inclusive statute. What made the difference? The little word, “also.” My friend’s case went down the toilet.
A little over three decades back, during a conversation with the leader of the group that I was affiliated with, this leader said the Apostle Paul said, “I think I have the Spirit of God.” One problem; Paul didn’t say that! What he said was, “I think also that I have the Spirit of God.” What a difference one little word can make.
Paul was discussing marriage, divorce and what, he believed, were the merits of remaining single. This is all found in the 7th chapter of 1st Corinthians. Where he has instructions from the Lord, he says so; where he gives his opinion he says so too. Paul has stated that a widow is free to marry (in the Lord) if she desires. “But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgement: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.” What does all this mean? Simply that Paul says “I have no commandment of the Lord,” but I am telling you what I think, and in telling you what I think, I am telling you that I believe I have the blessing of God’s Spirit. Did he? You will have to decide. But I am telling you that I am confident he did. That little “also” makes a big difference.
I was recently reading an article in a holiness publication. In this article the author states, “The sin mentioned in 1 John 3:4-10 is defined as the transgression of the law.” One problem: that little word “also.” 1 John 3:4 KJV states, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” So many tend to read that without that “also” in there. Could it be that the Scripture is read so as to support your theology? The fact is that you can’t sin without transgressing the law, but you can transgress the law without sinning. The most obvious example of this is Jesus healing on the Sabbath. Oh, but we must be true to our theology. It matters not whether we are Calvinists or Arminians, we read the Scripture to support our position. When you stand before God in the judgement I pray you won’t be shot down by one little “also.”