20. The Most Important Verses in the Bible
[Note: This is my first attempt at the most important verses in the Bible.]
Unless these MOST important verses in the Bible are filling our perspective of everything we think about God and every manner in which we interpret and apply all the other verses in the Bible, then we remain almost completely ignorant of the reality of God and what He is doing in the earth.
20. The Most Important Verses in the Bible
Someone posted a comment about my website on Facebook that got under my shell big time. In fact, it got to the core of my deep concern for God’s people, my brethren, who have no idea, really, what God actually says in His word. First, here is the comment:
Daniel Yordy’s home page, http://www.dyordy.com, reads, “Jesus wins; He utterly fulfills, in this age and in our lives, the purpose for which God sent Him – to make us just like Himself, to reveal Himself in us.”
“To make us just like Himself”! -> does your Bible really say this is the purpose God sent his son? I thought John 3:16 said it was so that, “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.
C___, don’t take these comments the wrong way. There is so much apostasy in the Church we need to be careful to not just accept all the holy-sounding things we hear, but to check it is in the Bible.
The Bereans “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” - Acts 17:11. If Christians actually did this now the church would be so different.”
Here was my immediate response:
Yes, God says exactly that His purpose and determination is to conform us to the image of His dear Son. Romans 8:28-29. I believe this to be the defining verse of the Bible. But regardless, it is God who says this and I can say what God says over and over as loud as I wish. “From the beginning God determined that I would be just like Jesus.” God predestined me to be conformed to the image of His dear Son and in doing so, God (verse 30) has already glorified me in all the glory of Jesus before Him right now.
Yes, yes, we must know what God says. But we must know what God says, not what Christianity says He says. Too often they are the opposite.
The problem is that Christians have never heard God’s sons speak what God speaks with authority and faith and when they do hear it, it sounds foreign and “wrong.”
When I read John 3:16, I read exactly the same thing as Romans 8:29, it says nothing different. Eternal life is to know the Father and to know Christ. Christ lives in my heart. I have the eternal life of God inside me right now. Eternal life is the revelation out from me of the Glorious and Holy One who fills me with All of His Fullness.
But what I do not find in my New Testament is anything God says that connects eternal life and salvation with a place people go to after they die.
My Bible really says that God’s purpose is to transform me into the image of Christ, and I will shout it at the top of my lungs with all confidence of faith and rejoicing that God does exactly what He says in all fullness and without limitation.
How can we look at ourselves and not see Jesus? Is He so small in our eyes?
God says that we know the unknowable love of the One who fills our hearts so that we can (right now) be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3) If some Christians pick some minor verses to emphasize above all others, am I at fault because I choose to emphasize the big verses that too many Christians find impossible to believe?
And the incredible thing is, the more I speak what God really does say, the more I find growing inside myself this strange, unthinkable idea that what God says is true and that everything else vanishes as it never was in the first place.
Please forgive me; I really don’t want to be offensive. I am just so stirred inside when doubt is cast against the word my Father speaks. It fills my heart with grief that too many precious saints really do not know what God says because they have not ever been taught what God actually does say in the New Covenant they have entered into with God.
And so this pebble under my shell inspired me to write this list of the most important verses in the Bible. Here is why.
Almost all preachers and churches use a handful of verses selected out of the 31,173 verses in the whole Bible from which to teach their congregations about God and about truth. Different churches may select a slightly different set of verses, but, especially when you get down to the Vacation Bible School level, those few selected verses by which every Christian child’s understanding of God and reality are set, those verses are almost the same across the board and very few.
The process of selection has taken almost 2000 years to develop within a church filled with in-partness, the tares of the enemy, and general unbelief.
The verses that have been selected by Christianity to serve as their definition of God and of salvation do not include any of the most important verses in the Bible. Those verses are almost entirely absent. Some of these most important verses are never taught to believers anywhere at any time.
Most Christians define God and salvation by a handful of minor and subordinate verses. Then, when they hear someone speaking out of the MOST important verses in the Bible, they are convinced that person is making stuff up that God does not say.
On the contrary, unless these MOST important verses in the Bible are filling our perspective of everything we think about God and every manner in which we interpret and apply all the other verses in the Bible, then we remain almost completely ignorant of the reality of God and what He is doing in the earth.
Theology is vital, contrary to what we who receive the Spirit of grace at first think. What I believe about God, about salvation, about myself, and about this world will govern everything I am and do, and most importantly, what I believe is true about these things will govern all the course of my future.
May I suggest that you make these most important verses the definition, the structure, the warp and woof, the foundation, the pillars, and the capstone of everything you think, everything you know, and everything you are.
The less important verses have their place, but only to support and to expand these DEFINING verses of the Bible.
Now, let me say this. This list is from my present knowledge of God and His ways. It is not set in stone. It is not meant to be exhaustive or to be the “theology” of a new sect. I am coming out of darkness; I am seeing light for the first time, and my eyes blink as I try to understand things I have never really seen before. My hearing of these things may go back more than 30 years, but my seeing of the Holy One who fills my heart is a joy of only the last few years.
Also, when I use the word “verse,” I am using a very loose definition of that word. Some of these “verses” are actually two or three verses. Some may be just part of a verse, while others are two verses from different places joined together. At the same time, there are other companion verses that stand alongside some of these verses, yet they are essentially saying the same thing and thus do not need to be included, though they share in importance.
The Most Important Verses in the Bible
1. Romans 8: 28-30
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
The first four verses in this list are not salvation verses. The most important salvation verse stands at position #5. These are purpose of God verses. They tell us what God is doing, what His ultimate purpose is and why everything else happens the way it does.
“Predestined” has become a religious word encrusted with millennia of barnacles and bloodshed and mindless controversy. No one in all the centuries of futile debate has ever gone beyond it to see what on earth God is talking about. To everyone it is a debate over who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. Demonic!
When Bible words and phrases become too religious the only way we can see God through them is to paraphrase them, to bring them into the language we speak every day, the Word made flesh and dwelling among us.
From the very beginning, God determined to conform me to the image of His dear Son.
This one statement is the entire purpose of God for creation. “Determination” includes three things, it includes purpose, it includes passion, and it includes certainty.
A Christian who does not have this word woven all through everything they think, hear and see concerning God, His word, and His salvation, if they do not hear it mentioned from the pulpit in some way more than any other verse in the Bible, then they cannot know what God is about and they cannot hear the present Word God is releasing to His sons. Every child coming through Sunday School should be able to repeat to you what God is determined to do. “God is determined to make me the image of Jesus.” And that little childhood phrase ought to undergird everything every Christian thinks and says about themselves, about God, and about Christianity.
The fact that it is utterly absent, the fact that people who think they know “what the Bible says,” regard it as foreign and wrong, is the greatest evidence we have that the serpent lies sleeping upon the church of Christ.
Then, verse 30 tells us that this great purpose of God is already accomplished in full, and verse 28 tells us how what is already completed works its way into full visibility in the physicality of life in this world.
Then the next three MOST important verses in the Bible take us to the three unthinkable realities of who we are as humans, as the image of Jesus Christ.
2. Ephesians 3:17-19
That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you… may… know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Feel free to read the actual verses. I removed the in-between wording not to change any form of meaning, but to magnify and focus in on the incredible power of these words.
When was the last time you sat in church and listened to a preacher expound on the incredible glory and wonder of what it means for us right now to be filled with all the fullness of God?
You haven’t? Neither have I.
Part of the reason is this statement is so beyond our ability to comprehend as humans that we have no idea how to talk about it. For almost all Christians, the very idea is heretical blasphemy. Were I to place this phrase at the top of my website, “I am filled with all the fullness of God,” people would bounce off it much faster than they do.
All I will say about it here is this. When God created man, He created Him with the most incredible capacity far beyond any other created being. God gave man the capacity to contain inside Himself everything that is God – all infinity, all power, all love, all wisdom. All the fullness of God.
Kind of changes our definition of man, doesn’t it?
3. John 7: 37-39
If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit…
You and I contain inside of us all the fullness of God. We know that more and more as our knowledge of the presence of Christ’s love in us grows. Yet that reality is for two purposes. Here is the first and most important.
Not only is man created with the capacity to contain everything God is in all fullness, but God also gave man the ability to release God as a river of life flowing out, bring healing and life and joy to everything it touches.
Yet these words are almost as “blasphemous” as “filled with all the fullness of God.” Consider these two other verses:
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:21
There is a simple equation of logic. If A equals B and B equals C, then A equals C. In other words if my orange has the same value as someone else’s banana, and a third person says that their apple is the same value as the banana, I can safely trade my orange for that apple, knowing that they have the same value.
We are free to use that same logic here.
If John says that the river of life comes out of the throne of God, and if Jesus says that the river of life comes out of my heart, then I can conclude that my heart is the very throne of Almighty God that John saw throughout his vision. My heart is God’s throne. Paul says that Christ dwells in my heart. Christ is seated in the throne of God, my heart, and He invites me, as I overcome all things, to sit there in my heart, the throne of Almighty God, with Him.
Kind of changes our definition of man – and of God, doesn’t it?
And out of my heart, the very throne of God, flows the river of life, RIVERS of living water – God Himself sent out from me! – that bring all of creation into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
Again, this is way too much for us, far beyond our ability to grasp. We say these things only because they are there on the page before our eyes. We know God said them, therefore we know they are true. And even though they are far beyond all ability we possess to make sense of them, we speak them out loud with all joy of faith that they are true, they are true of us.
4. Revelation 12:10-11
Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him (the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
This is not a salvation verse even though it positions salvation as its foundation. It is a purpose verse and the second reason why we contain inside ourselves all the fullness of God.
The first thing the accuser said when he opened his mouth to speak was an open in-your-face accusation against God and against the Word God speaks. “Did God really say that?” Satan, the liar, standing before all creation, accused God of lying.
God, in His intentions and purposes, placed that same accuser against the mind and heart of every one of us who contain in ourselves all the fullness of God. And God gave us the power to cast that accuser down.
Not only did God give man the capacity to contain all the fullness of God, not only did God give man the ability to release God Himself as a river of life flowing out from us to bring life and healing and joy to all creation, but God also gave man the ability, the authority and the power, to cast down every voice that speaks against God, against His Word, and against His redeemed.
Do Sunday school children know that they are called to be filled with all the fullness of God? Do they know that they have the power to release God in a river of life that brings healing and life to everyone around them? Do they know that they can cast down everything that suggests that what God speaks is not really true? Do they know these things, in simple, childlike language?
Why not? Does God not say these things? Many Christians, hearing them for the first time, will argue that the Bible says no such thing. Yet it is not hard to understand that if, in fact, they are what God says, there, in black and white on the paper, then they MUST be the most important verses in the Bible.
The answer to “why not” fills me with great sorrow, yet I know that God has set a time and a season for all things, and that the time of fulfillment, the time of the casting aside of all darkness, is upon us.
5. Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
My heart is filled with such a groaning to impart to you the depths of meaning and reality found in this verse and the next. Yet I will touch on it here only briefly. This exchange is absolute and complete. The cross has removed me as an “I” separate from God. Christ is my life, I have no other life. This is the unshakeable foundation of reality upon which I walk. I speak this truth over and over until it is all that I know. Christ is my life; I have no other life.
6. Hebrews 10: 19-22
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way… let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
This verse gives us the purpose of the blood by which we enter behind the veil into the unlimited holy Presence of Almighty God, and by which our hearts, the throne of God, are made pure for His seat – and how our bodies, the temple of God, are prepared for His glory. The blood is more profound, more real, more absolute than we can possibly know. To limit ourselves by our own fallibility in any way is to dishonor the Blood.
We enter the Holiest with full confidence, always, always, always sprinkled from any thought of falling short of His glory. Our bodies are pure, they are the dwelling place of God. Galatians 2:20 is the ground upon which we walk, Hebrews 10 is the air which we breathe. We are saved by His life.
7. Hebrews 3:14/6 and 2 Corinthians 2:14
For we have become partakers of Christ if… we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end — Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
Please don’t think I’m playing loose with God’s word. If you look carefully at Hebrews 3:14 and 6, you will see that the author is saying the same thing, repeating himself exactly, with slightly different words in both verses. I have put them together in this way to enlarge the truth God is speaking.
This is the greatest jeopardy verse in the Bible. Our salvation, our enjoyment of everything God has promised us, stands upon this largest of words, IF. IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. That is a wonderful requirement in itself, but Paul explains the same thing better in 2 Corinthians 2:14.
God always leads us IN triumph, that is, God always leads us to celebrate total and absolute victory in all things and in every way, now, WHEN WE DO NOT SEE IT. To dance on this side of the sea, to celebrate the victory before we see it with our eyes. Peter says it this way: “Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” James says it this way: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” John says the same thing this way: “The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl.”
I always exult boastfully in the victory of Christ in me.
In order for me to see all things that God speaks fulfilled in all fullness in my life right here on this earth and in this age, I SPEAK all that God speaks concerning me, out loud with my voice box. I speak what God speaks until I believe it, until I know that what God speaks is absolutely and always TRUE and that all that God does not speak does not exist.
8. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death… Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
This eighth verse shows us the end of all things and the nature of God Himself. The ultimate task of Jesus is to bring all creation back into reconciliation and submission to His Father – all creation, ALL. We know from Romans 8:21 that Jesus will fulfill His great purpose through us. Everything that exists, everything that God created, everything that is, we will bring back into the full joy of the love of God. And in the end, God will be all in all, everything in everyone.
Now, here is the point, these are the most important verses in the Bible. They should be woven through all the warp and woof, the weave and fabric, of our theology, our preaching, our teaching, our Bible study, our thinking, our talking, and our living. Our children should come home from all Vacation Bible schools with the answer to the question, “What did you learn today,” being “God is determined to make me the image of Jesus.”
Christians who do not have these verses at the tip of their tongues, who do not recognize them immediately as the telling verses of their lives and Christianity, who do not speak them or hear them in most every sermon and teaching, have no idea what God is doing, what salvation is about, and where they are going.
Crowding in closely beneath the eight most important verses of the Bible are many others, all very important. Many would say that “This is my commandment that you love one another/Love one another fervently with a pure heart,” ought to be among them. (And it is – I am filled with all the fullness of a God who IS love in action.) But eight is eight, and from my present perspective, I see all those close verses as extensions of, as support for, as the how to, the ways and means by which these eight verses move out into every aspect of our lives. I am convinced that every other verse in the Bible either flows into these eight verses, or flows out of them, or both at the same time.
Make these eight “verses” the defining verses of all your Christianity. It would not be hard to memorize them all. Let them fill our thinking, our study, our discussion, our preaching and teaching. Let us teach them to our children, let us tell our children that this is God, this is what He is about, and this is who they are.
Everything else God says in the entire Bible, everything, serves one of two purposes. Every other verse either helps us to understand more clearly these eight verses, or it helps us to know more clearly how these eight verses are fulfilled in our lives.
One more thing. You will notice that many of the defining verses of evangelical Christianity are found nowhere near this list. Many would brand me a heretic for leaving out “the Great Commission” for one, yet that is simply an extension of John 7:37. The River of Life is the only true evangelism – and it goes far beyond the often misuse of the words of Jesus in Matthew 28.
By what rule are the verses chosen by Christianity to be exalted, and most of these eight verses to be ignored almost completely? What fault can we be charged with if we choose to exalt these eight verses (and others that are all very similar) as the definition of the revelation of God and of the Bible?
What kind of a Christianity would it be if these eight “verses,” filled most of what Christians heard on a regular basis?
Let’s find out!