I did not come up with this title—The Best “But” in the Bible. My son-in-law gave me the idea to write this blog when he showed me what he considers to be the best “but” in the Bible. I would say it’s the best “but” in the world!
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 BUT because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)
There are many “but’s” in the Bible. I once made an interesting study of all the “but’s” that are in the Book of Proverbs. Here are some examples:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
BUT fools despise wisdom and discipline. (1:7)
The wise inherit honor,
BUT fools he holds up to shame. (3:35)
A wise son brings joy to his father,
BUT a foolish son grief to his mother. (10:1)
The memory of the righteous will be a blessing,
BUT the name of the wicked will rot. (10:7)
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
BUT violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. (10:11
Wise men store up knowledge,
BUT the mouth of a fool invites ruin. (10:14)
When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,
BUT the righteous stand firm forever. (10:25)
The LORD abhors dishonest scales,
BUT accurate weights are his delight. (11:1)
The truly righteous man attains life,
BUT he who pursues evil goes to his death. (11:19)
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
BUT he who hates correction is stupid. (12:1)
A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal,
BUT the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. (12:10)
The LORD detests lying lips,
BUT he delights in men who are truthful. (12:22)
Do your own study. Start with the Book of Proverbs—that has at least 254 “but’s”—and then go on to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5—7), and follow up in the Epistles. You will see man’s ways and then after the BUT will come God’s way. That’s the one to follow!
Here is a great BUT by Jesus:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 BUT I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (NIV)
But the best “but” is this one: We were dead in your transgressions and sins… BUT because of his great love for us, God made us alive with Christ. We have been saved by grace!
I fully agree with my son-in-law—there is no better BUT!
Meditate on “BUT GOD”! Let the Holy Spirit work in your heart to reveal the great treasure behind these revolutionizing words. BUT for his grace, where would I be?