Looking At The Little Word "If"

According to E.W. Bullinger’s, “A Critical Lexicon and Concordance To The English And Greek New Testament” (1982), p. 396, the little word, “if” (note 1. (b) – followed by the subjunctive mood) means, “This expresses a condition of uncertainty, with an assumption of some small amount of contingency or probability, where experience will show whether the thing is really so or not, (John 7:17).”

This word has only two letters in its makeup, but it is one of the most important words in the Bible.

Let’s look at a biblical example in 1 John 1 of just how important this little word is.

In 1 John 1:6-10 KJV, John uses the little word, “if” no less than five times. In so many words, he is stating that in our Christian walk, we can continually be cleansed by the blood of Christ “if” we are willing to (1)walk in the light” (of God’s word – Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23), and (2) “confess our sins” before God.

Note that the blessing of our continually being cleansed by Christ’s blood is conditioned on whether or not we continually adhere and are obedient to the word of God (1 John 1:7; cf. John 7:17; Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:9; James 1:23-25; 1 Peter 1:22).

In the Bible, is the little word, “if” important? You bet it is, as our adherence or non-adherence to this little word can carry with it eternal consequences (cf. Romans 11:18-22 KJV).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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