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Similarity Is Not Sameness: Distinguishing Things that Differ

Similarity is not sameness: distinguishing similar thingsPeople make many mistakes thinking similar things should be treated the same way. Consider some examples in which similar things are distinct and must be distinguished.

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People often assume that similar things should be treated the same way. A dog and a chair both have four legs and a back. But a dog is not a chair. Similarity is not sameness.

Scripture often makes distinctions that we must recognize.

God is not a man.

Genesis 1:26,27 – People were made in the image of God, so there are similarities.

Numbers 23:19 – God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.

God is far superior to people in many ways. Similarity is not sameness.

(Psalm 50:21)

People are not animals.

Some people see similarities between people and animals, so they conclude humans evolved from animals. Others think animals should be treated like people or people treated like animals.

Genesis 1:26-28 – But people were created separately from animals. We are in the image of God and have authority over animals. Similarity is not sameness.

A man is not a woman.

People see similarities between men and women so some think a woman can change into a man and vice versa. Some fail to recognize distinctions between men and women regarding whom they seek to marry or have sexual relations with. Some fail to respect Biblical distinctions between men and women in the home and the church.

Genesis 1:26,27; 2:6,7,18-21 – Men and women were created differently. Woman was created to be a companion and helper to man. A man should marry a woman. Similarity is not sameness.

Jesus was not just a man.

John 1:14 – The Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus on earth was fully human. Some have concluded and taught that on earth He was just a human.

John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Colossians 2:9 – For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

Jesus was also fully Deity even on earth. Similarity is not sameness.

Jesus’ kingdom is not an earthly government.

2 Samuel 7:12,13 – God promised He would establish David’s kingdom and his descendant would rule on David’s throne forever. Some people assume that kingdom would be a civil, earthly kingdom and must be established when Jesus returns.

John 18:36 – The kingdom of Christ is not of this world.

Colossians 1:13,14 – The kingdom consists of all who have been forgiven of their sins. It is spiritual, not an earthly kingdom. Similarity is not sameness.

Jesus’ church is not a denomination.

Many people have assumed that the church of Jesus is a denomination simply because it consists of people who meet to worship God and teach unique doctrines.

Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:47 – Jesus built His church consisting of all saved people. Denominations did not exist in the first century and no Christians were part of any denomination.

1 Corinthians 1:10-13 – Denominations were begun by men without God’s authority. They separate themselves from one another based on man-made doctrines. Similarity is not sameness.

Sprinkling and pouring are not baptism.

Some people think sprinkling or pouring are as good as immersion.

Acts 8:37-39 – Baptism involves going down into and coming up out of the water.

Romans 6:3,4; Colossians 2:12 – Baptism is an immersion and a resurrection.

Similarity is not sameness.

Many other examples could be given. The lesson is we must follow the word of God without accepting human changes – Matthew 15:9; Galatians 1:8,9.

Can you establish by the Scriptures what you did to becoming a child of God? Are you living faithfully according to the word of God?

(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2022;

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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

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