HOW CAN I UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE?
The Bible friends is not just any book. This book has comforting messages, promises, and counsels. One modern Bible stu dent said,
men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose that is rarely seen in these times. But there is but little profit derived from a hasty reading of the scriptures. one may read the whole Bible through, and yet fail to see it’s beauty or comprehend it’s deep and hidden meaning. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind, and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained.
What a quote this is, it’s challenging and truthful at the same time.
The reason why it’s impossible for us to understand God’s truths apart from the aid of the Holy Spirit is because we are carnal. The Bible says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. 2:14
Open thou mine eyes, That I may behold wondrous things out of thy law
Study a text and look at it’s context, who is involved and what message can you learn from what you just read.
What could Jesus be telling you? God will speak to your heart if you read the Bible with an open mind. Allow the Bible to interpret itself.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit for Guidance:
1 Cor. 2:11 “even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
v.10 “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
John. 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
In Biblical studies these methods of studying the Bible are called Hermeneutics – Jesus used this in Luke 24 (beginning with Moses and the prophets He expounded (the greek there is hermeneutics – to them…)
Avoid selectivity – look at the scripture as a whole and try to understand what the Bible is saying on a certain them. A quick example is a text from Luke 14:27 which says that “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Selectivity would be saying, ah since scripture says that, therefore, I am going to hate my father and mother. This would be going against the fifth commandment that says honour your father and mother (Exod. 20:12)
Understand the literary structure (genre, context, syntax, grammar etc) of the Bible. With this we mean a parable must be taken as a parable not a literal saying. A prophecy must be understood as a prophecy.
There are tools that can help you understand the Bible even more – with this I mean, the Bible was written originally in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, therefore you will need to use either a few translations, Biblical dictionaries, SDA commentary and finally for us as Adventist – the writings of Ellen White.
Finally understand scripture in a big picture of the Great Controversy (that is, ever since sin entered this world, there is a controversy between Christ and Satan and Jesus has made a way for us to be saved and as Christians we await His second coming where all things will be restored to peace and harmony, when sin and satan will be destroyed).
Therefore friends, study scripture text by text, or thematically or by focusing on certain topics. At the end ask your self the so what question. What is God saying to me, and what does God want me to understand or do.
“If you are passionate enough, if you love God enough you will want to hear His love letter, the map to salvation, for you and I. I pray that you will be blessed and drawn closer to God as you study His word.