Saturday, September 17, 2011

Interpreting the bible-

Here's a paper I had written a couple years back that I just came across and thought I'd share it with you all!

7 Criteria's for the common person to interpret the word of God:

1. You must be born again-
  • 1 Cor 2:14 "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
  • If you're not born again, then the actual truths in the bible will remain a mystery to you. An unregenerate person may have an interpretation of the bible, but most likely it'll be the wrong one.
2. You must work at it-
  • 2 Tim 2:15 "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
  • It takes time, effort and work to interpret the bible correctly.
  • Minimal time and effort=minimal understanding - Maximum time and effort=maximum understanding -
3. You must want it-
  • 1 Peter 2:2 "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.."
  • A baby desire milk. We may give him other things, such as toys, warm cloths... etc. but he will always desire milk! We are God's children, and should want and desire to know the truth just as babies desire milk. If we do not have that desire, we must ask and pray for it.
4. You must be holy-
  • 1 Peter 2:1 "Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking."
  • We must constantly be reading the word. The lack of reading the word is not because the word is not exciting, but rather because you are not excited about reading it, therefor creating a sin.
5. You must have no idols-
  • Ezekiel 14:4 "Therefor speak to them, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols."
  • Sin has the ability to guard godly men of the truth.
  • You must learn how to interpret the scripture, because even preachers, and Sunday school teachers can have wrong interpretations of it [Acts 17:11]
  • God will give us what we want [our idols] just in order to show us that we "don't need them!"
6. You must be Spirit-Controlled-
  • 1 John 2:26-27 "These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him."
  • Some people interpret 1 John 2 to say that "the spirit guides them in all truth and they don't need teachers, and don't need to study the word of God and learn how to interpret it." But, they themselves are interpreting this passage wrongly by saying that. In this passage Paul is "teaching" the first century church that they need to be careful of gnostic teachers, he is not saying that they shouldn't listen to any teachers at all [after all, Paul was a teacher]. He also wasn't saying that all you need is the spirit abiding in you and you will know all truth. Paul was simply saying that you must be controlled by the spirit and confided by the boundary's set by the scripture. The spirit and the word go hand in hand!
7. You must be a person of fervent prayer-
  • Eph 1:15-18 "Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of you understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints."
  • Paul was even praying for understanding. He was an apostle of Christ, he wrote many of the books of the bible, and yet he prayed for understanding and for those whom he was writing to. How much more then should we be praying!?!
  • "There's no true prayer without the study of the word of God, and there's no true study of the word of God without prayer." -R.A. Torrey
  • Prayer is vital for good bible studies! Psalms 119:145 says "My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word."


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