September 7th, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org/ |
What do you really need to learn from the Bible? What is the goal of all of the knowledge in it? What should be the meter that tells you that you are getting the message? Read on and see >>
A lot of people learn Bible facts. Many learn Bible doctrines. Doctrines are sets of teachings on an issue. There are man-made doctrines and God-made doctrines. Focusing on doctrines is not bad, in and of itself. Many people see the scriptures as a historical data base. It tells us historical information that is relevant and applicable. The scriptures are relevant scientifically and accurate way past modern standards of science. There are good recipes for foods. There are diet advise and teachings that could have prevented all of the health problems plaguing our societies. The scriptures are so full of information on all subjects pertaining to life that it is unmatched by any library! However, that is not the main purpose of the scriptures.
The main purpose of the scriptures is for us to know the author of them. Jeremiah 9:24 “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” “that he understandeth and knoweth me”
Everyone I’ve ever heard speak on it thinks that God made Adam for the purpose of hanging out with him in the garden of Eden, however, man fell into sin. That is not correct. Yes, the LORD was planning on visiting and eventually seeing if man would grow into a person to fellowship with, but it was not the original plan.
Here’s the proof: God makes man> Genesis 2:8 “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” Next, before Adam had even sinned > Genesis 2:18 “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Let’s also clear up another fable; there is no such thing as a “help-mate” nor a “help-meet”. The word “meet” in English also means “appropriate, applicable” or “fitting”. It means God would make a “help” meet for him (appropriate for him).
Back to the proof > “It is not good that the man should be alone”. God was planning on leaving the man alone. Why? Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” How does a righteous, holy God walk in fellowship with a man who is a child with no understanding of right and wrong? How does God fellowship with a little man that doesn’t know how to stick to principals, push through issues, deal with life and maturity? God can visit, be like a visiting God and Father, but walk together with a man that has no understanding, made a little lower than even the angels? Psalms 8:4, 5 “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”
So, the plan was to facilitate man (make a facility in which he could learn). The devil was already made and evil was already present on the earth. Now man could learn and grow by reason of the liberty and beautiful freedom to make mistakes and screw things up royally! And that he did.
To be fair, now you understand why salvation is free. As a good Creator, GOD knew that it was his facilitation that allowed Adam to sin at no cost to you and me, so GOD gives the free gift of his Son Jesus Christ to save us with no cost to us.
Romans 5:18, 19 “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” God made a plan that started you as lost without consulting you, so he made a plan to save you, without consulting you. You just decide if you want Jesus or hell. A lack of deciding for Jesus is a decision for hell.
So, since salvation is a free gift to take and that’s done, religion is out the window. No struggling to find God or a righteous walk through commandments and ceremonies. Now you are free to do what he wants you to, learn of him! Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” “and learn of me”
So, when you read your Bible read it to learn about God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t read it to gather facts, history and information first. First priority: Learn about God.
Isaiah 55:6 “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:”
Jeremiah 29:13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
September 7th, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org/ |
Understanding the scriptures is indeed “puzzling” to many. Well, yeah! That’s the best lesson on how to study them. Read on >>
Understanding what you read in the scriptures seems like the first responsibility of the the reader. It is not. Our job is to read. Understanding is irrelevant. Isaiah 34:16a “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read:..” Revelation 1:3a “Blessed is he that readeth,..” Understanding will come when he wants to give it. Luke 24:45 “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”
Back to the puzzle. Imagine you have a bunch of pieces to a jig-saw puzzle in front of you. You have no idea what to do to use them correctly. First thing then, is to accumulate pieces. You start gathering pieces on the table. That is your #1 job. Don’t try to put them together, even if they seem to fit together. You just don’t have enough pieces to judge rightly.
As you accumulate those pieces, the Lord is watching to see if you’re faithful at accumulating. Are you consistent? Do you accumulate with the right attitude? Do you believe the puzzle can be solved?
After a while you start to notice patterns. You start putting orange pieces with orange and red with red. You notice that some are clearly edge or corner pieces and you begin a rudimentary categorizing (putting them in basic groups).
Luke 16:10 “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
When the Lord sees that you’ve been faithful at that, even that little thing, he quickly flashes a little view of some of the box top that has the picture of the finished product. Just a little glimpse, but it is an “Ah Ha!” moment, none the less. Now you start to see where many more of the pieces fit in.
Now as you study and remember to avoid pride (after all- you were shown, you did not solve it) you start to see that the more pieces you find places for, the more pieces make sense and the more pieces you find places for. After a long time the pieces speak for themselves.
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
When the Lord sees that you are diligent and faithful…That you do not cheat and you really, really want the truth (whether it’s what you wanted it to be or not) he shows you the whole box top clearly and sets it on the table for future reference. Though when you see the box top you want to think, “Yeah, I knew that” you don’t. Instead, the other pieces taught you to be humble and self inspect. So you keep the box top there for reference and assurance and further, continual self inspection.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
September 7, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org |
Understanding the scriptures can be puzzling to many. There are so many false teachings and false beliefs that claim to come from the scriptures. Some people like to take verses from one area of the Bible and others from other areas. How do you know what is right or wrong?
Here are a few points that will greatly help you clear up all the chatter and mess. Read on>>>
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” What is meant by “rightly dividing the word of truth”? Rightly dividing means that some things apply to some things and other things apply to others. Some things apply to more than a few things. Here’s the perfect example: If everything in the scriptures is directly applied to everyone, then you should be gathering a few metric tons of gopher wood and getting ready to build a giant ark that could hold a bunch of livestock. But you say, God was talking to Noah when he said that stuff. Right. Others might think that we should then get rid of Genesis because we are not going to build and ark. Wrong. Romans 15:4 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” There is a lot of use of the old testament for us.
From Noah’s ark experience we learn that the flood of God’s judgment will come. Jesus Christ, who hung on the wood of a cross, will be our only refuge from that flood. Get on board, not around Christ, in Christ. Soon the door will close and it will be too late. That’s an example.
Keep the application of scripture in it’s place and don’t wrestle it out! 2 Peter 3:16 “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
Here are the basic keys to understanding scripture:
Key #1- Historical application. That means that you must place the occurrence in it’s chronological (time frame) place. God, 4,000 years ago, talking to a man named Noah. All scripture has a real and literal timeframe.
Key #2- Doctrinal application. Doctrinal means according to it’s set of teachings. Doctrinally, Noah is before the law, before salvation through Christ, after the garden of Eden, etc.
This is where 99% of bad teachings and false doctrines come from! Here’s the problem, here’s the solution: Romans 3:19 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” The commands of the law and it’s requirements are for those under the law.
Many people think that new testament books mean new testament teachings. Not necessarily so. Hebrews 9:16, 17 “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.” What that means is that the new testament did not begin at the gospels’ chapter 1. The new testament begins at the death of Jesus Christ. And that is when the old testament finished. Mark 15:38 “And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”
This is a big hang up for most. They are looking at what Jesus did in his flesh and blood life and saying we must do likewise in all aspects. He was walking as an old testament Jew, under the law, not under grace and keeping the law of Moses. Gentiles are not.
Next comes a transition period where the church’s teachings are beings set up. It isn’t until Acts 15 that the apostles even figure out what to do with these Gentiles that believe.
Peter was given the keys (plural) to the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 16:19a “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:..” Not the key to heaven! Some think he sits on his duff and decides who gets into heaven. How silly! Repent and trust Christ for your salvation and you go to heaven. Don’t and you won’t. Peter had the keys to the kingdom of heaven. He took one key and opened it to the Jews, (Acts 2), to the Samaritans (Acts 8) and the Gentiles (Acts 10). Acts is about the transition.
Now we have the place where you focus your view of scripture and application of the rest of the scriptures: Paul’s writings, Romans through Philemon. Paul said, Galatians 2:7, 8 “But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)” Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles. There are many mixed up people that study fancy things that think Paul left his calling and wrote Hebrews. Paul said he did not, 2 Thessalonians 3:17 “The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.” Paul said he signs every epistle with his name. If you couldn’t find a bowling ball in a bathtub with a Marine helicopter you could still see that Paul is not mentioned or signed in Hebrews.
Now, both during the transition and again to be used in the tribulation period when the Lord will work primarily with through the Jewish people, there need to be the Jewish books. Hebrews through Revelation. In the tribulation they are only sprinkled with the blood of Christ, not washed as we are. 1 Peter 1:2 “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” They can fall away and lose their walk with the Lord permanently: Hebrews 6:1-6, because they only taste of the heavenly gift (vs. 5) and must endure to the end of the tribulation (or their lives) to even get saved (Matthew 24:13).
So, #1 place to get bad doctrine? The gospels. #2 place, the book of Acts. #3 Hebrews through Revelation.
Key #3- Spiritual application. Spiritual application will show you how to apply the spiritual principals expressed in the passage. Remember the first example I showed of how Noah’s ark teaches about Jesus and his salvation. That’s a spiritual application.
Key #4- Personal application. That is the application of scripture to your own walk and experience with the Lord. This can have a wider margin of application. Such as: You’re trying to fix your car. One mechanic says it the catalytic converter (I tried to get a Cadillac converter for mine- didn’t work). Another mechanic says it’s the exhaust manifold. You don’t know who to trust. You apply the Noah teachings. You enter into the protection of the Lord. You pray and don’t worry about the rains and the clouds. You trust in the Lord for leadership. Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” You walk closer to the Lord and he leads you into the right decision through the flood of information, doubt and fear . Psalms 37:23, 24 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” And the Lord directs and leads.
Keep things in their places. Rightly divide the word of truth and he will open your understanding. Luke 24:45 “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”