Summary: 3rd of 5 in the series "A Light Unto My Path: Growing Through God’s Word." Title is self explanitory.
Military Doublespeak: A rotating wing aircraft suffered a hard landing due to the stress failure of a helical hexiform rotating compression device (A helicopter crashed because a bolt broke).
Huh? Sometimes things are hard to understand. Sometimes important things are hard to understand—like the Bible. What do we do then?
1. Focus on the main thing
1 Corinthians 15:3-4For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
While I’ll be the first to admit that there are some things in the Bible that can be tough to understand, I believe that the main message, the bottom line of the gospel is clear. As you struggle to understand the end times and other sometimes confusing doctrines, never make what’s confusing the center of your devotional life and your study.
Focus on the main thing, what Jesus has done for you and how you can live your life to please him.
2. Search for the truth
Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
The Bereans were of Noble Character because they knew where truth could be found—in the pages of Holy Scripture. They understood their responsibility to check what they heard taught against what the Scripture says.
When you have a problem, when you have a question about life, about faith, the Bible should be your first resource and not your last recourse.
When you have a question about what a particular Scripture means, the best place to find the answer is in the rest of the Bible. This is where a crss reference bible or a chain reference can be a useful resource.
During the reformation a Man named Martin Luther led a renaissance of Biblical Understanding. There were three Solas or onlys that he spoke of: Grace, Faith, Scripture. One of the important principles of Scripture was that Scripture interperets Scripture.
As you seek to understand what a particular passage might mean, look first to the broader context of Scripture, the truth will be found as you see what the message of the whole Bible is.
As an example consider the statement in the Book of James faith without works is dead. Some have taken that to mean that faith in itself is not sufficient, that we must also earn our salvation. But the broader context of Scripture makes it clear that we are saved by God’s grace alone through faith alone. John 3: 16, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9-10. What then might the James passage mean? Surely not that you must earn your salvation, but rather that if there is no change in your life, your faith is not alive—it’s not real. So it’s not that you must add works to your faith, but simply a measure of weather you really have faith.
In that way, we search for the truth in the book of Truth.
3. Beware the Twisters (Peter)
2 Peter 3:15-16 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
For as long as there has been a church and a Bible, there have been people anxious to twist God’s word to their own false teaching. We need to be alert to these folks. The best defense against them is to fill your mind with correct understanding of God’s word. Sit under solid Biblical teaching, study and read the Scripture on your own.
To help us in this regard we need to know another principle from the reformation: Scripture does not contradict itself. If someone tries to convince you that a passage of Scripture means something you know another passage contradicts, your false teaching red flag should go up.
Also if you find that a particular group or teacher seem to only want to teach about one thing or a couple of things and they seem to only teach on Scriptures that bring them to that thing and that thing is not salvation in Christ alone, but instead what you should eat or the end times or how you can be rich or what day you should go to church, that’s an unbalanced person, with an unbalanced teaching and at the very least it should make you suspicious of their teaching.
Beware of those who twist Scripture.