Summary: Why people have difficulty with scripture
A. WHAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO US?
1. A subject in school we hate.
2. Computer instructions too complicated.
3. A foreign language we flunked in school.
4. A sport we’ve never played.
5. GPS instructions that go against our knowledge.
6. A love letter not written to you.
B. WHY SOME MISS THE MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE
1. Some sections of the Bible are harder than others. “Our beloved brother Paul wrote . . . some things are hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:15, 16, NKJV).
2. They have pre-conceived ideas about the Bible; i.e., it was written only by men.
3. They think the Bible is just ancient tales, so they treat it as a storybook.
4. They treat the Bible mystically, looking for hidden meanings so they see only what they project onto Scripture.
5. Some only meditate on isolated text, and miss God’s overview of salvation.
6. Some are skeptics who begin with assumption it has errors and mistakes.
7. Some think the Bible is unreliable.
C. THREE TERMS TO KNOW
1. Revelation: an act of God whereby He makes known to us facts we could not otherwise know. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29).
a. Intellect. God communicates from His mind to our mind.
b. Emotions. God’s love motivated Him to reveal.
c. Will. God chose to tell us.
2. Inspiration: the guidance of the Holy Spirit whereby men wrote the words of Scripture that God wanted to communicate, without error or mistakes.
a. God breathed out. “All Scripture is given by inspiration” (2 Tim. 3:16); inspiration, theopneustos.
b. God guided men’s personality, vocabulary, and genre.
c. Dual authorship; the Bible is written by both men and the Spirit.
JESUS BELIEVED IN VERBAL INSPIRATION
• “One jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matt. 5:18). Included letters that make up words.
• “I am the God of Abraham” (Matt. 22:32). Not “I was.”
• “The Scriptures cannot be altered” (John 10:35, NLT). Can’t change.
3. Illumination: The ministry of the Holy Spirit that enables us to understand and apply Scripture to our lives.
a. The Spirit removes blindness. “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News” (2 Cor. 4:4, NLT).
b. The Spirit interprets. “Those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means” (1 Cor. 2:14).
D. WHY PEOPLE HAVE DIFFICULTY WITH SCRIPTURE
1. Unsaved have two barriers to understanding Scripture.
a. Objective: the message of the Bible is hidden. The natural unconverted person can’t understand the message of the Bible because they think it is foolish. He can’t understand it because of built-in restraints to them” (1 Cor. 2:14, ELT).
b. Subjective: they are inwardly blind to spiritual truth. “The Lord blinded their spiritual eyes so they can’t see” (John 12:40, ELT). “Satan . . . has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe” (2 Cor. 4:4, NLT).
2. Those who reject God are rejected by Him. “You will ever be hearing but never understand” (Acts 28:26, NLT).
3. Those who reject God, reject Scripture. “Those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given . . . those who are not listening . . . they don’t understand” (Matt. 13:11, 13, ELT).
4. Those who respond to the message of Creation become candidates for truth. “The heavens communicate the God of glory, the skies manifest who He is” (Ps. 19:1, ELT).
5. The interaction between faith in God and the Word of faith. “The word of faith, which we preach” (Rom. 10:8, KJV).
6. The interaction between the life of God and the words of life. “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63, NKJV).
E. SEVEN WORDS THAT LEAD TO UNDERSTANDING AND GROWTH
1. Read. “Give attention to reading” (1 Tim. 4:13).
2. Hear. “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words” (Rev. 1:3).
3. Study. “Searched the Scriptures daily to find out” (Acts 17:11).
4. Memorize. “Your word have I hidden in my heart” (Ps. 119:11).
5. Meditate. “In His law he meditates day and night” (Ps. 1:2).
6. Obey. This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.
7. Yield. Let the Scriptures live in you and through you.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart: