Tag Archives: Bible

Can We Understand the Bible Alike?

The title is an understandable question, especially in light of the religious division and confusion that exists in Christendom today.  Of the counted minimum of two thousand different sects and faiths which proclaim to be Christian, all have great regard for the Bible and claim to follow it.  However, common sense suggests that such is not the case when all proclaim to follow the Bible and yet believe and practice different ideas and doctrines.

Jesus knew that we could understand his Word in the same way and follow it with complete unity (John 17:20-23).  So did Paul (Phil. 2:2).  After Christianity started on the day of Pentecost after Christ’s death, the first converts “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42) and “the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32).  Quite a contrast from today!  The saints in Rome were instructed to be on the lookout for those who caused “divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine” they had learned, and avoid them (Rom. 16:17)  How could they have obeyed that command without being taught to agree upon the doctrine that they had been taught?  When a congregation was divided, Paul by divine inspiration wrote them that there should be no divisions among them and commanded them to speak the same thing (1 Cor. 1:10).  How could this divine order be carried out if people are unable to understand the Word of God alike?

The reasons there are divisions about what the Bible says are many.  First, all of us and our judgments are not perfect.  Either by failing to study diligently or by failing to practice proper, consistent interpretive principles, we misunderstand biblical teaching and divide over it.  Secondly, some believe that the Holy Spirit directs us in our study of Scripture and leads us to the truth, but such an idea is proven incorrect time and time again when two men both claim that the Spirit guided them to different conclusions about the same biblical passage.  Thirdly, efforts to accurately interpret the Bible are often hindered by an absence of complete, 100% open-minded objectivity.  Some subconsciously try to avoid dealing with the guilt of their sin and so twist the Scriptures to suit their ungodly lifestyles, while others are too loyal to family, peers, or their own religion and habits and thus approach the Bible with a closed mind.

When someone says that we can’t understand God’s will alike, that person has either never really engaged in a diligent, systematic study of the Bible or he is somehow seeking to justify a religious view or practice that is not according to the Bible.  Therefore he attacks the Bible as being a book that no one can understand rather than admitting that he believes something that God does not teach.  However, we all can understand Scripture alike.

We just choose not to.

“What Is Truth?”

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105)

“What is truth?”  Pilate asked Jesus that question and didn’t stick around for an answer (John 18:38).  It’s too bad he had not been in that upper room with Jesus and his disciples on the previous night, because Jesus had clearly defined truth while he was praying to his Father on behalf of his disciples.  He prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; your Word is truth” (John 17:17).

There you have it, from the Son of God himself.  What is truth?  It’s God’s Word, plain and simple.  The Bible, the Holy Scriptures, Genesis through Revelation…they contain the truth.  They are the truth because they are the Word, the same Word which “became flesh and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  Jesus, the Word, the only begotten from the Father, is full of grace and truth.  He is God (John 1:1), and the Scriptures are his Word.

The writers of the Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:19-21; Eph. 3:3-5), who in turn received his message from Christ (John 16:13-15), who in turn received it from God the Father (John 12:49-50).  Jesus and his Father are one (John 10:30).  Therefore, it is not only the “words in red” in your Bibles which belong to Jesus.  “ALL Scripture is breathed out by God…” (2 Tim. 3:16), and the words which the inspired writers wrote in Scripture “are a command of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37).  They are all truth, because they come from Jesus…and Jesus is“the truth” (John 14:6).

If you’re reading this blog, chances are that you are interested in the truth.  Perhaps you are searching for the truth.  If so, know that God is pleased with you because he “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).  My goal is to use this blog to teach you God’s Word and God’s Word alone, and you will profit by it if you receive the Word with “meekness” and “hold it fast in an honest and good heart” (Jms. 1:21; Luke 8:15).

Perhaps you desire to challenge or examine the truth.  If so, then you will find plenty to challenge in this blog because my goal is to do nothing more or less than to use this blog to “preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4:2) in its entirety (Ps. 119:160; Acts 20:27).  I encourage any and all questions or challenges presented in sincerity and civility, because the Lord has commanded me and all other faithful Christians to “prove all things” and “always (be) prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Thess. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:15).  Finding biblical, logical answers to your questions and comments will help me to grow as a Christian and strengthen my faith (Prov. 27:17), and so I welcome them…as long as they are presented in a civil manner.  Those who prove themselves to be interested in nothing more than persecution will receive no response and their comments will be deleted (Matt. 10:14-15).

Perhaps you know the truth and want to know it better, defend it and proclaim it.  If so, then you’ve come to the right place.  Our faith comes from God’s Word (Rom. 10:17), and we are called to contend for it (Jude 3), be reminded of it (2 Pet. 3:1-2), grow in it (2 Pet. 3:18), and share it with others (Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19-20).  I encourage you to share this blog with the lost and with the brethren, and it is my hope that this blog will help all of us to be stirred up “to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24).

“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” (Rom. 6:17-18)

Jesus said to those who believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).  Friends, it’s not enough to simply believe in Jesus (Jms. 2:14-26).  We must also obey him (Heb. 5:9; Matt. 7:21-27).  So let’s abide in his Word.  Let’s be his humble servants in all aspects of our lives.  Let’s know the truth and be set free from the bondage of sin!  I’m looking forward to starting this journey with you.