September 7, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://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,”