Thursday, May 18, 2017
Studying The Scriptures V
We have looked at the importance of studying the scriptures, of taking the time to read in context, to check out the punctuation, of word meanings and grammar just as one would any other book. We also stressed the importance of comparing passages to make sure we are not distorting or perverting what they say. All of these are vital, if we are to understand the scriptures, but there is one very important factor than needs to be considered.
I Corinthians 2:14 tells us, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” The natural, unsaved person has a limited capacity for understanding spiritual things. It is like trying to explain the workings of a modern sawmill or power plant to someone who has never seen one. No matter how carefully it is explained or how accurately, they will not fully understand until they see it in operation. Similarly, no matter how carefully one studies or tries to explain the scriptures, the lack of understanding of how god works will limit the person’s ability to understand them, regardless how much we try to dumb down a new translation, a commentary or series of lessons, and frequently such efforts lose much of the meaning .
Fortunately, when a person receives Christ as savior, he also receives the Holy Spirit, who is able to give him the understanding he needs, as I Corinthians 2:11-13 tells us. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
His presence does not reduce the need to read and study toe scriptures, but he makes us able to study effectively, understanding what the scriptures tell us. In John 14:26, Jesus said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” All teaching is based on the things a person has learned previously. The Holy Spirit causes us to remember the things we have studied, even before we were saved, to help us understand new things about God’s word.
In fact, John 16:13 tells us, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…” As a result, I John 2:27 tells us, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” With the Holy Spirit to teach us, we will not need a lot of other materials or teachers to help understand the scriptures. We can depend o the Holy Spirit to teach us, and to show us when something we read or hear is not right.