Friday, May 19, 2017

Studying The Scriptures VI

John 5:39 commands, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”  Thanks to the Holy Spirit’s working in us, as Christians, I Corinthians 2:16 tells us, “… But we have the mind of Christ.”  As a result, a careful and conscientious study of the scriptures has a tremendous impact on us.  II Corinthians 3:18 tells us, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Literally, the more carefully and thoroughly we study the scriptures, getting to know God and Christ, the more like Christ we will become.    The one condition is that we approach our study with an open face, laying aside our traditions and preconceived ideas about them so that we can get to know the real beings.  If we hold to those old ideas and traditions, we may never get to really know either God or Christ.

A girl has been raised by an abusive father or has been constantly told that all men care about is sex may never understand how much her husband loves her because she filters everything he says or does through those filters.  In the same way a person who has been taught that God makes unreasonable  demands on people may have trouble accepting or sharing his love and become very rigid and judgmental, demanding everyone meets their standards of behavior, not understanding that “… where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” as II Corinthians 3:17 tells us.   Similarly, a person who has been taught that the Old Testament standards of morality no longer apply may have trouble understanding that He is also a God of wrath and judgment who will not ignore sin.  As a result they find it hard to take a stand against sin or hold people accountable.   In both situations, the people are allowing their carnal understanding about God to distort their view of him, hampering their spiritual development.    I

To gain maximum benefit from our studies, it will be essential to examine everything we have been taught in the light of the scriptures and eliminate any doctrine or belief that does not match the scriptures.  Most people find this difficult because so many of those incorrect beliefs have been held so long they no longer think about them, simply assuming they are true because they trust the people who told them.   Unfortunately, even honest and sincere people can be wrong.   We need to be willing to change when we find out something is not right.      

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