Revealing God's grace through the 

finished work of Christ!

 * All content from PBM is free to use and share with others *

The Grace Curriculum

"Bible interpretation 101, part 1"

Look at this prayer from Paul in Rom 15:5-6 — “(5) Now may the God of (your) patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, (6) that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Look at Paul’s words here, “like-minded toward one another”. Like-minded, how Paul? “According to Christ Jesus”. Then he said that, “with one mind and one mouth” may glorify God. See Paul was very adamant about believers being in one accord with each other — for Jesus said that this kind of oneness with each other is our greatest witness on this earth, see what He said in John 13:34-35. So, how are we doing? Today, there are over 37,000 different denominations (divisions) in the Body of Christ (We must realize that this is what “outsiders” see about us). 

Ask a hundred pastors from different denominations a question regarding what the truth of the gospel is, and you’ll probably get over 90 different answers. I’m all in for different viewpoints about the same thing (the truth), but when one’s viewpoint came from a different approach to the truth, or produces a different result that leads away from the truth, than those viewpoints are wrong and incorrect (It doesn’t matter how sincere that it may be — it’s “sincerely” wrong). This is why Jesus told us in John 14:6, that He is the way (approach), the truth (veracity) and the life (result), regarding God the Father (Because there can be and is more opinions about the truth regarding God, than there is sand on the beaches). 

All of the truth that we’ll ever need to know in reference to the truth about God and our life is wrapped up in Jesus and the Redemptive work that He’s done for us!

So, if that’s not enough for you, what further proof is there regarding which viewpoints regarding the truth (as it refers to the gospel) are correct? We turn to what Paul preached, see Gal 1:8-9, which is the sole basis for what we are to believe, stand fast to and preach. So then, how do we know what Paul preached? Simply, just like Jesus said in John 14:6 but in different words, it’s the Redemptive truth of Jesus Christ that’s seen through God’s unconditional love for us (This is what Paul preached summed up in one sentence)!

So with that in mind, look at something else that Paul said in 2 Cor 2:11 — “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”. Paul simply tells us that our spiritual enemy takes advantage over us by his devices. What are his devices? Well, according to context, it’s unforgiveness. But in general, the enemy’s devices are numerous — they are whatever he uses to “push one’s buttons” in drawing him away from the truth. But, according to Paul here, every device that he uses against us are deceptive in nature (Meaning that one isn’t aware of it when it’s happening). 

One of the main devices that the enemy uses to hinder one's spiritual growth in Christ comes from his own interpretation of the Bible. 

Self-deception always leads into the enemy's deception. And when one isn't interpreting scripture in the light of John 14:6, or by what Paul preached, he’ll have “self-deception" interpretation of the Bible.

This is not a lesson where I give you my viewpoints of what I believe, because I already addressed that from John 14:6 and what Paul preached (That's what I believe). But rather, I want to show you 4 basic ways that people interpret Scripture from the Bible. Sadly out of the 4 ways that I’ll show you, only one of them will be the correct way to interpret the Bible, as the first 3 are incorrect. In this lesson, I want you to see how easy it is for the enemy to deceive people into believing something that God never intended for His children to believe.

1) “traditional” interpretation. As you can guess, this is one of the enemy's deceptive devices to keep believers from growing in Christ. Traditional interpretation is exactly what it says that it is, it’s someone’s interpretation of the Bible passed down from one generation to the next. This is when someone reads or studies the Bible, he has a certain “denominational views” that interpret the words that he reads and studies. Even though this may have started out good and sound by the person who started this certain viewpoint (doctrine), it becomes something else, the more it’s passed from generation to generation, becoming more tainted from what it originally was. It’s like the old game called, “Chinese whispers”, where the first person of a group, tells another person something and by the time that information is passed along to the last person of the group, what was originally said has something else entirely. What was originally considered the “gospel” truth, has become nothing more than mere gossip. I’ve actually heard people say to me, “I was born a _________ and I will die a _________!” This is never a good position for one to be in, because it closes his heart for God to show him anything else. We must always have an open heart of humility before God if we’re to grow and mature in Christ, see 2 Cor 6:11-13.

2) “experimental” interpretation. It’s definitely true that experience — good or bad — is our great teacher in life. It’s through one’s experiences, that he knows what works and what doesn’t. But for the most part, people have allowed their experiences to influence the way that they interpret the Bible. For instance, we read in 1 Pet 2:24, that by the stripes of Jesus, we are healed. That means that the same price that Jesus paid for one’s spiritual healing of salvation, is the price for his physical healing. And yet, people have made compromises to this reality in Christ, based upon their experiences. 

Just another example in Psa 62:6 — “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.” Notice that last phrase again, “I shall not be moved.” That phrase is a great comfort to many, especially, when they are going through hard experiences. But this scripture was not written to you as a believer in Christ. Because God has placed you in Christ, it’s impossible for you to be moved. Situations cannot move you one bit. The only thing that can be moved is your emotions. And if your emotions are tied in with your life-experiences, then you’ll honestly think that you can be moved from your position in Christ.

I’ve had someone tell me one time about what he believes from the Bible, “Whatever I deeply feel inside is what I go with.” This is never a good idea. Paul did say in Col 3:15, to let the peace of God rule (lit. means “umpire”) in your hearts, but people confuse God’s peace with a good feeling. God’s peace does produce a good feeling inside, but it’s a feeling of indescribable joy and full of glory, see 1 Pet 1:8. So it’s easy to see from this, how experimental interpretation hinders one’s growth in Christ, because it closes his heart to see the full reality of Christ.

3) Covenant clashers' interpretation. As believers in Christ, we are under the New Covenant and with this New Covenant, we’ve been given a New Testament. The 2 Covenants are entirely and infinitely opposed to each other — for the New Covenant is an agreement based upon what Jesus has already accomplished and done. This sounds easy enough for most people, but many believers still mix scriptures from the Old Testament in with scriptures from the New Testament. Also when I speak of the New Testament, I’m speaking of starting at the book of Romans and going to the little book of Jude (The 4 Gospels are not included with the New Testament; the book of Acts is a historical account of the early Church, and the book of Revelation is an eschatological account). This is extremely important to understand when it comes to correct interpretation of the Bible.


Make a free website with Yola