Hebrews 4:12 (Amplified)
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
A few weeks ago, I got on my soap box about someone’s opinion regarding my favorite verse Jeremiah 29:11. This past weekend I read a very thought-provoking devotional by Rick Warren called “Six Principles for Interpreting Scripture.” As my husband and I have been leading a small group for couples called “Mid-Week Dig” I realize how these points can provide a wise foundation for studying and digging into the Word of God. I plan to share these steps with our group, but I also thought this would be of interest to my readers, since not all of you receive Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Connection.” I am paraphrasing the six principles and in some cases adding my own thoughts.
*YOU NEED FAITH AND THE HOLY SPIRIT TO INTERPRET SCRIPTURE*
I find it amusing to hear folks debate over Scripture. Simply put…the Word of God will not make any sense to non-believers. The Bible is “Greek” to a person who doesn’t know God. Excuse the pun!
The Bible is God’s love letter and instruction book for those who seek Him.
*THE BIBLE IS ITS OWN BEST COMMENTARY*
A lot of people rely on the information of devotionals and spiritual books to answer their questions. The Bible contains 100% TRUTH. Christian authors have amazing insight, but we must use Scripture as the ultimate source for living life.
*READ THE OLD TESTAMENT WITH THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MIND*
I think it’s so cool how the Old Testament is a prophetic reflection of the New Testament. The Old Testament cannot stand alone. The New Testament cannot stand alone. Each requires the other. They are equally significant. The New Testament can be found in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is fulfilled in the New Testament.
*ALWAYS INTERPRET UNCLEAR PASSAGES IN THE LIGHT OF CLEAR PASSAGES*
Pay attention to the full realm of the Holy Spirit in Scripture to comprehend a passage that seems contradictory or puzzling. Use the verses that are clear to explain one that doesn’t seem clear. God will reveal the Truth as you chew on the passages.
*DON’T FORM A DOCTRINE BASED SOLELY ON A HISTORICAL EVENT*
Historical data in the Bible is meant to teach us. We cannot try to build doctrine upon historical stories. We need to understand the narratives are there to teach lessons and true doctrinal passages should be used to base doctrine on.
*NEVER INTERPRET SCRIPTURE BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES*
Many try to manipulate and shape Scripture to line up with their experiences and opinions. We cannot base TRUTH on our feelings and emotions. It’s important that we analyze The Word with an open heart. God will work in our spirit to line us up to His Word.
I hope these points assist you as much as they are helping me. The most important thing is that we are reading the Bible. The Word will come alive and His Truth with penetrate us when we are consistent and when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and transform us. His treasures are revealed when we genuinely meditate on His promises.
Thank you for your precious Word. May we use it to claim your promises, learn valuable life lessons, guide our day-to-day steps, and protect us from the enemy. Make us passionate to be straight ‘A’ students of Your Word.
In Jesus Name,