How Can I understand the Bible?
A-View the scriptures as God’s inspired Word. “The scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). It shall stand for ever (Isaiah 40:8). Truth never changes, for its Author is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).
B-Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to all the truth. Let God be your teacher. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13). The Spirit of God knows the “things of God” and searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10, 11), and He is able to impart them to men who are willing to be instructed.
C-Don’t build a doctrine on one or two verses. In order to understand a given topic, you need to collect all the verses on that topic and study them and get the overall picture. “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?…For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:9,10). Truth must be given clearly and logically, one point leading naturally on to another. Only thus can students become thoroughly acquainted with God’s Word.
D-Don’t take a verse out of context. Try to understand the background of every verse. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The truths of the Scriptures must be rightly interpreted so that no part of the Bible will be set in opposition to the picture presented by the Bible as a whole.
E-Remember that ideas were inspired but the prophets used their own limited language to communicate them. “Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21). True prophecy is a revelation from the Lord. The initiative comes from Him. He decides what shall be revealed and what shall remain hidden. But men use their own language to convey His messages.
F-You have to study both the Old and the New testament on any topic because the New was based on the Old. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Lord does not authorize men to attempt to differentiate between that which they suppose to be divinely inspired and that which they suppose to be only a product of human work.
G-Study with an open mind not allowing the pre-mental baggage or the traditions of men to affect you. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105).
H-Seek God’s truth with all your heart. Look for it as if it is the most precious treasure. “Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:46). Be willing to give up all for the goal of acquiring the truth.
May the Lord richly bless you as you study and understand the Bible.
In His service,