The Secret to Understanding the Bible
Believers, to varying degrees, struggle in understanding some parts of the Bible. But God did not make His Word obscure. The message of God’s Word is perfectly clear. Paul stressed that in his epistles, “For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end” (2 Corinthians 1:13). The truths of the Bible are revealed to the readers by the Holy Spirit, who Himself is truth (1 John 5:6; John 14:17, 26).
The reason that the Bible can sometimes be misinterpreted is that we are all fallen beings – sin clouds and distorts our understanding and leads us to twist the Bible to our own liking. Sin makes us unable to understand the convictions of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote, “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
We have two examples to that in the Word of God. When Christ was born, and His parents brought Him to the temple to be dedicated, the priests didn’t recognize that He was the Son of God. But those that were obedient to the Holy Spirit did recognize the Lord. Such was Simeon, who “was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:25, 26).
As Simon lifted the infant Savior toward heaven, he said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32). And while Joseph and Mary stood by, questioning at his words, he blessed them (Luke 2: 35, 36).
At the same time, Anna, a prophetess, confirmed Simeon’s testimony regarding Christ (Luke 2:38). These humble worshipers had studied the prophecies and were inspired by them. But the priests who held places as rulers in Israel, though they too had before them the precious words of prophecy, were not walking in obedience to the Lord, therefore, their eyes were not open to observe the Light of life.
In similar way, all the believers that study God’s word but are not walking in obedience to it, they are blinded and they fail to see the truth. The Bible teaches that “the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32). Obedience is the true test of faithfulness to God. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
Obedience to the Truth Unifies the Believers
Obedience to God is the foundation and basis of right relations with Him (John 8:32). The angels obey God (Psalms 103:20, 21), but in love, not in legalism. Men are to obey (Psalms 103:17, 18; Ecclesiastes 12:13), but in love (John 14:15) not in formalism. The Lord declared that obedience is better than any sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).
God’s Word (Romans 2:8), His doctrine (Romans 6:17), and the good news of His salvation (2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17) are to be obeyed. God’s redemption, offered by grace and received by faith (Ephesians 2:5, 8), is a free gift to those who obey, who yield to His good will (Hebrews 5:9). Believers show their dedication to God by loving obedience to His commands (1 John 5:3). If all believers are willing to obey the clear Word of God, they will all reach the same Biblical understanding.
In His service,