Understanding God And The Bible
The first need to enable one to understand God and the Bible is that one must be born again, born from above, converted, saved. There are many other words and phrases that could be used of that one common experience. People who have been given the gift of salvation by God will understand God and the Bible in ways that others will not. The unsaved suffer from a malady which is called spiritual blindness.
Matthew 13:10-15: And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people*s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
II Corinthians 2:14: But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Job 32:8: But there is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
There are many other passages in the Bible that deal with this malady called spiritual blindness. If you are genuinely saved today, hopefully you have been aware that when you speak to other believers there is an understanding of what you say that unbelievers don*t have. There is a certain affinity among us. It*s almost like we speak a different language. When we say certain things to unbelievers they get a blank look on their face. They think they know something better, that they have an understanding that we don*t have. They think we are fools. It*s as if they are somehow on a different page of life.
There are things that a 40-year-old unsaved college professor in the intellectual prime of his life will not understand that will be perfectly clear to a 10-year-old child who has been saved.
I have been guilty of being angry with unbelievers for their lack of understanding. That anger is altogether unwise, wrong and useless. It is like being angry with a physically blind person because he can*t see the rainbow. Or like being angry with a French man because he can*t speak German.
Since I have been saved, there have been things that I have come to understand that I did not understand before. My tendency is to think I know these things because I*m, after all, a little smarter than those other people. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Spiritual understanding is a gift from God, part of the gift of salvation. Do not ever think of an unbeliever as being dumber than you or treat him that way. We are saved by grace through faith, not intellectual superiority. (Ephesians 2:8)
What that unbeliever needs is to come to faith in Christ as we have and have his spiritual eyes, ears and understanding opened. There are some simple positive things we can do to help him become saved:
1. Pray for him to come to Christ.
Proverbs 1:7a: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: . . .
Psalms 111:10a: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: . . .
When we receive Christ as Saviour what we have is only the beginning of something wonderful, a body of knowledge and wisdom that belongs only to the saved.
We need to grow and build our knowledge and wisdom. I heard of a Bible College student who, instead of studying for an exam the next day, went to a prayer meeting and prayed for the knowledge to pass the exam. Guess what. He flunked. It doesn*t work that way. We must Study to show thyself approved . . . (II Timothy 2:15) There are a wealth of helps available to us to acquire that wisdom and knowledge. (Pastors, Teachers, Study Bibles, Bible Studies, Bible dictionaries, Concordances, Christian radio, Tapes, etc.) The Lord gives us the start but we are responsible to cooperate with Him in the increase. As we learn from the Bible (which was written by the Holy Spirit -- II Peter 1:21) the appropriate passages will be available in our minds for the Holy Spirit to bring to mind when needed.
There are two ways to stunt this growth. One is obvious, don*t read the Bible. The other way is to absorb the Unbiblical. (I commented at length in several Bible studies on the fact that the biggest source of the unbiblical today is secular TV.)
Some believers don*t make much progress. I would liken them to a school drop-out. They might retain some elementary things, but have limited their acquisition of knowledge. Others progress to different levels, much like grade school, junior high, high school, college, graduate school, etc. Don*t be a dropout.
Care to discuss Understanding God And The Bible with Ron?