Weekly Devotional 8-24-20 With an Open Unbiased Mind
When it comes to discussing the Bible, invariably someone will say, “That’s your interpretation.” That may be true, but does that make your interpretation wrong? Not necessarily. There is after all only one truth and therefore your interpretation may be correct. How can you (we) be sure your (our) interpretation is correct and how can we convince others that it is? As far as convincing others be assured, we will not be able to, it is a spiritual matter, a matter that is between man and the Spirit of God. It is only the Holy Spirit who can make known the true understanding of God’s word to man.
That said, we should remember, one must always approach Scripture with an open mind, without bias and let the Holy Spirit make known God’s word to him (or her). Jesus explained to His disciples that after His departure He would send the Holy Spirit whom He said would lead them into all truth. We read His words from John’s testimony, “16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:16-20).
When the Comforter (who was and is the Holy Spirit) came, His disciples were finally able to understand and receive the truth about Jesus and themselves. Also, concerning the Holy Spirit, natural man, and regenerated man, we read: “9But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ 10But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-14).
Rest assured, without the Holy Spirit there will be all sorts of interpretations. However, it remains there is only one truth and God will not say something to one and something different to another. He is not the author of confusion. So someone might ask, “How then am I to come up with the correct interpretation?” The answer is, by comparing Scripture with Scripture (2nd Peter 1:15-21), considering each passage in its context and considering each passage in light of all other related Scripture.
Solomon was inspired to write, “1My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:1-6).
Are there not several prerequisites presented by Solomon to his son? Was he not directing his son to remember the law and commit to it? Was he not directing his son to trust in the Lord with all his heart? Was he not directing his son not to lean on his own humanistic understanding? And was he not directing his son to acknowledge God in all aspects of his life and deliberations? Yes, he was. These same prerequisites should be our guide.
As one attempts to interpret God’s message (Scripture) one should first know Him (be in relationship with Him). He (or she) should know God’s law, he (or she) should compare Scripture with Scripture. He (or she) should acknowledge that Scripture is God’s message to us, and its purpose is to lead us in a Godly walk. God wants man to know Him and He has sent forth His Spirit into the world that all might have a clear message about Him.
God says what He means and means what He says. When one comes to Him with an open unbiased mind and a willingness to accept God’s message at face value, God will give him (or her) correct understanding, and the correct interpretation.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
Ascribed to by:
Lian Muan Kim
Koinonia Baptist Seminary- Yangon, Myanmar