by Ron Wood
Can a man truly know what the Bible says? If he has the Spirit of God he can. Sadly many, if not most, of those who call themselves Christians don’t understand the Book and have no clue to its message. The worst is that those who claim to teach others how to interpret the Scriptures do not know themselves how to interpret it. Educating themselves in the original languages and applying methods taught by Bibles schools and seminaries they think that by these things they can understand the message and meaning of the Word of God, all the while missing the message. It is hidden to them because understanding in the Scriptures doesn’t come by diligent study and a literal-historical method but by revelation. To be sure the literal-historical is true but if that is all you have you have missed the message of the Scriptures.
The Scriptures are not intended to give us an account of the history of the Jews though their history is true. They are not intended to give us life principles though we find them full of principles to live by. The Scriptures were not given to show us how to manage our finances, be a good husband, wife, father or mother though those things certainly are found in them. The Scriptures were given to show us the purpose of God in Christ and His Gospel. The message of the Bible in its entirety is Christ and the mercy of God to poor, wretched sinners in Him. John 5:39
Rightly dividing the Word of truth is not separating it into sections but finding Christ in them. Instead of starting with man and working up to God by means of dispensations, rightly dividing the Word of truth is starting with God in Christ and working down to man. Rightly dividing the Word of truth isn’t finding the prophetic but finding Christ. If all you get from the Scriptures is a literal message from the words you have the same problem that the Scribes and Pharisees had.
The Scribes and Pharisees were men of the Scriptures. Like many today they had a literal interpretation and missed Christ because of it. They knew the Book but didn’t know the message. They diligently studied the Law and the Prophets and expectantly looked for Him who was to come. But when He came they missed Him because He wasn’t what they thought He would be. He was hidden from them because they had no understanding of the spiritual nature of the Scriptures. He taught them of spiritual things and they couldn’t see them. They had natural eyes but not spiritual ones. 1Cor. 2:14
Christ and the Apostles taught the spiritual nature of the Scriptures. They took the literal and opened up the spiritual from them. Everything they taught was in the context of the Gospel of Christ. The Lord preached the kingdom of God but He taught that it was a kingdom in the heart not a physical literal monarchy confined to a small portion of land in the desert. The Lord taught the spiritual nature of the Law. How many folks do you know who are so literal that they cut off their hand or pluck out their eyes because they cause them to sin? How many folks do you know who sell all that they have and give it to the poor? Though you may go to those extremes what have you gained? You cannot find rest by following the strict meaning of the words. Rest doesn’t come by following a strict unbending interpretation of the literal words of Scripture it comes by trusting in Christ alone. To be sure you can get a whole lot of religion from the natural literal understanding of the Scriptures but with it all you will lose your own soul.
Christ is the key that unlocks the mysteries and hidden treasures of the Bible. Unless you find Him in all of them you will never understand the Book. If you would learn to rightly divide the Word find your place in the pew listening to that man called and gifted of God who, by the Spirit, shows you Christ in all the Scriptures. A man called by other men may be able to teach you how to jump through the hoops of prophetic interpretation and give you life principles and good advice but that man called of God will teach you Christ.