Bible Understanding 1 Jn. 2:27 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Bible understanding is the result of praying, reading, believing, doing, studying, trusting, and simplifying. Trust the Holy Spirit to teach you.
Recently we have been asked this same question by two different people. They want to know how to understand what they are reading in the Bible. Well, there are probably many study aids, like commentaries, that could help. However, there are some basic things that you need to do first. Start with a King James Bible. That book is scripture. Those are His words in there. Modern bibles are a collection of man’s words mixed with some of God’s words. You will never understand God’s words in a modern bible like you will in a KJV. Now, here’s what to do:
Pray – In Ps 119:18, we find one of the greatest prayer requests regarding Bible reading. The Psalmist prayed, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” The Lord must open the scriptures for us before we can understand them (Lk 24:32, 45). So, ask him to do it. Bible understanding is the result of praying.
Read – Is 34:16 says, “Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read.” There is no replacement for simply sitting down in a quiet place with no distractions and reading what the Bible says (1 Pet 2:2). For this to be effective, you must read several pages everyday. Read it all the way through and then start over again and keep reading. Repetition is a great teacher. Bible understanding is the result of reading.
Believe – If you want the Lord to show you what’s in the book, you must believe what you are reading (Lk 8:15; Jn 8:43-47). The preacher that trained me said that you must read your Bible with a humble mind and a believing heart. A man that doesn’t believe every word of what he is reading will never understand what he is reading. Bible understanding is the result of believing.
Do – Once you start getting into the book, you must do what it says. Job 28:28b says, “to depart from evil is understanding.” In other words, the Bible will point out sins in your life and you must depart from them. As you follow what the Bible says, you begin to understand more about it (Jas 1:22-25).
Study – 2 Tim 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Notice from this verse that studying the Bible is WORK MAN. One of the best ways to study is to use the marginal cross references in your Bible so that you can see other verses that compare to the verse you are studying. A concordance is helpful. Bible understanding is the result of studying.
Trust – You must trust the Holy Spirit to give you an understanding of the Bible. There are four things to remember here:
- Revelation – 1 Cor 2:10-14 shows us that the Holy Spirit reveals the things of God to us. They cannot be received by the natural man. So, you must be saved and you must rely upon the Lord to show you what he wants you to know.
- Inspiration – 2 Tim 3:16 and Job 32:8 show us that the work of inspiration is a work that goes on today. God “breathes” on the words of scripture and gives you an understanding of what you are reading. Therefore, you must have scripture for this to work. You will find the scripture in a KJV and not in other modern English bibles. When you pick up a bible that professes to be “easier to read and understand” you have already told the Holy Spirit by your choice that you are not relying upon him to help you understand the Bible. You are relying upon modern scholarship. And you will end up confused.
- Anointing – 1 Jn 2:27 shows us that you need the Holy Spirit actively involved in teaching you the Bible while you are studying. The Lord has given us teachers who are men (Eph 4:11-12). Nevertheless, many “teachers” are liars (2 Cor 2:17; 2 Pet 2). Therefore, if you only trust the men who are teaching you, you will end up being deceived. When you trust the Holy Spirit to teach you, on the other hand, you will be able to discern between those teachers who lie and those who speak the truth. Often, your understanding in the Bible is limited because of bad teaching. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, study a lot but they are terribly deceived because they are only following men.
- Repetition – Is 28:9-10 shows us that we need repetition to learn and that the Holy Spirit is only going to give you a little bit of understanding at a time. Most times people are too impatient and want more than the Holy Spirit is ready to give them (1 Cor 8:2; Gal 6:3).
Simplify – Avoid the popular temptation to search the Bible only to be the kid who finds something complex and new that no one else has seen (Acts 17:21). Many people want to jump right into Revelation, Daniel and Ezekiel and start hunting for the time of the Second Coming, answers to whether the church goes trough the tribulation, fulfillment of scriptures regarding the antichrist, etc. They never get a foundation upon which to grow. Consequently, they don’t understand the Bible. Build upon the simple and basic doctrines. These are the ones on which you will grow.