Church of Christ
Mission USA

Understanding The Bible

by Perry Sexton

      Many say the Bible is hard to understand and to be sure, some of it is.  Even the apostle Peter said that some things that the apostle Paul wrote were hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16).  But concerning those things which man must do and must not do (e.g., Titus 2:11,12)
in order to be saved, these Scriptures are not difficult to understand.  For example, how hard is 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 or Mark 16:16 to understand?  Why then, do so many not understand the Bible?  Many do not read or study the Bible and are thus led astray by false teachers (2 Peter 2:1-3; Matt. 15:14).  Others do not want the truth (2 Thess. 2:10,11; 2 Timothy 4:3,4). 

      You can understand the Bible.  Here are a few keys to understanding the Bible.  Paul said: “when you read, ye may understand” (Eph. 3:4).  Some things are so simple that just by reading it you can understand, but other things require more study.  We are to study the Scriptures “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).  An example of “rightly dividing” or “handling aright” (ASV) the Word is to understand that we are no longer under the Old Testament system (Col. 2:14; Eph. 2:15; Romans  7:6,7, etc), and we cannot go back to it for doctrine (Gal. 5:4, “the law” is referring to the law of Moses).  We should be like the Bereans: “they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11).  We also must have an “honest and good heart” (Luke 8:15) and a strong desire for truth and righteousness (1 Peter 2:2; Matt. 5:6 cp. 2 Thess. 2:10,11). 

      Friends, one must learn the truth before he can obey that truth and be saved (John 6:44,45; 1 Peter 1:22,23).  We are here to assist you in any way possible in your pursuit of salvation.  God warns that many will be lost because of false teachers (Matt. 7:13-27; 2 Peter 2:1-3), of which there are many (1 John 4:1).  This is another reason you should be studying the Bible for yourself and prove all things by the Word of God (1 Thess. 5:21).  Check out the study programs on the back of this paper and let us hear from you soon.  ♥
 

Are Different Interpretations Of The Bible Acceptable?

by Perry Sexton

      Is it true that one can read and interpret the Bible one way and another person a different way and both be right and thus saved?  Absolutely not, it is absurd to think so!  It is no more true than two people interpreting 2+2 differently and both being correct.  This is not possible!  Yet multitudes believe that damnable doctrine.  Many interpret the Bible to mean exactly the opposite of what it says in many cases, one of which is the subject of salvation.

     “God is love” (1 John 4:8).  How many different ways can man interpret that and still be right?  Jesus died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).  Did Jesus die for the sins of the whole world or not?  How many ways can that be interpreted?  Only one and that is true of every statement in the Bible!  Do not allow the blind to blind you also (Matt. 15:14). 

      Consider a few Bible examples on interpretation.  God told Noah to make an ark of gopher wood (Gen. 6:14).  How do
you think Noah interpreted that?  Do you think Noah interpreted it to mean pine or just any kind of wood?  I know he did not.  Noah was faithful to God and did “all that God commanded him” (v.22).  We can learn from Leviticus 10:1,2 that God told Nadab and Abihu from where to get the fire for burning incense.  It is obvious that they interpreted what God told them to do, but God destroyed them because they did not do as God said.  If man’s erroneous interpretation of God’s Word is okay then Nadab and Abihu would have been alright. 

      Friends, there are many people on the road to Hell thinking they are saved (Matt. 7:21-23).  Surely among them are those who say such
things as, “everyone has his own interpretation” and “one church is as good as another,” etc.  These statements are not only false and contrary to the Word of God, but they are damnable.

      Only those who learn and obey the truth will be saved (John 6:44,45; Mat. 13:15; Rom. 6:17,18, 2 Thess. 1:8,9).  One cannot be saved in ignorance of God’s will, nor can one be saved in religious error (Matt. 15:9,14; 7:21-23).  One must learn and obey the truth (John
8:31,32; 1 Pet. 1:22,23).  If one truly understands the Bible and another understands the Bible, then they will see the Bible alike.  Where there is understanding, there is no such thing as different interpretations.

      Questions: 1. Is the Bible inspired of God (2 Tim. 3:16,17)?  2. Is God speaking to us through the Bible?  3. Is God capable of speaking to us in such a manner so that we can understand His will (John 2:25; Eph. 3:4)?  4. If two people do not understand the Bible
alike, do you believe they both really understand the Bible?  5. Why do many not understand the Bible (Matt. 13:13-15).  6. How do you
interpret Mark 16:16?  7.  Are you allowing the blind leaders to lead you astray  (Matt. 15:14)?  8. What kind of people will bring forth fruit to God and thus be saved (Luke 8:15)?  You may send your answers in for further discussion.  ♥