Section 2: The Bible
Week 2: The Bible Is Clear
Day `4: God Gave Us Teacher to Help Us Understand Him Better
Cor. 12:12-26, Eph. 4:11-13
We saw last time that our attitudes affect our willingness to accept what the Bible has to say. So, if we can get our attitudes in line, understanding the Bible ought to be a piece of cake, right? Not exactly.
Imagine we’re walking down a dark alley and I tell you, “I feel about as safe as a redshirt.” Would you have any idea what I meant? If you’re a Trekkie you might. On the original Star Trek series, the security officer who was wearing a red uniform was typically the first one to get killed off when they beamed down to the planet to investigate something. So “redshirt” became a term that refers to a character who gets bumped off almost immediately. As a Star Trek fan then, when I say, “I feel about as safe as a redshirt,” I mean I don’t feel safe. I’m expecting to be bumped off any time now. But, if you don’t have the background information, you’re going to struggle to understand what I meant.
We face a similar problem when it comes to making sense of certain biblical passages. Remember the Bible was written to specific people at specific times. So it only makes sense that the biblical authors used terminology, historical references, and imagery their original readers would have understood.
The problem is, we live in a different time and come from a different culture. As a result, we don’t automatically understand all of the terminology, historical references, or imagery. That means we sometimes need some additional background information.
Now it takes a lot of work to uncover that background information. We often need to draw upon history, archeology, and an understanding of the Greek and Hebrew languages to get the information we need to properly understand certain biblical passages.
Does that mean we’re out of luck if we didn’t go to seminary to study all that stuff? No. Remember, by God’s design, we’re all in this together (1 Cor. 12:12-26). That’s why God calls some to be pastors and teachers (Eph. 4:11-13). They’re gifts to the Church to help us understand him better.
Do you view pastors and scholars as gifts God intends you to use? Are you encouraged by the fact that understanding God’s word isn’t something you do alone, but as part of a community?
Thank God for giving you the resources you need to understand him better.