We Can Understand the Bible

Bible Reading

Many say we cannot understand the Bible. Though if we could, they would certainly believe that we cannot understand the Bible alike. This belief is often used to justify the myriad doctrines and denominations we see in the religious world. But is the assertion true that we cannot understand the Bible? Can we even say we understand the Bible if we do not understand it alike?

God’s will is revealed in the Bible (1 Corinthians 2:7-10). The word of God has been revealed in such a way that we can understand it. Paul wrote to the Ephesians concerning the mystery which he had revealed and said, “When you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:4). The Ephesians were not to come to a different understanding than Paul. The message was revealed in such a way that they could have the same understanding that Paul had. Since we have the word of God today, we can have the same understanding as well.

God created us (Genesis 1:26). He certainly knows how to reveal His will in such a way that His creation would understand. After all, God not only created our bodies, but our minds as well. He understands the way man thinks and comprehends. To say that we cannot understand the Bible is to accuse God of being incapable of properly communicating with the very ones He created.

God has instructed us to understand His will. Paul told the Ephesians, “Do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17). Understanding God’s will is necessary for us to be saved from sin (Matthew 13:15). To say that we cannot understand the word of God which reveals His will is to indict God as being unjust for requiring something that we cannot do.

If we do not understand the Bible, the fault does not lie with God, but with us. “The law of the Lord is perfect,” and is capable of “making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7). What is necessary for us to understand the Bible?

A willing heart – Jesus said, “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself” (John 7:17). If we do not have a desire to know and understand the word of God, we will not understand it. We must first want to know God’s will to be able to understand it.

An open mind – When Jesus told the parable of the sower, He spoke of three types of soils (hearts) that rejected the seed (the word of God). The “good soil” was used to describe those who had “an honest and good heart” (Luke 8:15). If we do not possess an open and honest heart, we will be like those of whom Jesus spoke who would hear but not understand (Luke 8:10). We must approach the Bible without any preconceived notions, biases, or prejudices in order to be able to understand it.

A commitment to study – Paul told Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). To accurately handle the word, we must understand it. Diligence is required to learn how to handle the word of God properly. We must be committed to studying God’s word if we hope to understand it.

Paul prayed on behalf of the Colossians: “That you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10). A proper understanding of the word of God is necessary in order to please Him. Let us approach the Scriptures properly, so that we will “not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:18).


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