There are several scriptural passages that give proof that so many false prophets will rise to deceive the people, and what else would they use except the bible, for that reason, you must know how to correctly interpret the bible.
In this sermon, therefore, I am going to reveal to you the best way to interpret the bible.
But before then, let us start by seeing the true definition of the bible.
What is the true definition of the Bible?
The Bible may be defined as a compilation of spiritual books from various authors and writers, either historically, as in the case of the Pentateuch; originally written by Moses; Songs, as in the case of Psalms, sung by David and co; Epistles and letters, as in the case of the fourteen in the New Testament; were written by Paul to the various churches and people, example are the book of Romans and Titus.
The original manuscripts of the bible had no chapters ad verses. Studies reveal that it was in the early 13th – 16th century that the bible was, according to human wisdom, divided into chapters and verses. This was supposedly done in order to ease the reader in making easy references; to any event he is looking for in any particular book of the bible.
Therefore, with the knowledge of the above facts; we can understand that when these authors and writers were making their compilations and compositions; they wrote everything down in their respective order of events.
And if their readers want to understand the points they were driving at; they must read through those events in full.
How to correctly interpret the bible.
The holy bible is not just a book of books or recorded Christian myth as some suppose, or the book of law as it was in Judaism, (“This book of law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe it to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8)).
But as it is written: (“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Thus, whatever happened in the past and was recorded in the bible is meant to set an example; and show the children of God the consequences (whether good or bad) of every human action.
“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition upon whom the end of the ages have come.(1 Corinthians 10:11).
And after studying these scriptures, one might not only derive moral lessons from them; but also wait for the fulfillment of whatever promises are attached to them.
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.(Romans 15:4)
In Hebrews 1:1-3, the scripture shows us that in the past God spoke to our forefathers by the prophets; but in these last days, he choose to speak to us through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Colossians 2:2-3, the bible shows us that it is in Christ Jesus that all the knowledge of the mystery of God is hidden.
This mystery, as it goes on to confirm in 2 Corinthians 3:13-16, is compared to the veil which was used to cover Moses’s face; because of the brightness of God’s glory, soon after he received the tablets of commandments.
And when we ponder deeply on this scripture 1 Corinthians 1:26: (For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called).
We can come to the understanding that one cannot understand or interpret the bible; either by teaching in the ways of men i.e. by being a religious scholar: studying in a university, seminary, Bible College, or under a renowned minister.
Or merely studying it day and night because the scriptures, which is existing in mysteries, belong to God.
Therefore all who want to understand and interpret the bible must go to God and learn, even as our Lord Jesus revealed to us in the scriptures below:
And the Jews marveled, saying, “how does this Man know letters, having never studied? Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His Who sent Me.(John 7:15-16).
Then Jesus said to them, “when you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.(John 8:28)
If you say this happened because Jesus was the Son of God and not human; how about Job’s friend Elihu, King David, and the apostle Paul who said?
But no one says, ‘where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, and makes us wiser than the birds of heaven.(Job 35:10-11).
(Note: ‘beasts of the earth’ are humans while ‘birds of heaven’ are angels.)
I have not departed from Your judgment, for You Yourself have taught me.(Psalm 119:102).
But I make known to you brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.(Galatians 1:11).
And as we can vividly see from Paul’s account, you can only study and understand, or say interpret the bible through divine revelation.
All this is never a coincidence because God had earlier made the promise to teach human beings from the mouth of His prophet Isaiah, in the Old Testament:
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.(Isaiah 54:13)
Jesus Himself later confirmed the above prophecy:
“It is written in the prophets, ‘and they shall be taught by God. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.(John 6:45)
So we come to a point where we ask:
Why does God choose to teach humans by Himself?
God chooses to each human beings by himself because of those who are out to deceive.
And if we study our bible closely, we will understand that Jesus and His disciples had forewarned us severally in the scriptures, about those who will misinterpret the bible to deceive and destroy.
Let us pause to outline Peter’s own example:
And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the scriptures.(2 Peter 3:15-16)
And conclude with this warning by John:
These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in him.(1 John 2:27).
So we can now understand that God chooses to teach us by Himself. Because of those who are out to use the same bible to deceive.
And as we can see from the last passage, He does not come down physically to teach us. Rather, He does so through the anointing He gives to us.
It doesn’t take us much time to understand this anointing to be the Holy Spirit a believer receives on the day he repents and baptizes.
“Repent and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(Acts 2:38)
After believing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
‘He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will Flow Rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him will receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.(John 7:38-39)
And later confirmed it for us in the mouth of our Lord Jesus:
‘But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.(John 14:26)
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot hear them now. However when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and he will tell you things to come.(John 16:12-13).
And this also is never a coincidence because the Old Testament had already prophesied about it.
Turn at My reproof; surely I will pour out My Spirit on you; I will make My words known to you.(Proverbs 1:23)
That is why the passage, which made reference to the scriptures being the veil that was used to cover Moses’ face; concluded that unless one turns to Christ Who is the Spirit, the veil remains un-lifted.
Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.(2 Corinthians 3:13-17)
Therefore for one to get this Holy Spirit, he must, first of all, believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
And afterward, repent and be baptized in His Name, because it is only Christ, in Whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge of God, Who has the power to help anybody understand the scriptures as he did to His disciples:
And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the scriptures.(Luke 24:45)
And we must always remember that failure to individually understand the scriptures will make one end up, not only being deceived; but also being confused about certain scriptures.
An example is how the Sadducees were about the resurrection of the dead and asked Jesus whose husband will get back a wife that was previously married to seven men:
Jesus answered and said to them, “are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the scriptures nor the power of God.(Mark 12:24)
What happens after you receive the Holy Spirit?
So when one finally receives the gift of the Holy Spirit; he will always be in tune with God’s mind where the hidden truths of the scripture dwells, and thereby know how to interpret the bible.
And such a person will neither accept nor speak what human wisdom teaches about the bible but rather on what the Holy Spirit reveals in 1 Corinthians 2:7-13.
And so, such a one will continue to study, practice and teach others the words of Jesus Christ. In order to know more of the truths that sets mankind free.
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.(John 8:31-32)
N/B: abiding in His word means:
- Practicing and
- Preaching the Word.
In summary, the only way to interpret and understand the scriptures lies in the two facts below:
- One must repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins; so he can receive the Holy Spirit Who reveals the truth hidden in the scriptures.
- After receiving the Holy Spirit, one must always study the scripture and put the things he discovers into practice
- And finally, he must teach the word he is able to practice to others.
How can Christians interpret the bible?
Now since the scripture was given through revelation and inspiration; it thus requires both principles for its understanding. And that is simply how Christians can interpret the bible.
But then, there is one other principle that helps us to precisely understand the scriptures, and that example is experience.
For instance, every preacher everywhere is busy using the same bible to preach; either for or against the mode of dressing or general outfits the Christian woman must wear e.g. the outward adorning of arranging the hair and of wearing gold or putting on of fine apparel.
Of course, both parties would have reasonable points and bible passages to outline as proofs; which oftentimes end up putting the believer or reader of little faith in a dilemma.
But if such a one gets to have the experience of how the wearing or putting on of these things war with her spirit; or rather, how uncomfortable they make her feel.
She will then be in a better position to understand that truly, God does not approve of these things; even if she doesn’t have a strong reason to back up her choice i.e. not wearing those things.
Yet another spiritual-minded person who sees her looking natural: (as when God finished creating her and saw that she was good) will quickly understand and let the sister be.
Beloved, experience, as we always say, is the best teacher; and this saying is so true when applied to the understanding of the bible.
That is why when I preach to people and they try to oppose what God has revealed to me.
I do nothing than tell them to have true repentance and wait upon God to put them through experiencing what they read about in the bible so they could be able to understand better.
Below is an example from my own personal experience on how to interpret the bible.
My own personal experience on how to correctly interpret the bible.
Through the years, several men of faith have tried to give meaning to the thorn in the flesh; mentioned by the apostle Paul in the statement below:
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.(2 Corinthians 12:7)
But when I was newly repented, I used to experience constant weakness which had me bedridden for months.
And I was always praying to God to strengthen me, until one day He referred me to the context of the above scripture where I got the understanding that physical weakness; due to the constant pain that Paul experienced as a result of the blindness he contacted from the light of his conversion, was what Paul referred to as the infirmities that gave him a thorn in the flesh as evidenced in his epistles:
I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.(1 Corinthians 2:3)
“For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.(2 Corinthians 10:10)
You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.(Galatians 4:13-14).
Now let me take you deeper into this reality, so you can know how to interpret the bible.
How God raises men for Himself.
When God wants to raise up for Himself great men; he, first of all, allows them to be born and grow up from terrible and hard backgrounds.
So that they might know how to relate with those still in the such background when they finally take up their divine task of ordination.
For instance, Moses had to be born and raised as an Egyptian.
And because of that, he would have the experience of the Pharoah household and not find it difficult to contend with him when it was time to rescue his kindred of Egypt.
Paul had to begin life as a Pharisee and later a persecutor; so that he would have a better understanding of the Jewish law and therein know how to preach against it.
Of course, it would be easier for a repentant drunkard to preach and convert a still drunkard; than for another preacher who does not even know how intoxication feels like.
Even before God gave the law in the bible to Moses and made him interpret it the way He did; He already knew that there will be injustice and partiality due to the imperfect nature of man;
but then, He gave it so that when He finally takes over the judgment seat, they will not say: “had it been you gave the laws to us, we would have known how to witness and judge each other properly”
Thus, show me a man whom God has blessed with revelation, inspiration, and experience.
And I will show you a man who perfectly understands and can interpret the bible.
In conclusion, let us never forget that it is only in knowing how to interpret the bible can a human being have a perfect understanding of the scriptures.
The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.(Psalms 119:130).
And once you get understand, you will be able to practice God’s words.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.(Psalms 119:34)
May the Father of all things, who gives wisdom and knowledge to those who seek them; open your understanding to know how to interpret His holy word, the Bible.
Through the name of His only begotten Son, even Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Amen.