It is true that many popular theories and doctrines are credited to and are thought to be supported by the Bible, but the truth is that these theories run counter to the themes presented in God’s word. Because there is this disconnect between belief and God’s word, many people have become confused and have given up on Christianity. We must remember that this is not the Bible’s issue, but humanities misuse of its teachings.
If it were possible for created beings, like humanity, to reach complete understanding of God and His character, then having become equal in knowledge (or omniscience), we would no longer be able to grow. We would have reached the limit of our potential, and we could no longer learn, grow, or develop our minds, hearts, and bodies. God would no longer be at the top, and having reached the top of the intellectual chain, we would have nowhere left to advance. Instead of being angry at our weakness and limitations, we should thank God for them. God is not limited. Within God is “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3). Humanity will forever search, learn, and seek to understand more about God, and we will only ever scratch the surface of the full scope of his goodness, perfection, mercy, and power.
It is God’s desire that throughout our lives we will be continually growing into a better understanding of the truth present in His word, and there is only one way that this knowledge is learned. The only way for us to grow spiritually through the study of the Bible is through God’s Holy Spirit inspiring the truths and themes in the scripture to us. “But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). Jesus promised to send us the Holy Spirit while He was with His disciples. “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring Me glory by telling you whatever He receives from Me.” (John 16:13-14).
God wants us personally to use the reasoning power that He has given to us, and studying the Bible is best way to strengthen our minds and hearts. We must watch out for thinking to highly of our logic and minds, because everything about us is limited by our humanity. We don’t ever want to reach a point where we can no longer understand the Bible, and the simple passages that give us hope no longer have the meaning they once did. Instead, we must humbly study the Bible with the faith and eagerness to learn that a child has, and ask the Holy Spirit to be our teacher. Sensing the power and wisdom that God wants to share with us should inspire humility, and as we open His word, we should respect and honor it as we would honor Him like we would when entering His presence. When we open the Bible, we must bring both reason and an open mind with the desire to learn, and acknowledge that behind the Bible is an Authority that is greater than the collection of chapters and verses—and our hearts and minds should bow to the great Teacher and Ruler.
There are many things presented in the Bible that seem to be obscure or hidden that God wants to explain to us in a simple, easily understandable way. However, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will always run the risk of misinterpreting and misunderstanding the Bible. We can read the Bible in many different ways where we do not benefit from its spiritual power. If we open God’s word without prayer and reverence, when our hearts and minds are not focused or open to God’s guidance, or when our spirit is not aligned with His will, our minds will be clouded with doubt, and our study will instead lead to skepticism. With skepticism present, the enemy will take control of our minds and lead us to an incorrect understanding and misinterpretation of the Scriptures. Whenever someone is not both seeking truth and obeying the will of God, however intelligent they may be, they can misinterpret the Bible’s teaching, and it is not safe to trust their interpretations blindly. People who study the Bible looking for inconsistencies do not have the humility and open mind to receive insights from God. Their distorted vision will both confuse and bring doubt to truths that would otherwise be plain, simple, and easy to understand.
The real cause of doubt and skepticism, even though it can be very thoroughly disguised in most cases, is the love of sin. Proud, sin-loving hearts and people who are unwilling to obey do not embrace the restrictions and boundaries that the Bible teaches and are quick to discount its authority. For us to be sure that we will reach truth, we must have an open-mind and a sincere desire to learn and know the truth, and we must be willing to put the truth we receive into practice in our lives. Everyone who studies the Bible in this humble, open-minded, and sincere way will find abundant evidence that the Bible is God’s word, and in the chapters and verses that are read, they will learn about God’s grace and the great news about salvation.
Next week, we will conclude our discussion on doubt before finishing our series on growing with Jesus.
P.S. As always, if I missed something, or if you would like to respond on this topic, join the conversation below!