Life Quote: 2 Timothy 3:16 Everything in the Scriptures is God's Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. (CEV)
When you study Scripture these principles will help discern the letter and the Spirit of God’s Word. They are an extremely important aid in the study of the Bible for the Church today.
1. Always bring the letter (of both Old Testament and New Testament) through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For example, read Matthew 5:27-30 (Exodus 20:14), and Matthew 5:21, 22.
2. Always weigh one portion of the Bible to other portions of the Bible. In other words allow the Bible to explain itself!
3. Never destroy the letter or alter its natural (or literal) intent. It says what it says!
4. Use utmost caution when mixing spiritual and natural (literal) interpretations. For example: Gen 13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. Gen 13:16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. See how Paul interprets that verse - Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (KJ)
5. Never say more nor less than what the letter says.
6. Balance scriptural extremes lest you divide the innate unity of the Word. For example, Romans 4:2,3 and James 2:17,21-23 are explained and made clear by Eph.2:8-10.
7. Rightly divide the metaphors (the area of greatest false revelation). An example of metaphor is Rev. 5:5 “…Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David…”
8. Eat ONLY the DAILY bread! Let me explain – while looking into tomorrow one can neglect the needs of today. Don’t FIGURE everything out. Let the LORD reveal the things as He wants it known! BUT get the Word into your heart! Read Deuteronomy 8:3 and Matthew 6:33,34.
9. Begin with part and move toward the whole . . . idea. For example the subject of “asking” – Matt.21:21,22; 1 John 5:14,15; James 4:3.
10. Always TEST the “spirit” of a particular teaching, revelation or interpretation of the Word by asking: A. Does the interpretation “rape” other portions of the Word or is there conformation? B. What is the fruit that is produced in my life if I live by this interpretation – will I be/say/do like Jesus? (1 John 4:1)
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