This lesson presents four keys to understanding the Bible: believe it, compare scripture with scripture (cross-referencing), observing the context, and rightly dividing.
Follow along with this outline:
Believe It – you have to believe the Bible is the truth if you seek to understand it!
Psalm 12:6-7: “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”
Cross Referencing – compare scripture with scripture, not with the traditions of men, for understanding.
1 Corinthians 2:12-13: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
Observe the Context – patiently determine the subject of the text in order to be clear on what God is addressing.
Isaiah 28:9-20: “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”
Rightly Divide – determine who God is speaking to using context and cross-referencing, and if what you are reading is meant for you as a member of the church, the Body of Christ, or if it may in fact be meant for the Jews or Gentiles.
2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The bible lists the three groups which it addresses:
1 Corinthians 10:32: “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:”
Three examples of the Bible speaking to these individual groups:
The Jews – Genesis 15:18: “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:”
The Gentiles – Ephesians 2:11-12: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”
The Church, the Body of Christ – Ephesians 3:1-9: “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:”