How we read the Scripture influences the foundation of our faith. Over the years, I have engaged Christians on a multitude of subjects. Many of the people I encountered had questions about Biblical interpretation. What struck me was the overall shallowness of Biblical knowledge that some Christians displayed. The key to understanding where someone is spiritually is to listen to what they are saying. There are Christians who have misinterpreted the intent of the Scripture due to being told what they should or should not believe. They also read books and periodicals that are extensions of the authors understanding. No matter what editorial system one uses, it must always line up with the Word. The process of misinterpreting a text in such a way that it introduces one’s own presuppositions, agenda and biases into the Scripture is called EISEGESIS. Sadly, many “spiritual” leaders adopt this method of teaching. Every Believer needs to open their Bible and draw out the meaning from a text in accordance with the context and its intended meaning. This method is known as EXEGETICAL observation. There are some great EXEGETICAL preachers who know how to rightly divide the Word of Truth. When you proof text what they say, your spirit will confirm the Truth.
The Bible says to “study to show yourselves approved unto God.” (II Timothy 2:15) The study habits of Christians evidence whether or not they are serious about their faith. Neglected study produces ineffective results. “Roller Coaster” rides are a spiritual experience when the Bible stays shut. Mondays will usually be a day of spiritual victories, for they are still riding high from their Sunday “feedings.” By Tuesday, the Word has faded from their interests, and emotions and feelings begin to take center stage. Christians must open the Word daily to understand God’s Grace and desire for our lives. Without the Word we would never know about our Savior and Lord, and the price He paid to bring us to God. We would never know about the Holy Spirit and His role in our lives.
Many Christians cannot even tell where certain Books of the Bible are located. There are Believers that only know parts of the New Testament; while the Old Testament is neglected due to their belief it is irrelevant to their faith. Before Jesus began His earthly ministry, He was schooled as every Jewish child was, in the “Old Testament” scrolls. He was so knowledgeable of the Scriptures, that at the age of twelve He was able to discuss and even debate the Jewish scholars in the Temple. (Luke 2: 46, 47) If Jesus spent so much time studying the Word, why should we curtail our efforts in pursuing understanding? Jesus quoted more from Isaiah than any other “book.” When is the last time Christians studied the Old Testament?
Timothy, an understudy of Paul, studied the Holy Scriptures (Old Testament) from his youth, and found salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (II Timothy 3:15) Paul realized that Scripture is to be used for “doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness.”( II Timothy 3:16) When we fail to open the Word, we not only limit our spiritual growth, but open the door for Satan to influence our lives. Inconsistent Faith is a result of inconsistent study. I urge every Believer to take their Faith seriously. Read and obey the Word like your life depends upon it, for it does!!