Hugh’s News & Views (Good, Sincere People, Pt. 2)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

WHY DO GOOD, SINCERE PEOPLE NOT “UNDERSTAND” THE BIBLE ALIKE?

(Part 2)

Can good, sincere people understand the Bible alike? Or does the Bible (and therefore, God) communicate a mixed, inconsistent, and confusing message to mankind? If people would lay aside the psychological lenses of their denominational beliefs and practices, their church creeds and catechisms, their religious traditions handed down from their parents and grandparents, what they have “always believed” or how they have “always felt” about a particular religious matter, would they see the Bible alike? Let’s do a little experiment and see what the results might be. (You are encouraged to read the Bible passages cited below.)

Based on Luke 1:26-35, I understand that Jesus was born of a virgin by the name of Mary, that He was conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit, not by a man. What do you understand the passage to teach?

Based on John 3:16 and Romans 5:8, I understand that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die for sinners. What do you understand these passages to teach?

Based on John 14:6, I understand that the only way anyone may come to God is through Jesus Christ. What do you understand the passage to teach?

Based on John 8:24, I understand that in order to not die in one’s sins, one must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. What do you understand the verse to teach?

Based on Luke 13:3,5 and Acts 17:30, I understand that everyone must repent of his or her sins in order to be saved. What do you understand these passages to teach?

Based on Mark 16:16, I understand that one must both believe and be baptized in order to be saved. What do you understand the verse to teach?

Based on Acts 2:38, I understand that people must both repent and be baptized in order to have the remission of their sins. What do you understand the verse to teach?

Based on Acts 22:16, I understand that in the act of baptism one’s sins are washed away. What do you understand the passage to teach?

Based on Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12, I understand that baptism is a burial (immersion). What do you understand these passages to teach?

Based on Acts 8:38, I understand that baptism is in water. What do you understand the verse to teach?

Based on Matthew 26:26-28 and I Corinthians 11:23-26, I understand that the followers of Christ are to eat the bread and drink the cup (the fruit of the vine) in memory of the body and blood of Christ. What do you understand these passages to teach?

Based on Acts 20:7 and the example of the first century church, I understand that the breaking of bread took place on the first day of the week. What do you understand this verse to teach?

Based on Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, I understand that Christians are to sing and make melody in their hearts to the Lord. What do you understand these verses to teach?

Based on Ephesians 1:22-23, I understand that the church is the body of Christ. What do you understand the passage to teach?

Based on Ephesians 4:4-6, I understand that there is only one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. What do you understand the passage to teach?

Based on John 17:20-21, I understand that Christ wants all believers in Him to be one (united). What do you understand the passage to teach?

Based on I Corinthians 1:10-13, I understand that Christians are to have no divisions among themselves and are not to wear religious names that honor men rather than Christ. What do you understand the passage to teach?

The above illustrates the unity of understanding we can have concerning what the Bible actually says when we leave off our opinions and “what we have always thought or believed” about a matter.

We conclude with three observations: 1) We do not differ in our understanding of what the Bible actually says; our differences arise over what the Bible does NOT say. 2) We do not differ in our understanding of what the Bible actually says; our differences arise when some choose to add to what the Bible actually says or to subtract from what the Bible actually says or to modify what the Bible actually says. 3) We do not differ in our understanding of what the Bible actually says; our differences arise when some believe and do what the Bible actually says, while others choose NOT to believe and do what it actually says.

Hugh Fulford

December 10, 2013

#biblical-interpretation, #hughfulford, #sincerity