What Qualifies You to Understand the Bible and Where does leadership stand

Disclaimer: I do hope to not be misunderstood, for I do not nor do I subscribe to say that studying in a seminary or dedicating many years to the studying of theology or Jewish customs are wrong, in fact this are noble exploits but we must understand what the principles and standards to understand the scriptures are written within the Bible because its written not just for the learned but also the unlearned.
Romans 10:6–8
But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);

This matter has endured upon my heart for a while and it seemed proper that I should wait no longer but write upon it, for as I have come to realize that it is a necessity, that such a matter must be spoken upon to the extent of the ability God has granted, and I would hope the Holy spirit grant insight on the matter.

Many have come to the conclusion that the truths of the Bible though written to all can only be interpreted by the few, the learned, by those who have labored within the depths of theology, who have spent years studying the cultures and depths of Jewish customs and rites.

But I fear in our zeal of the truth we have also lost and fallen as many have into the abyss that is the natural wisdom of man’s thinking.

I do not say that entering a seminary course, school is irrelevant nor do I subscribe to the notion of not appreciating the Jewish customs as we read and learn the deep history written within the Bible has unneeded, but the truth that lies within the Bible goes beyond Jewish customs and rites, for salvation came of the Jews but not just for the Jew.

2 Peter 1:1
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
Colossians 3:10–12
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Ephesians 3:1–6: The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed
For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles – assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Rather than argue of context, history and notions, I simply will take nothing more than the attested God giving standards written with the Bible which holds the truth of God.


We must awake from our fallacy that only the selected few or trained few can understand, for God meant it that all men should know him and that no one needs teach the other what is true, because his Holy Spirit attest to the hearts what is indeed true or not, if indeed they have given their life to Jesus Christ.

James 1:3–6
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

Dividing the proof and standards into 3 pieces, let’s look at what the Purpose, Requirement and Order are when it relates to the bar for understanding scriptures, as God’s own word lays them out.


Purpose of Scriptures

Romans 15:4
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

First and foremost,the purpose of the Bible after salvation is for our knowledge and exercise there on is a fact we must observe, for this is not written to those who do not believe but to those who have and indeed do believe and belong to Christ.

For all the scriptures will have no value, if after you were saved, it were simply something you kept in a cupboard to be opened once every week, when you attend service or any other day upon which you choose.

The were written that we may fervently read, study and learn from them, even as Peter puts it

1 Peter 2:1–3
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Matthew 11:25
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Although in old speech, yet the depths of those words rings true, each believer must diligently seek and study the Bible because the bar to understand them are so low that none can fail to pass it, because from such exercise is growth achieved.

Just like children well fed grow healthily, so also are those who have believed and come to God, for they are indeed spiritually children, yet young and need guidance in the way of the truth, who must mature both in understanding and knowledge of the word of God for their own sakes.

For even David, not one of the priestly tribe of Israel,yet could boldly say

Psalms 119:99–100
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

For we need not first be granted a “qualified” badge by a certificate or authority to search and understand, but rather what we must do is an active search and seeking of the depths of truth within the Bible ourselves as we daily search and read therein, for that was its purpose in the first place.

For it shouldn’t surprise us that this standard was no different for those bound by the old covenant,

Joshua 1:8
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Requirements

If we understand that the bar upon which learning and studying of the Bible is so low that no one is exempted from it and if indeed no seminary degrees nor in-depth understanding of Jewish rites and customs be a first requirement, then we would ponder,

What is then the requirement to both understand and rightfully interpret scripture?

For this, I lay no other words than the following:

2 Peter 1:20–21
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9–12
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
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.
Oh what beauty, what wonder are we left with, when such requirements be so simple than even the unlearned can achieve it.

For the very same gift and sign of our salvation is the third person of the Godhead himself, that is God’s own Holy Spirit, who is indeed the true author and the source of inspiration for the Bible itself, for he alone is the requirement.

It’s like we were given a grand exam, that is hard to answer but we were given along with such hard questions, the very author of the exams to be our guide as we ponder and answer through.

God made it perfectly easy, perfectly effortless for us to understand because the same one who authored it, is giving to explain it.

1 Corinthians 2:11–14
For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

For anyone who indeed have accepted Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Saviour has the Holy Spirit given, because he his the guarantee of your salvation.

The very elements we need, were the very things we were provided with at salvation.
Ephesians 1:13–14
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 4:30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

I think this needs no more explaining, as the words themselves clearly tell us how easy the requirements are, the Holy Spirit is not just a force that exists but the third person of the Godhead, so if God himself lives in us, why do we fear that we can not understand what he himself wrote.

1 John 2:26–27
I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie – just as it has taught you, abide in him.

Leadership and the Bible

Once resolving the dilemma of purpose and requirement for understanding and interpreting scriptures, we are left to wonder why the need for leadership, if we all have the Spirit of truth in us, then why is there the need that some should stand in the place of leadership to teach?

Ephesians 4:11–14
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

We can easily extrapolate these three key points out from that scripture, for leadership was put in place in the Church. for:

  1. For the perfecting/building of believers for the work of ministry
  2. To edify/teach the body of Christ
  3. To guide as we mature as one into the full stature of Jesus Christ himself.

For all these three are needed so that:

“We henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine”

The leadership was never meant to be your source of truth for that is your bible and the Holy Spirit in you, nor to spoon feed you the truths of God’s word, because your teacher is the Holy Spirit himself.

But they are to work in accord with the Holy Spirit to guide you as you learn and study the truths of God’s word and as you grow while studying, because when you who may be younger in understanding of the depths of truths in God’s word becomes confused, they who are more experienced and have gone through such can help lead you rightly.

But know this, what they teach is still your responsibility to vet, even if it is from the Heads of either the Protestants, Anglican or any other denominations, sects of any Christian church or organization, the responsibility to vet their teaching falls on you and on the fellowship of your church peers, because the Holy Spirit in you and in them will signify to you all, if indeed what you are told follows with the written word when you study it further.

This is done when we gather as one during service hours to hear the word and by us when we returning home to search and meditate upon those confusing parts when giving the explanations and evidences and by vetting if indeed the scriptures validate them.
1 Corinthians 14:29–33
Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
2 Timothy 2:1–2
A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 3:14–16
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Normally these things are part of the fellowship process, as a church comes together within the principles of fellowship.

Acts 2:42
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

We must individually come to the appreciation and realization of the gift we have through Christ, the Bible is meant for all who are called by God’s sovereign will to accept Jesus Christ and the salvation he gives and as testified in the Bible.

There in within those sacred pages lays deeper and greater promise but how can we know and grasp them, when we do not commit even a small portion of our time to studying the scriptures.
For how can we know, when we do not read and how can we understand when we do not study.

I hope these scriptures indeed have convinced you that you need not be a master of theology, nor a graduate of Jewish history, because the word of truth is giving to all who believe and can be understood,

if we humbly seek at the feet of the Holy Spirit himself.
John 14:26
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
James 1:3–6
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

God bless.

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