Understanding the Word of God

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 NLT)

One of the most common errors we make when thinking about God’s Word is focusing exclusively on the written words of God, the Bible. The Word of God is Jesus, who is the central figure throughout the whole Bible. And understand, I’m not being critical. I often refer to the Bible as God’s Word, because it certainly is a summation of God’s interactions with man from the beginning of time.

However, in the context of how God speaks, we can’t lose sight of the fact that Jesus is THE Truth. There is no truth apart from what is consistent with who Jesus is and what He proclaimed in His life on earth. Yes, of course, the Spirit speaks through His written word, the Bible, but nothing in the Bible will ever contradict the Truth of who Jesus is.

It’s not uncommon to believe that if we understand the written word, we’ll see the living Word more clearly. And that is true. But we must also understand the reason for reading and studying the Bible in the first place. Our goal isn’t simply to gain more knowledge or to gather information, it’s to apply what we’re learning with the end goal of personal transformation. We can memorize the Bible from cover to cover, but if it doesn’t enable us to look and live more like Jesus, we’ve wasted our time.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

The Pharisees, who were largely responsible for the death of Jesus, had memorized the writings of Moses, consisting of the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Pentateuch. Yet, they completely missed the key Figure in those writings, and rather than worshipping and honoring Him, they had Him crucified.

Understanding that Jesus is the Word of God, the living, breathing, active Son of God, is critical in understanding the written words of God, the Bible. The issue is never “does God speak?” Of course, He does, it’s just a matter of tuning in to His frequency. How do we do that? How do we hear and process what He’s saying?

Pastor Pete Greig said:  Trying to understand the Bible “without a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus leads to all kinds of issues. Jesus reframes the Scriptures to show how they’re all pointing to Himself.” To read the Bible and not see the fingerprints of Jesus throughout is to misunderstand why it was written.

My time in reading and studying the Scriptures isn’t simply to know more, it’s to see Jesus more clearly so that I might become more like Him. To the extent I reflect the life and character of Jesus in the way I live and love, to that extent I’ve understood what the Bible teaches, and I’ve heard Him speak clearly.

It breaks my heart to realize how few people who profess to know and love Jesus actually spend time daily reading and studying the Scriptures and spending time, specifically set aside, for conversation with the Lord in prayer. Yes, of course, we can do all the right things for all the wrong reasons and it’s not going to lead to Christlikeness, but we can’t assume to know, love, and serve Someone with whom we spend no time.

Greater understanding of the Bible results from greater time spent with it’s Author.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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