26th June 2014

Don’t Understand The Bible? 

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

If you don’t understand the Bible, you are not alone.  Yet it’s interesting that the Bible remains a best seller around the world. It has been translated into most of the world’s languages and you will find a copy in most hotel bedrooms. It is the worlds most read and unread book. Many people will have at home a copy which they never open. While some people find it a puzzle, others like to read from it every day and say they live their lives by it. 

It’s understandable that some people can find it a difficult book to read. It can seem as if it’s written in a foreign language.  Where do you start, in Genesis or Matthew? Are some books more important than others? Do you have to know the Bible to be a Christian? Most important what has it got to do with life today? 

While reading the Bible is a help, without some guidance it can seem like you’ve been given a telephone directory, and told to find a person’s number but without being given their name—an impossible task. 

Yet in essence the Bible is a simple book. It’s the story of the relationship between God and humanity. It starts with God working with a handful of individuals, and then God works with an entire nation, Israel. The nation is given favoured status with God and a set of laws, which include the Ten Commandments, called the Old Covenant. But Israel can’t keep those laws, and rejects and rebels against God. As a result of humanities’ sins, God comes to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, who keeps the Old Covenant laws perfectly, calls his disciples, is then crucified, dies, is resurrected, and returns to sit at the right hand of God. 

Christ’s death has brought the Old Covenant to an end and ushered in the New Covenant. Once again God works with not just one nation, but individuals of all races and backgrounds, to bring them salvation and eternal life, by faith, through Christ. 

As Christians we become disciples of Christ and seek to express our faith by loving God and loving our neighbour, whoever he or she may be. The Bible leads us to understand that God is love, despite some of the awful things that are done in his name, and that it is his will to bring the vast majority of humanity to salvation. But we have free will and have to choose Gods way of life voluntarily. Because many don’t, we see the sad results in our society today. 

The Bible shows us that there will come a time when Christ will return, in power as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and will put humanity back on track. 

So you might say, is all that in the bible? How do I find out?  A good start is to read the Bible itself. But an even better one is to find and attend a church where the Bible is explained. In Grace Communion we have a respect for the Bible and we teach from it each week. While we would never claim we have a perfect understanding of it, or claim to be the only church that teaches it, we believe we can give you a good understanding of it in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. With a little guidance you will find that the Bible is God’s revelation to humanity, it’s how we come to understand God now and come to be filled with genuine hope for our future. 

Father, help all those who want to understand your word, the Bible. Give them understanding, encouragement and guide them to a church that teaches your word with love.

Study by Keith Hartrick


keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, a Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone:  01484-312347
Email: malcolm.john.arnold@ntlworld.com

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