January 03, 2000

How can I better understand what I read? by Eric Wilson

(Pro 15:33) “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” Does man come to God bringing the works they have done for salvation, God forbid. Man comes naked and dependent entirely on His mercy and grace. When you come to His word do you bring your ignorance and wisdom for understanding, God forbid. Come to His word humbled and childlike. Come thirsty and hungry for His substance. Come obedient and in faith and seek for understanding.

- Come submissively, embrace that understanding, no matter what the result, is by revelation of the Spirit.
- Read first for the literal meaning. Many times passages of scripture mean exactly what they say. Do not over analyze.
- Read in its context. It is dangerous to use pieces of scriptures to prove a position. Be cautious and look what the text surrounding a passage may expound.
- Read and examine words. Words have meanings and I believe uses of words in the scriptures have very special ones. Do not ignore the text but look closely when necessary at specific words and tenses. This to, may amplify the meaning of the entire passage.
- Read considering analogies, symbols, and what the text may be an example of. Be careful not to make it say sometime it doesn’t but examine it for what it may represent. Many times, especially in the Old Testament, there are wonderful pictures of Christ.
- Read with an unanswered questions in mind. This is not really to say ‘be open minded’, which is important, this is to come seeking understanding. Ask questions about what you read and look for the answer. Many times answers are easier to find than meaning and the result is similar.
- Compare scripture with scripture. The very best commentary on any passage is other passages.
- Read for substance. There is a message that applies to you. These messages may nourish, comfort, challenge, or rebuke.
- Read with Christ constantly in view. If you ever read and fail to see Him glorified proceed to the next point and then go back to step one.
- PRAY. Pray constantly over the scripture for understanding and any revelation of the Spirit. Prayer is the best means of understanding and study.

Even with that there may be a lot we never comprehend. But I can ensure you we will understand exactly what God wants and needs us to understand. I am thankful that it pleases God to hide some things to the wise and still a babe, by the grace of God, can swim in the scriptures and suckle all they have to reveal (Mat 11:25).

heart of doctrine