A workman…who correctly handles the word of truth. – extract from 2 Timothy 2:15
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” – John 14:6; emphasis added
To present to you the word of God in its fullness. –Colossians 1:25
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. – John 1:1, 14, 17
Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. – 2 Corinthians 3:15-16; emphasis added Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. – John 6:45
The Bible – the infallible, divinely inspired Word of God – is essential to loving God, knowing God, and living His God Life, all established through Jesus. The Bible teaches us who God is, what God purposes, what God worked and works, and how God works. We cannot truly know the answers to these or any other God aspects without immersing our hearts and minds in the Word of God.
A central theme of the Old Testament is to expose our inherent rebellion against God, our utter depravity (sinfulness), and our total inability to do God’s bidding. The Old Testament exposes our dire need for a Savior Messiah in every regard and in every way. The New Testament in turn reveals to us how Father God rectified all and fulfills all through the Messiah, His Son Jesus Christ.
The Word of God tells us all about God’s Christ-is-All-and-in-all Agenda; and how God himself ensured the fulfillment of His Christ-is-All-and-in-all Agenda in all eternity and on earth. We MUST HAVE the right Christ based approach to God’s Word if we want to know its true meaning and application! If we do not know how to correctly view all Scripture in the Light of Christ, then our Bible interpretation will be like trying to build a puzzle without having the right picture that fits the puzzle. In order to have the right view of God’s Word, we first and foremost need to have the all defining picture of Christ Jesus correctly imprinted in our hearts and minds by the Holy Spirit.
Whenever we engage with God’s Word, we need to have on the reading glasses of Christ-is-All-and -in-all to rightly view all Scripture in the Light and Life of Christ. From the onset we need to understand that Jesus himself is the Word and the Truth. Jesus himself is the overall context, content, and implement of the Word. Jesus himself is the Life, the heart, the depth, and the richness of the Word. Jesus is himself the way and the walk of the Word.
The Bible is all about the Being and doing of Jesus self – and how we are to relate to and to abide by His Being and His doing through the Holy Spirit. Our correct Christ based Word engagement will ensure that everything is Christ focused and Christ fulfilled – as God has meant it to be, and made it to be. In line with the divine reality of Christ himself is the Alpha and Omega; the First and the Last; the Beginning and the End; the All and in all of God’s divine Word and eternal Kingdom.
The Bible is the Holy Spirit’s main instrument to instruct us in passionately loving Jesus, personally knowing Jesus, and practically living the divine Life of Christ. Therefore we first and foremost need to have the foundation of Jesus Christ laid in our Word engagements. We need to humbly and intimately seek God’s counsel until we sufficiently understand that the fullness and fulfillment of God’s Word is Jesus Christ himself. It is of crucial importance to appropriately abide by the fact that Jesus self is the Way of God’s Word; Jesus self is the Truth of God’s Word; and Jesus himself is the Life of God’s Word. See John 14:6, 1:1,14-18; 1 Corinthians 2:2, 3:11; Colossians 2:2-3, 6-12, 3:11.
The Holy Scriptures are divine Words which require a Divine Interpreter. The Bible is written in God’s words, words which cannot be rightly understood by our own mental, linguistic or theological faculties (Isaiah 55:8-9 / John 1:1, 14:6). If the Holy Spirit – the Author of God’s Word – does not translate God’s Word for us, then none of us will ever be able to grasp the Christ-depth and the Christ-width of God’s Word. Correctly seeing God’s Word in an overall Christ-context can only come through Holy Spirit revelation (John 14:26, 15:26, 16:12-15). And God reserves His divine level revelations to those who are humbly, passionately, and lovingly sold out to His Son! Once Jesus self is the all and in all of our hearts, then will we receive heart-to-heart revelations about Christ self being the all and in all of all. The Holy Spirit opens up the divine fullness, the unlimited treasures of Christ self being the Way, Truth and Life of the Word to those who truly open their hearts to Jesus. Scripture comes to Life once we understand how Jesus himself is the Life, Truth and Way thereof!
Major pitfalls to knowing and living the true Jesus level riches of the Bible are:
- Taking a human reasoning approach to Scripture interpretation (= trying to figure God and His Word out via human intellectual capacities, mental observations and theological interpretations);
- Taking a religious approach to Scripture implementation (= trying to fulfill God’s Word via human effort and excellence).
In stark contrast, a Holy Spirit operated approach to the Word of God is based on:
(a) Intimate relationship with God through Christ, ever in full loving devotion to God himself;
(b) Divine revelations from God through Jesus Christ, who Himself is the Word personified; and
(c) Full reliance on God self to fulfill His purposes, promises, and commands through Christ by grace.
The Bible is in essence a book of sovereign grace. If we do not understand true grace – what it is, why it is necessary, and what it works – then we will never be able to get to grips with God’s Word.
True sovereign grace works all of Jesus, which includes God himself fulfilling all of His Word through Christ. Faith is expecting God himself to fulfill His Word through Christ, inclusive of all that God requires. Uncompromising obedience to God’s Word allows the Holy Spirit to fulfill His Word and will through Christ residing in us. In practice all of the Word, grace, faith, and obedience can only find their fullness and fulfillment in the Person of Jesus Christ. Living by grace means living by Jesus in Person and in action. The Holy Spirit was given to implement Jesus Christ is our All and in all. All Jesus, who is the Life of the Word and the living of the Word. By grace Jesus as the Living Word came to reside in us. By grace Jesus residing in us will himself also fulfill all that the Word requires of us. Meditate sufficiently on Romans 8:4-11, 13:14; Hebrews 13:20-21; John 1:1-4, 16-18, 6:28-29,15:4-8, 14:6; Philippians 2:12-13; Matthew 5:17-20 / Romans 8:4; Ezekiel 36:27; Galatians 2:19-21.
Holy Spirit anointed engagements with God’s Word will make us abide by: Firstly, the true meaning and application of God’s Word can only be had within a loving devotion to Jesus himself. Secondly, the true meaning of the Word can only be understood within a correct Christ-is-All perspective. Thirdly, the real application of the Word can only be achieved within a Christ-works-all practice.
Key Scriptures of Christ based Bible interpretation
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that in them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 5:39-40, emphasis added
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. – Luke 24:27, emphasis added
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1
We should always keep in mind the following key Scriptures of Christ centered Bible interpretation whenever we engage with the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation. They are key Scriptures because they help to unlock the other Scriptures for us. They give us access to the Christ-Glory of Scripture! They set us up for seeing Scripture in the proper Christ context, in the Light of Christ.
Dear reader What do these Scriptures teach us about the interpretation of the Word of God? invest your time in studying God’s word..
John 5:39-40, 46
Isaiah 55:8-9; John 14:6
Luke 24:27, 31-32, 44-45
Revelation 1:8, 22:13
Revelation 19:10, 13
Colossians 3:11, 2:2-3 (see also Colossians 1:15-20)
John 14:26, 15:26, 16:12-15
John 6:45, 63
Corinthians 1:20, 3:6, 3:14-4:7 (note verse 3:16 / Galatians 3:24)
Colossians 1:9, 1:25-28, 2:2-3, 8
Matthew 11:25-30; 1 Corinthians 1:18—2:16 (note verses 1:19-20, 2:10-16), 3:11
Galatians 3:24; John 14:6
John 1:1,4, 8:12
How will you apply these key Scriptures to all your Bible interpreting, meditating, and teaching? It is good to test yourself
Key Scriptures of Christ based Bible implementation
Apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5 have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God. – Galatians 2:20
We should always keep in mind the following key Scriptures of Christ centered Bible implementation whenever we engage with the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation. They are key Scriptures because they unlock the implementation of Scripture for us. They give us the practice of the Christ Glory of the Word! They set us up to practically live by Jesus in action – to live the Living Word by faith. Please sufficiently meditate on these Scriptures before answering this question about them:
What do these Scriptures teach us about the implementation of the Word of God? Study the scriptures prayerfully…
Romans 3:9-18, 7:18, 8:5-8
John 6:28-29, 15:4-5, 14:6, 12-15
2 Corinthians 1:20, 12:9, 13:4-5
Galatians 2:20; Romans 15:17-19
Romans 8:4, 9-11
Isaiah 55:8-9, 35:8
John 14:6, 15:5
What do these Scriptures teach us about the implementation of the Word of God? Study the scriptures prayerfully…
1 Corinthians 1:30
2 Corinthians 3:3-6, 5:7
Hebrews 10:38; 13:20-21
Philippians 1:6, 20-21, 2:12-13
How can all of Scripture be fulfilled in our daily living?
How can we ensure that our Bible learning, Bible loving and Bible living are always Christ based? It is good to ask yourself these study questions dear reader…
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11
The message is heard through the word of Christ. – Romans 10:17; emphasis added
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. – Colossians 3:16; emphasis added
How do you get God’s Word of Christ into your heart, mind, mouth and actions?
Making God’s Word of Christ the fruit of your daily living is a growth process. In principle it works the same way as preparing a field, sowing the seed, and nurturing the plants until the harvest is gathered. Here is the Holy Spirit worked ‘Scripture taking root and bearing fruit’ process:
- The fertile field where the Word of God is sown is your close relationship with God. The Word is first and foremost for the heart! Comprehending the Word and applying it in your daily living comes through a heart-to-heart connection with God. Deuteronomy 30:20; Mark 12:30; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Luke 10:38-42; John 8:12, 15:4-5,7-11,15-16; Matthew 11:25-28.
- Repent from an academic, human reasoning, religious and theological mindset as the basis for Scripture interpretation. God cannot be known through mere human intellect or clever reasoning. Humbly accept and confess that only God can give you the correct knowledge and understanding of God and His Word. Everything by Holy Spirit revelation and nothing by our human reasoning. See John 6:63, 6:45, 14:26, 15:26; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; 1 John 2:27.
- Revelation from God is essential. You need to receive your Word based God-teachings from God self and not from any human based Word teachings (Luke 24:45; Isaiah 54:13; John 6:45; 1 John 2:27). Unfortunately human based Word teachings abound in the church.
- Regularly and prayerfully read the Word of God. As you read, pray that God will reveal to you the true Christ-based meaning and application thereof – also of the Old Testament.
- Take enough time to deeply reflect on the Word of God, to meditate on it – to take it into your heart. Ever trusting God to reveal the true meaning and application thereof. Think Scripture through in consultation with God until the true Light and Life of Christ shines from it. Meditate until the Christ content and Christ implement of God’s Word is revealed to you.
- Regularly review the Word teachings you have received from God. Review the Word until it becomes the glasses through which you view God, yourself, and everything around you.
- Recite key verses of Scripture; let God guide you which Scriptures are essential to memorize.
- Repeat Scripture through your mouth whenever it fits daily situations. Make it a habit to confess Scripture. As you continuously confess the Truth, God graciously works the Truth. Your regular confessing of God’s Word allows God to bring your living in line with His Word.
- Re-align or reform your thinking, choosing, speaking, attitude and actions to be in line with the Word of God. Faithfully resolve to live by the Word, through grace by faith in obedience!
- Fully rely on God self to fulfill all of his Word. Only God can live and work by God’s required holy standards. Grace is God working all to His standard! That is why Holy God himself came to live in you, so that He can fulfill the Word of God in your daily living and working. Grace is God self in operation to fulfill His Word, will and work. God’s Word can only be fulfilled by grace through faith in obedience to Jesus – who resides in us as our enablement to live the Word. See Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 14:23, 15:5; Galatians 2:20; Romans 8:4; 2 Corinthians 5:7.
- What are you going to do to have God’s Word of Christ in your heart, mind, mouth and actions?
An example of how to correctly handle the Word of Truth in the Light of Christ
Our text is: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Holy Spirit must teach us how to define all Biblical terminology and concepts in the correct Christ context, in the Light of Christ. We must be Holy Spirit taught! We know by now that Christ himself is the Word and the Truth. Hence all key Biblical terminology, concepts and practices are ever Christ based and Christ centered. If they are correctly seen and defined in the Light of Christ, then they start to fall in place as God’s building blocks to ensure Jesus Christ as our All and in all.
Teaching the Word = teaching about Jesus. All of the Word should always be taught in the proper, overall Christ context. The Word from Genesis to Revelation should be used to teach everyone to love, to know, and to live Jesus Christ – who also is and works the Word. See Colossians 3:11; John 1:1,14; 5:39-40, 14:6, 15:26; Revelation 1:8, 19:10,13, 22:13; 1 Corinthians 2:1-2; Romans 11:36.
Rebuking in line with the Word = lovingly ensuring that everyone and everything done are Christ based, remain in Him, and operate through Him. See 1 John 5:11,18-21; John 15:4-5; Galatians 2:20.
Correcting in line with the Word = lovingly setting and keeping everyone on the Jesus is all and fulfills all track. See 1 Corinthians 1:30-2:2; Colossians 1:27-29; Philippians 3:8-9; Colossians 3:9-11.
Training in line with the Word = training everyone to know and to follow Jesus as their love and Life – to live from, through and to Jesus himself by faith. Training everyone to love God, know God, and live God. See John 14:6, 12-15, 15:5; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21; Acts 17:24-28; Romans 11:36.
Righteousness from God’s perspective = Jesus Christ. Our righteousness is Jesus is our all, and He works God’s all. We being in Christ is our positional righteousness. Christ being in us allows Him to also be our practical righteous living. See 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9.
Equipped by God = us having been put in Christ and Christ having been put in us; knowing how to live by Christ who lives in us – all by grace through Holy Spirit wrought faith and obedience. See 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, 7; Colossians 1:27-29; Romans 8:4, 9-11, 15:17-19; Philippians 1:6, 2:13.
Good works according to God = GOD works! No human flesh can ever do anything good in God’s estimation. Not our own good works by faith, but God self works through faith! See Jeremiah 17:59; Isaiah 64:6; Psalm 53:1-3; Acts 17:24-28; John 6:63, 15:5; Romans 3:9-18, 7:18, 8:4; Mark 10:18.
Now that we have centered the terminology, concepts, and practices on Christ Jesus self, we are well on the way to the correct Christ based interpretation of this Scripture. What now remains is to ensure that the implementation of this Scripture will also be solely Jesus Christ based. How is every Word of God applied in our daily living? By grace through the indwelling Christ himself, ever by faith and in obedience to God’s living Word, Jesus Christ. All done via the Holy Spirit to God’s glory!