How Are We Supposed to
Understand the Bible?
Part 2

(This blog is continued from Part 1)

The Bible deliberately contains many paradoxes, in order to illustrate what God is like. Remember, a paradox is two apparent opposites existing in harmony with each other.

Jesus was full of grace (favour toward people) and truth; God hates sin, but loves sinners; all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, yet he so loved them that he judged His Son instead of judging them. I need Holy Spirit to show me when to “turn the other cheek” and when to apply the whip. Jesus drove the “money changers” out of the Temple with a whip, yet one of his beatitudes says that I should not hit someone back if they hit me first, but “turn the over cheek”

In his “sermon on the mount”, Jesus stated that his followers are to be perfect just like his Father in heaven: Perfect in this context means, complete, wholesome and mature. But Paul states that all have sinned, and the Bible also says that the penalty for sin is death. Therefore you realise that people have no chance of being “perfect” as Jesus directed. Now there’s a catch 22 situation if ever there was one. God resolved it by giving Jesus the punishment that people deserved for their sin: Therefore they don’t die. The Holy Spirit then gives those who believe in Jesus the ability to live as he directed. Problem solved: We actually can be “perfect” as Jesus directed.

Some things the Bible says are put into practice in the wrong way, which can lead to poor results and even confusion.

Fatherhood comes before friendship with your children. You have to be a father to them to show them how to live, provide suitable boundaries for behaviour and apply discipline in a compassionate manner. It’s not as easy as it sounds, because each child is different and therefore responds in a different way.

Husbands love your wives; wives defer to your husbands. Marriage is intended to be a partnership, not a pecking order. Wives should enjoy their husband’s protection, tenderness and the physical and emotional security he gives her. Husbands should enjoy his wife’s respect, responsiveness and love, as well as the physical and emotional security she gives him.

Finally, when the Bible gives factual accounts of an event or activity, these do not usually carry opinions about what is being observed. God doesn’t state whether he approves or disapproves of the culture in which the events are taking place. God wrote about slave cultures. But he didn’t create them, they already existed. He didn’t endorse them, he simply wrote about life in them: For example, the culture in Israel during the Roman occupation in Jesus’ life time. The culture in the book of Esther contains many things God disapproves of in the New Testament. But he does not state his views in the book of Esther, he simply tells the story.

 

 


Being powerful is like being a lady, if you have to tell people you are, then you aren't. Margaret Thatcher
The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but God will make us good because he loves us. C S Lewis
Fear is misplaced faith. Kris Vallotton
God has already seen every mistake, every failure and every weakness, and the good news is he's already forgiven you. He is not holding it against you. Joel Osteen
God is not nearly so interested in changing your circumstances as he is in changing you. Joyce Meyer
Pray, and let God worry Martin Luther
Those who never change their mind never change anything. Winston Churchill
What you do (for a living) is not who you are.  Celia Apeagyei-Collins 
 People who write you off when you fail know nothing about history and even less about life. No person ever fully succeeds until they fully fail. Lance Wallnau 
There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite. Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael.  C S Lewis
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliot
You never know how much you really believe anything until it's truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life or death to you. C S Lewis
If you know you are loved, faith is easy. It's easy to trust someone you know loves you. David Forster
Every moment that you spend upset, despaired, anguished, angry, afraid or hurt, because of the behaviour of someone else in your life, is a moment in which you have given up control of your life. Unknown
Remember, you do not have to live today by how you feel, nor by what you think about yourself, nor by what someone else thinks about you. The person who created you thinks you are wonderful, and he waits with open arms for you to agree with him. David Forster
Shift gears from doing something in God's presence to simply being in God's presence. Lance Wallnau
Your future doesn't depend on what is in front of you, it depends on who is in you. Lance Wallnau
Did you know that you are utterly and completely loved by God, without doing a single thing, good or bad. David Forster
no one knows how bad they are until they have tried very hard to be good.. C S Lewis
If we are living daily by faith, we will be constantly over our head; Beyond our ability to do this our that. We should all be in that place in some area of our life. If we are not, we will be like an old wineskin; too rigid and inflexible to receive the Lord's new wine. Rick Joyner
For a believer intimacy with God is not an option, it's a necessity. Guidance and direction depend on this intimacy and sensitivity to Holy Spirit. There is no substitute for the latter. Graham Cooke
Jesus reveals the Father to us. He gives us peace and rest. He is not a hard taskmaster. David Forster
The God who creates everything, pursues you. Don't let anyone tell you you're are worth less than that. Louie Giglio
In the kingdom, physical obedience brings spiritual release. Bill Johnson
Don't be surprised if you pray for nearness to God and he sends a trial. Nearness always requires dependence. Desiringgod.org
Our corporate worship doesn't meet a need in God, it meets a need in us. Sam Storms
How you feel is not who you are. Feelings are great servants and terrible masters. Kris Vallotton
There is a lot that is good in your life. Don't take it for granted. Don't get so focused on the struggle that you mis the gift of today. Joel Osteen
The enemy commits identity theft when you believe you must earn what God freely gives. Alison Brown
If you agree with your creator and receive what he freely gives, you will have serenity in your identity and confidence in your countenance. David Forster
If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got. David Forster
A satisfying and exciting life organises around an identity focused on Jesus, not the church..  Graham Cooke
Satan cannot impose his will on anyone, he has to have our agreement.  Graham Cooke
Every day adjust yourself to where God is taking you, that is, toward the prophetic vision he has given you. Lance Wallnau
Real faith is not faith in an outcome (of a particular situation or circumstance), it's faith in a person. David Forster
Be in no doubt that God will redeem the losses and mistakes of your past life. David Forster
God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself, because there is simply no such thing. C S Lewis
Wealth, women and status; these are the major temptations that can draw a man away from God. Each is morally neutral; yet given the appropriate significance, each can control us. David Forster
The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist. Anon
Fear is the enemy of love. The two cannot exist together. We have to choose daily: Fear or Love. David Forster
You are not saved because of the quality of your faith. You are saved because of the object of your faith; The Redeemer! Tim Keller
Revival goes from the bottom up; Reformation goes from the top down. Therefore reformation is institutional and revival is personal. Lance Wallnau
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Albert Einstein
Inner peace is key to experiencing God's presence. Rest is a weapon against the enemy Graham Cooke
Fairy tales don't tell children that dragons exist. Children know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed. G K Chesterton
When you are at peace with God, you will be at peace with yourself and with other people. David Forster
You can believe in Christianity in the same way you believe that the sun has risen; Firstly, because you see it and secondly because by it you see everything else. C S Lewis
A little while ago I became old enough to start believing in fairy tales again. This means there are far better things ahead of me then what I have left behind. C S Lewis
Your unfinished destiny is your most potent argument with death. Graham Cooke
I am not focused on what I am not, I am focused on what he is for me. David Forster
Reaching the Heights