Am I able to understand Scripture?

Am I able to understand Scripture?

My first degree was in English Literature, and God has used it in so many ways! One of the ways was proof reading papers for a friend working through seminary. I read a lot of her papers but the Hermeneutics one stands out in my memory.

If you haven’t heard of hermeneutics, it is the study of the methodological principles of interpretation. I know that doesn’t clarify a lot for me either, so let me tell you about her paper. Her paper went through the steps we should take when properly interpreting Scripture and also warned of things such as interpreting Scripture with our experiences instead of with Scripture.

I asked her so many questions after reading through that paper. I was overwhelmed and frustrated, because it seemed like there was no way I could ever understand Scripture on my own. So why should I even try?

Since then, I’ve learned that on my own it is impossible for me to accurately interpret Scripture, but I don’t study God’s Word by myself, or at least I shouldn’t. The Holy Sprit is able to reveal the truth of Scripture as I study. Does that mean I understand everything in God’s Word perfectly? Nope. There are things in Scripture that we won’t fully understand this side of Heaven because God’s ways are not our ways and God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. The Trinity is a great example. I can know that God is three persons in one, but I can’t fully comprehend what that means. That’s ok!

The goal of Scripture study is not to understand the entire Bible perfectly, but rather to daily learn about our Creator and His plan for us. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to understand Scripture, but if we get stuck in a hard passage it’s ok. Stay in that passage for a while and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth. Cross-references are helpful. After taking time to understand what you read, then compare your findings to a commentary or two and see what Bible scholars have said about that passage. The more you practice this the better you will become.

Before you begin reading God’s Word today take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things out of your law.” - Psalm 119:18
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