(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Is there a hidden message?
Once in a while I will come across an article that claims that the author has “cracked the code” of the Bible and that now the “real understanding of what it says” will be determined. Some have worked years to crack the code of the Bible assuming there is some hidden meaning lurking beneath the clear meaning of the words.
I will grant some verses are confusing at times. Sometimes they are hard to understand, but there is no indication that hidden beneath the surface is a secret message.
If God wants all people to be saved, why would you cover the plan of salvation under the secret nature of a code too hard for most to even recognize?
He doesn’t and he won’t.
But occasionally you will come across a passage that seems confusing or hard to understand. Here’s what to do then…
Tip #7 Consider all passages in light of the clear, chief truths of God’s Word.
Here’s the bottom line: No correct interpretation of a portion of Scripture will contradict the doctrines that are easy to see and often stated in Scriptures (for example: mankind’s sinfulness, salvation by grace through faith, the deity of Jesus Christ, etc.).
To help put together the key truths of the Bible and understand better the context of the Bible, include in the near future this next tip:
Tip #8 Familiarize yourself with an overview of Bible history.
This will take time, so don’t rush yourself. But the Bible becomes even richer, the context becomes clearer, and your familiarity with the content of the Bible widens. An overview of the Bible helps you see God’s plan of salvation unfold through the eras. You can better arrange events in some sort of chronological order. The Biblical accounts become more vivid when you begin to grasp the historical context and customs of the day. For example, the sacrificial system of the Israelite’s worship seems, at face value, overly complex and even somewhat barbaric. But when you come to understand how each sacrifice somehow foreshadowed the work of Christ, your appreciation for Old Testament worship life is greatly enhanced.
Probably one of the best Bible History summaries I’ve come across is “The Story” by Randy Frazee. This 31 chapter book is 95% Bible text and 5% editorial comments to move the Biblical narrative along. It reads like a novel and singles out the key people and events of Bible History. You can read the whole Bible, but picking up a copy of “The Story” might be a better place to start. (Note – I don’t get any commission! Here’s the link: https://www.thestory.com/ )
Another set of resources that can enhance your knowledge of Bible history, is The People’s Bible series. This resource provides the Bible text along with comments by the author to fill in history, customs, and theological insights. Use them for your personal Bible study from time to time. (Here’s the link: https://online.nph.net/books/nph-series/the-peoples-bible )
The pages of the Bible are a lifetime of study, but they are also an endless source of wisdom, promise, and comfort. So begin or continue the journey…God will bless you through it!
2 Timothy 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Apply: What part of Bible history are you least familiar with? Take time in the month ahead to read it and understand it more.
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for recording your words in a way I can clearly understand your heart and your desire and your way you provided that I might spend eternity with you. AMEN.