Tuesday, May 13, 2014

3 Pitfalls to avoid when reading the Scriptures

Do you love the Bible? Do you strive to make sure all you're believing is "according to Scripture"? So do I. Yet for all the glorious treasures of the Book, it is also one of the most misinterpreted and abused writings of the world.

Here are three major mistakes people often commit when reading this most blessed Book... three mistakes, I might add, that I know all too well myself!

Laughing when you read the Bible isn't one of the mistakes!
Courtesy of Aaron Burder- Unsplash.com
1) Obeying the Laws of the Old Testament.

You're reading a passage in the Old Testament and you come across talk of Sabbaths, dietary regulations and maybe even a sacrifice. Suddenly, you start feeling guilty about having worked on the weekends, eating a delicious meal and not having done enough at church. You then strive to avoid doing these things. Little by little, you delve deeper and start thinking ...

"Why am I keeping only a few... shouldn't I do them all?"

If Paul were around, he would say bluntly, "Listen bro/sis, you're falling from grace. Trust me, I've been there and done that more than anyone."

In fact, countless tragedies have occurred in history in the name of obeying this book's 613 commandments. Every one of the Old Testament's do's and don'ts was fulfilled by Jesus and then nailed to a cross. By taking these laws and obeying them today, you not only dishonor the final and ultimate sacrifice of Jesus but you also let the law work death in you. You are under the Law of the Spirit... and He is the Spirit of Life!

Check out these two posts for more on this subject:
2) Thinking that God's promises of the Old Testament are not for you.

This mistake is the flip side of the first. You're reading a beautiful verse - it's a blessing of the "dew of heaven, the fatness of the land" and speaks of "honor and glory" and the like. It's all very 'Biblely'! God, along with His mighty men and women of old, often spoke like this. And you think... "How nice. I wish I had that." You study the verse a little, dig out the meaning of a few words, refresh your history, read a commentary and look at the context.

"Oh but I'm not righteous! I just sinned two minutes ago! I'm a sinner saved by grace." you sadly say to yourself.

Or perhaps you notice this was written to the ancient Israelites. "Oh but I'm not a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Wow, it would be great if I was!" you sigh, as you realize this is impossible.

In so doing, you discount these promises and blessings for yourself.

Let me tell you something the New Testament speaks so plainly of, while the Old Testament prophecies powerfully about too, yet in less evident words. In Christ, you are righteous forever, a saint ever pure and holy, and made an heir of God and ALL the promises and blessings given in the Old Testament are yours! 

3) Reading the Bible like a text book.

The Bible isn't a Book of knowledge. It was never meant to be a book about theology, history or science (I realize this may shock some of you). You want theology, check out a guy called Jonathan Edward. You want history, National Geographic has some awesome books about Biblical history that I highly recommend. You have a question about faith and science... ask me! I am, afterall a scientist! Hehe.

No, but seriously now, what is the Bible then if it isn't those things. You've probably heard the "It's a love letter written to you, the bride of Christ by your Bridegroom." If you've been around my blog, then you'll know I'm not exactly the kind of guy to write stuff like that! Give me power, glory and life! Rough and raw, rugged and strong! Not these sentimental, pink-worded clich├ęs. While the whole "the church is the bride of Christ" concept is 100% biblical and sound, it's not really the metaphor that most speaks to my heartd as a man if you know what I mean!

The Bible is divided into two Testaments. You've noticed that. In other words, it's a book that proclaims God's will and inheritance given so freely to you! It's telling you all that Jesus left you behind. It's revealing your birthright in Jesus Christ. It speaks of the honor and glory that are yours as an heir of God. And you unlock all of these awesome blessings by reading the Bible with the Spirit of Christ by your side, as your guide (Want to know how to do this? Click here.)

There's probably more mistakes out there. But those are enough for now. The Bible is an awesome book, powerful and enlightening... may it's treasures be ever disclosed to you as you discover your inheritance!

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