Hi everyone! I want to ask for some thoughts because I’m struggling to understand the scriptures. I spend time reading the Bible but it seems that it doesn’t penetrate to my heart. I want to grasp and comprehend the truth in it. I want to know God better and better and I want to be a Christian that brings blessing to people that I meet. I want that my words gives encouragement to people by uttering the scripture but it seems that I can’t do it.
I have to admit that I have a hard time reading the scriptures myself. I get more out of discussing (or debating hehe) the scriptures, listening to preaching/discussion podcasts, that sort of thing.
One thing that’s worked for me is topical study – using a Thompson Chain Reference or similar study Bible. If there’s something in particular on my heart, or something that has come up in everyday life that I’d like to see what scripture has to say on it, I’ll find that topic and look at EVERYTHING that the Bible has to say on it. I find that this leads to related topics of study, which in turn lead to OTHER topics, and so on.
For example, when my first wife left me, I started studying what the Bible says about divorce, and it actually led me into a study on the nature of marriage, which then led to a study on the nature of the relationship between God and man. Of particular interest to me was the passage in Romans that speaks to the “Spirit of adoption”. Usually, people understand this as speaking to a relationship between a father and their adopted child, but what jumped out to me is how Romans 8:17 speaks of that adoption, in that we’re “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ”. Get that. Not just heirs of God, as an adoption would make us, but joint-heirs with Christ, something that has NO bearing on a typical adoption.
…except if you consider this passage through the lens of marriage.
See, when someone marries their spouse, they become “one flesh” with them. Every benefit or responsibility attached to their spouse becomes theirs as well. For either of them to act is for BOTH of them to act. This can be seen in Proverbs’ description of the Virtuous Woman, when she buys a field under her husband’s authority – something that an unmarried woman at that time could not do. The authority that she could not have on her own, she had in full by virtue of her relationship to her husband.
More applicable to my study, I found that the married spouse legally becomes a part of the family that they are married into. They become children to the parents of their spouse. But this relationship is entirely contingent upon their relationship with their spouse. Thus, if they were to divorce their spouse, their legal relationship with their in-laws would similarly end.
In short, they are joint-heirs with their spouse – heirs WITH their spouse, but NOT heirs without them.
This was the exact same relationship that Romans 8:17 was describing. It painted salvation in a new light to me, illustrating how my relationship with God was entirely dependent upon my relationship with Christ.
Sorry for the ramble, but my point in all this is that I would never have come to this realization by simply reading the Bible. Rather, it happened because I picked a topic that was close to my heart, found what scripture said SPECIFICALLY on the subject, and then followed the rabbit trails that branched off. I’ve studied scripture that way ever since, and it never ceases to amaze me the kinds of truths that the Lord will lead me into! I pray that the Lord blesses your pursuit of Him as He draws you closer.
Thank you for giving me your insights on how you deal with this kind of situation that you too experienced. I hope that God will lead me in understanding the scriptures the way that He wants me to understand it. God bless on your journey with Christ.