Transformation Begins With Accurately Understanding The Word Of Truth
In order to follow Christ, we must be able to understand and apply His words to our lives. We won't be able to understand God's message unless we handle the word of truth correctly. Worse, we may start making the Biblesay what we want it to say. This is even worse.
When it comes to discipleship, we and the people we invest in must be able to figure out what the Bible says and whether what people say is really what the Bible says. This isn't easy. How do we read and understand the Bible correctly? In the next few weeks, I'd like to give you the tools you need to read the Bible right.
A proper understanding of the Bible depends on two things:
- The illuminating work of the Holy Spiritthat helps the believer understand the Scripture, and
- the interpreting work of the reader. The study of the principles of interpreting the Bible is called hermeneutics. The goal of hermeneutics is to properly understand what the original author meant. We can remember these six foundational principles for interpreting the Bible correctly with the acronym "LIGHTS."
- "L"-"Look for the natural, normal meaning"
- "I"-"Identify the meaning in the context in light of the revelation of Christ"
- "G"-"Gain an understanding of the original words and flow of thought"
- "H"-"Historical context gives insight into meaning"
- "T"-"Take into account types of literary styles"
- "S"-"Scripture interprets Scripture"
Transformation begins with accurately understanding the word of truth. These "Six Hermeneutical Principles" have been offered not to exhaust the subject, but rather to provide competent rules by which the Bible may be read and understood. These six guidelines for interpretation are not procedures or steps which one systematically undertakes when studying the Bible. Rather, these principles constitute the "mindset" of the interpreter which governs and guide one's study of the Bible. Next week, we will begin exploring these principles. As you read your Bible each day, do so with the LIGHTS on.