"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
Often believers bemoan the critical study of the Bible due to the supposed spiritual dryness of the exercise. Reflecting on your study of biblical passages related to the doctrine of Revelation (e.g., 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21), how might your devotional time in the Word become a richer spiritual exercise on account of your understanding of this doctrine? What advice would you give a fellow believer about the relationship between spiritual growth and the correct interpretation of Scripture in light of 2 Timothy 2:15?
God often reveals and manifests Himself in many ways, but the most common for me is normally through Scripture. God often speaks to me by revealing Himself through the words or events on the page. Sometimes, it may be through a thought process behind a Bible story, while other times it may be the through the actual thoughts that the Spirit drops into my conscious. He may reveal His purpose for a situation in my life or His will regarding the future. Most of all, He reveals His nature to me through the subtle connections and evidence of His divine supremacy of the Universe. It is only possible to accomplish this when I can correctly understand what the Scripture is staying regarding His revealed purpose and truth. This is explained in the Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology as, “disclosure of the nature and purposes of God.” When the Scripture is correctly applied in context, it always shows us who God really is and what He cares about. Just as the scripture tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:20-21, all scripture is “God breathed” and “inspired”. The Word of God is truly infallible and without error. If you stand on this truth, then you can have complete trust in the authority of the Word that you study.
The critical study of the Bible is something that fascinates me. I have a hunger for knowledge of God’s Word and I seek it by asking myself/others questions. Just as a student asks questions in a classroom discussion, I eagerly seek God’s wisdom by searching for these answers whenever I get the chance. I have a passion for debating and discussing God’s Word. God bless my wife, but unfortunately gets the majority of this burden. Lucky her! However, because of my passion for the knowledge of God’s Word and nature; we are both blessed by it. We are the recipients of blessings that could have only been revealed by the study of His Word. I look forward to my study of theology and doctrine. Theology is well explained by Beth Jones when she states, “Theology prepares our minds for the challenges we will encounter, helping us to think about the questions people have about God.” As we seek to know God through the Word, His nature is revealed to us. Whether it is by the story of the flood (which brings back memories of seeing sea shells loose on top of a mountain while on vacation) or the resurrection of Christ (which brings to my memory an article about scientist being able to prove an event occurring that day which would register as an earthquake in the area that day in history). His Word always brings proofs of His existence to mind for me keeping a renewal of faith in strength in me.
My advice to a fellow believer is to get on board in prayer and studying God’s Word. These are the most common ways in which He chooses to reveal Himself to mankind. If we seek it, He will not hold out on us. Eventually, with enough effort, faith, and consistency; the revelations will be a continuous flow. Maybe this is part of what He meant when He said, “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:39 KJV). The Spirit will provide that life giving water of knowledge and relationship with Christ himself. Even the ways in which He explains simple concepts such as this reveals a lot about the nature of God to me and how good He is. We should become familiar with God’s Word, learn to apply historical, as well as context for today. This is how we grow and how we learn who God is. He says it best Himself when the Scripture says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6 NKJV). So let’s begin to dive in and eat at the Master’s table. We surely can’t afford to miss out on His bread and life giving Word. If we seek revelation, it is by learning the nature of God through His Word to be revealed in His timing. If we do these things, we can be considered as “a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 NIV).
Abraham, William J. "Revelation." In Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology, edited by Ian A. McFarland, David A. S. Fergusson, Karen Kilby, and et. al.. Cambridge University Press, 2011.accessed April14th,2017.https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/loginurl=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/cupdct/revelation/0?institutionId=5865
Jones, Beth Felker. Practicing Christian Doctrine: An Introduction to Thinking and Living Theologically. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2014.