Understandest thou what thou readest?
(Please read patiently to the end)
When teaching the New Testament, many people would brag about their having read the Bible from cover to cover many times, some will even tell you of how they have been born preachers since the 1950's, and so how dare you teach them?
Excuse me sir, "Understandest thou what thou readest?"
"So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
That is the same question we need to ask a lot of religious folks today. Because the same people who brag about reading the Bible cover to cover do not even understand John 3:16. It is that serious. Because if they do, they would not be where they are Spiritually, they would not be preaching what they are preaching, they would not be living the way they are living.
In a similar situation, Jesus confronted the religious folks of his time, who invested all their lives reading, and teaching the Scriptures.
Hear Jesus in John 5:39
"You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,"
These people DID NOT ONLY READ, BUT THEY STUDIED THE SCRIPTURES. They were sincere. But they were sincerely wrong.
THEY THOUGHT IT WAS IN READING AND STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES THAT THEY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE...
Wooooooooow. Isn't that the mindset of many believers today?
Jesus then finished that statement by saying
" THE SCRIPTURES (WRITTEN WORD) ARE MEANT TO TESTIFY ABOUT HIM (THE LIVING WORD). "
Because Life is NOT in the written word, BUT IN THE LIVING WORD.
The Scriptures (Bible) itself CANNOT give you Life. Don't be deceived. THE LIFE IS IN THE SON, NOT IN THE BOOK.
Hear what Jesus said plainly about ETERNAL LIFE.
"Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." John 17:3
ETERNAL LIFE IS IN KNOWING THE SON, NOT THE BOOK.
The purpose of the Book is to point to the Son. So, if your reading of the Book (Bible) has NOT led you to CHRIST-CENTEREDNESS, you DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THOU READETH. Thou readest in vain. Face it. It is time to be taught to read right.
Let us read 2 Timothy 3:15
"From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
Did you just read that?
The SINGULAR PURPOSE of the Holy Scriptures is to MAKE YOU WISE UNTO SALVATION THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS. Salvation is ONLY through FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS.
If your reading and studying of the Scriptures is NOT pointing you to faith in Christ Jesus, it simply means you do not understand what you read.
If your reading of the Scriptures is pointing you more and more to yourself instead of to FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS, then you do not understand what you read.
When many people read the Scriptures, they read with the VEIL on their mind. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE READING IT WITH MOSES GOGGLE ON. They are reading it with LAW mind.
2 Corinthians 3:14-16
"14But their minds were closed. For to this day, the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant. It has not been lifted, because only in Christ can it be removed. 15And even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away"
The ONLY way to understand the Scriptures is to read through the lens of the finished works of Christ on the cross.
Examine every verse through Christ and His finished works. Therein lies the true understanding of those verses.
WHENEVER ANYONE TURNS TO THE LORD, THE VEIL IS REMOVED. Alleluyah.
Your case is NOT too late. The veil of religion can still be removed. Even though you have been preaching "the gospel you do not understand for many years", your case is NOT hopeless.
This is what you need to do: TURN TO THE LORD SO THAT THE VEIL CAN BE REMOVED.
Turn away from yourself.
Turn away from your performance.
Turn away from the law.
TURN TO THE LORD.
BEHOLD CHRIST ALONE IN HIS WORD.
When next you are reading and studying the Word, FOCUS ON CHRIST AND HIS FINISHED WORKS. Let that shape your thoughts about it. Let that shape your meditation about it. Let that shape your understanding of it.
Even when you read some seemingly difficult verses, examine them from the view of Christ and His finished works.
Allow yourself to be taught by those who have truly understood the New Testament in the Blood of Christ. Be taught Christ.
The Ethiopian Eunuch whom Phillip asked the question, humbled himself. He was ready to learn, unlearn and relearn. He told Philip "How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?"
And Phillip then explained the same Scripture he was reading and SHOWED HIM CHRIST. He did not show him "law or sin or self-effort". HE SHOWED HIM CHRIST ALONE. And it led to Salvation INSTANTLY.
Let's examine this verse:
"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, just as the water covers the sea."
Reading that verse in the light of Christ. JESUS IS THE GLORY OF GOD.
"The Son (Jesus) is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word..."
2 Corinthians 4:6
"For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ."
Did you just read that?
JESUS IS THE GLORY OF GOD. (Hebrews 1:3)
THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S GLORY IS DISPLAYED IN THE FACE OF CHRIST. (2 Cor 4:6)
So that is what Habakkuk was saying... The knowledge of Christ shall fill the whole world. God's glory shall be displayed in the face of Christ.
I hope you enjoyed that little practical session on READING THE WORD IN THE LIGHT OF CHRIST. Glory to God.
I love you eternally in Christ.