• Joseph Durso

Who Knows the Teaching?

Gospel Light & Perspective

The Best Perspective is through God's Eyes

Jesus said, "Go into all the world and make disciples ...teaching them..."

To teach, one must understand what they are teaching. There are two ways of approaching the most holy Scriptures; the first is according to Paul's admonition to Timothy in his second letter, the second chapter, and the fifteenth verse. "Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." I love the rendition of the Greek term, rightly dividing the word. Here we have the picture of cutting away the error away from the truth. This cutting can be done by the delicate hand of a skilled surgeon using a precision scapple or a butcher who uses a cleaver.

Some people take up the task of learning how to correctly interpret what God means by what he has written, which includes learning Hermeneutics, which is the study of how to interpret the writing. Then there is learning how to understand Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic or at least how to read what the scholars uncover. The problem occurs when the student overlooks the third part of this three-prong instrument of interpretation. We find the prong in Jesus' teaching from John 7:17.

"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." The only means of knowing God's will is to know His word. We must understand His word because sinful men are separated from God, and even in coming to God, there must be a word from God. The writer of the Hebrews tells us, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets." (1:1). This kind of speaking was always rare, and we notice that even the fathers needed prophets.

Now we have sixty-six books of God's self-revelation, which includes His will on everything we need to know. However, we must include self-revelation to tell whether we are willing or unwilling to do His will. Notice further, only if we are willing to do God's will we come to understand the doctrine or teaching. God does not tell us what house to buy or what person to marry, but His will is laid out for us in principles that will guide us to His will. When we are willing to follow His instructions, we can discern the teaching.

As sinful people, many obstacles block our way, and certainly not the least of these Jesus warns us about in the following verse. 18, "He that speaks of himself seeks his own glory: but he that seeks his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." Jesus says, "...speaks of himself.." because the authentic prophet speaks for God, certainly not himself.

As with all sins, there is always an element of pride. We think we know better than God is at the heart of every sin. The cause of misinterpretation is this very element of speaking from ourselves or placing our ideas into the Bible rather than pulling out of them God's meaning. We prove the meaning when we use the scripture, as in the following words of Jesus, "...seeks his own glory:" There is no mistaking seeks his own glory for pride.

We can always tell a man who is sent by God when we can discern who is receiving the glory by what is said. The following words of Jesus explain the true prophet who gives us God's message. "...but he that seeks his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." The man that seeks God's glory does what is right.

God's book is a book of great blessings for the person willing to yield to God's will. Without such a willingness, there cannot be knowledge of God's revealed will. Willingness and understanding go together, just like unwillingness and misunderstanding. Where are you regarding the important choices you are making at this time?

Much more can be said on this subject, and I say more on my Podcast by the same title. To hear it click the button below.

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Gospel Light I agree with the Westminister Shorter Catechism, which begins by asking the question. What is the chief end of man? And the answer given is simply this: Man's chief end is to glorify God