Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Truth Considered, Truth Understood"

"Consider what I say, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things" (II Timothy 2:7).

The Apostle Paul's words to Timothy apply to us as well. We are to consider, and the Lord is to give understanding.

The original Greek of this statement means that we are to "exercise our minds" to Paul's teachings (and by implication, to all Scripture). We are also to trust the Lord for "understanding," defined in the original Greek language of II Timothy, as "putting together" truths, promises, and commands communicated in His Word.

"Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isaiah 28:9-10).

Our relationship to Scripture is both a Divine and a human endeavor. First, we must trust God to lead us by the Holy Spirit to rightly coordinate the content of His Word. A thought in Genesis may correlate to one in 1st Timothy. A promise in Romans may fulfill a prophecy of the Psalms. A command in 1 Corinthians may be understood in light of truth found in Isaiah. As the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle unite in both scene and shape, so must the Spirit of God ensure that precepts and lines rightly fit together. As they do, the primary reason for the Bible's existence is fulfilled, namely, to reveal the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Search the Scriptures," declared our Savior, "for in them ye think ye have eternal life. And they are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39). Only the Holy Spirit who perfectly knows the Lord Jesus can coordinate the component parts of Biblical truth to render for us a faithful "scene and shape" of Christ whereby we are enabled to authentically worship God.

Our calling is to consider, to exercise our minds. We read the Bible. We infuse our hearts and minds with the Word of God. Then we ponder its meaning, content, and intent, determining to "think on these things" with the seriousness befitting the fact that our brain's first reason for existence is to ponder God and His truth (Philippians 4:8). Finally, we apply Scripture by seeking to believe its promises, obey its commands, and communicate its truth in the power of the Holy Spirit. Believers remember and incorporate the truth of God's Word into our daily lives, exercising our minds in order that our hearts may be "directed" into the love of God (II Thessalonians 3:5).

The union of our Lord's giving of understanding and our exercising of the mind is a thrilling thing. His dynamic working in our lives becomes more consistently known and experienced. Our working in response becomes more consistently actualized and realized. True relationship between God and ourselves ensues. He is glorified, we are fulfilled, and others are blessed by the love of Christ revealed in us. Life becomes what only Truth considered and Truth understood can provide. It becomes the union of the living Word, the Lord Jesus, and the written Word, the Bible, revealed in us...

"Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures... Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart."
(Luke 24:45; Jeremiah 15:16)

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