“My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me” (John 7:16).
How do we learn? Think about it.
How have we been designed to learn?
What do our five senses do? Well, they all point to the simple reality that we were made to receive.
God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars. - Martin Luther
Learn to Receive.
We receive air to breathe, we receive light to see, we receive food to eat, and we receive sound to hear. How then would you expect to understand knowledge or meaning? For example, Jesus did not teach his disciples to tell people to look in themselves for the truth and to construct knowledge and understanding for themselves. If knowledge could be attained on our own, then why would Jesus tell His disciples to Go make disciples and to teach them to obey all the commands He had given (Matthew 20:28)? Every parent knows that you must prepare and train your children to learn because they don’t just learn on their own.
“All wisdom comes from the LORD, and so do common sense and understanding (Proverbs 2:6).”
You see the reason we were made to receive is that we were made for Relationship. So, God has not left us to figure things out on our own, He has made us by design to receive knowledge from Him.
Let’s talk about this in perspective to reading God’s Word, or the study of Interpretation. How to interpret God’s Word is called “Hermeneutics.” Some of you are thinking “Who is Hermen, and who made him the authority of how to read God’s Word?” No “Hermeneutics” comes from the Greek word which means “to interpret.” Even Jesus asked people "What is written in the Scriptures? How do you read it?" (Luke 10:26). Hermeneutics is the discipline of interpretation. In fact, the Greek word also derives its etymology from the Greek God Hermes, who was actually “the messenger of God” and was acclaimed to be the inventor of speech and language. Hermeneutics is crucial because it helps us keep knowledge to be received clearly and in a constructive way that allows all of us to understand what we are reading.
"It is well to remember that reading books about the Bible is a very different thing to searching the Word for oneself."
The Principle thing.
So, some principles need to be followed when practicing Hermeneutics with anything we are interpreting. For example, “We cannot read the Bible as the author, but only as the reader.” In simple terms, you cannot interpret scripture by yourself making your interpretation. However, as the reader, you can be enlightened to what has already been interpreted by scripture. Another helpful principle is that “Scripture interprets itself," so take time to read Scripture carefully, and within the context it was written. In elementary terms, take time as you read to understand who the author is, who the audience is, and the writing style. The text of Scripture must be interpreted by taking into account its literary forms and devices—and in doing so Scripture will be our guide to what it means for us today.
A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. - Theodore Roosevelt
Learning how to interpret is essential to receiving because we learn to receive from God wisdom and knowledge through His word. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Learn how to Receive, you were designed to. It’s how you will experience a real relationship.
“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”― Charles H. Spurgeon