Last week we were in a discussion about our reticence to think we know what’s best for others and that we should interpret the bible and tell others what the bible means for them.
This is supported in scripture from 1 Cor 8: 1b, 2. “We know that we all possess knowledge, knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.”
The style of learning in the days of the Hebrews was reading the text, discussing it, and then asking questions in a group setting with dialogue. Later, Greeks and Romans introduced the lecture and a one way download of information learning style, which is much of our style in the West today.
We might consider “discovering” what the bible says as opposed to lectures, using commentaries, and study guides others have formulated. Not that there is anything wrong with these, but God does make himself directly available to each of us.
We can read the bible, and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate it for us since his function is to: “lead us into all truth” (Jn 16:13). And in 1 John 2: 27 the author talks about the anointing of the Holy Spirit: “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you.” Then discuss the text in groups. This is interacting with the text, and using our minds in conjunction with the Holy Spirit and others to reveal the words God has given us that “will not return void.” (Isa 55:11)
Sometimes I think we forget that God has very much opened the way to him through Jesus and his Word and as believers we ALL have equal access to God. We lose sight of the fact that: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” We don’t need to passively sit back and have others interpret God’s word for us. We can, and should, be active learners and dig into the bible with others directly ourselves with the help of the Spirit.