When it comes to “rightly dividing the Word of truth” there are 3 basic essentials to keep in mind:
Inspiration. The very first thing to understand is that the Bible is inspired by God. The word ‘inspired’ in scripture means ‘God-breathed.’ The Bible comes from the very breath of God. Your view on the inspiration of scripture will determine how you read the scriptures.
Illumination. It is impossible for an unbeliever to fully understand and ascertain the truth of God’s Word. The moment one believes on the Lord Jesus for their salvation they are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit illuminates or brings to light the scriptures. The believer who falters in their interpretation of scripture does so out of a failure to live a spirit filled life.
Interpretation. What do you do when one believer interprets a passage of scripture differently than another believer? The first thing to understand is that at least one person is wrong. God’s Word is true and it never contradicts itself. God said what He said and means what He said. There is no multiple interpretations of scripture. A second thing to keep in mind is that we are sinners. Even at our very best, our view of the scriptures is tainted by our sin nature. Finally, we must exercise proper interpretation methods. In order to ensure the best accuracy in our interpretation of scripture we must use proper methods of interpretation. Here are few pointers when it comes to interpreting scripture:
- Take the scripture at face value. If the plain sense makes perfect sense, seek no other sense.
- Use a literal, historical, grammatical hermeneutic. (interpret the scripture in the most literal way possible with consideration given to the historical context and the actual words used)
- CONTEXT. Interpret the scripture in light of the context of the passage. (to whom is it written, what is the overall theme of the chapter and book, how does it fit within all of scripture, is it consistent)