Is every question concerning salvation answered in the Bible? There are things which are certainThere are things which seem to be uncertain - at least for now. Things certain and some things, maybe. Many are in the now of our understanding, some are entirely for later - some for last. So it is concerning our understanding.
Discerning the differences are critical - for faith, patience, endurance and for receiving and enjoying the peace which Jesus left for us (John 14:27). For instance, the final disposition of all of humanity, that is, those who have never heard the Gospel, the Judgments, the uncertainty about how to apply the Bible - one that Christianity has struggled with through the ages because of the fluid of change, which has caused the redefining of how to live as Christians in the changing river of events. All is complicated by the realization that Satan is actively working in the mix - it is his world system, although it is God’s world.
There are many translations and translators of the Bible. There are, ultimately, many interpreters of the scriptures: each person, especially each of us who believe God, and trust in Jesus Christ. One of His titles is "One who comes along side". The Holy Spirit makes up the difference at any point along the time line of our understanding which is always progressive. There is progressive revelation for you and me in our understanding of the Bible. The Holy Spirit is in us and with us in our present moment, and also along our journey of biblical understanding. As long as we are in this flesh, God will always deal with each of us progressively. This simply implies there will always be, until we are swallowed up in immortality, the certain - and the uncertain. God does not tell us all we would like to know when we would like to know it.
The sublime truth is, we grow through the stress of not knowing.
There seems too often to be an absence of reference to the Holy Spirit. It is so in preaching, writing and conversations in the lives of us striving to live a life pleasing to Jesus Christ. This in effect is a "grieving the Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 4:30), and can be a dangerous condition to fall into. It seems that often the Holy Spirit’s function in understanding, living, planning, responding, discerning, and many other factors interacting with the Christian life is not considered. He is too often forgotten or ignored. Without the leading of the Holy Spirit, we may be "good people" but we are not "God's people".
This becomes more troubling in view of God's plan for our lifes (Psalm 139:16). It seems many have forgotten that it is the Holy Spirit Who has sealed us for our salvation (Ephesians 1:13), and without the action and interaction of the Holy Spirit, we will never correctly understand the principles we are to live by from the Bible - for several reasons. First, the timing of the progressive revelation of how to apply God’s Word in all times of our life. There are times - for "everything under the sun", for everyone under the sun. There are times within our times. Its all changing shape and all moving toward God’s final culmination of time. Time is a created thing. Only God is timeless, so He could create time, and times within everything He created. It is all for His purpose, and it is temporary. The expression, "and time shall be no more" will finally come to pass - in time. Until the time comes for each of us to come to greater understanding of any difficult and seeming contradictory events, circumstances, statements, and words in the Bible, we must wait - we must wait and hold in patient suspension these difficulties in our hearts and minds. Leave them in neutral. Do not seize upon a conclusion on any other basis other than that which is of the Holy Spirit. Faith is the "evidence of things not seen". It is also the understanding of things not understood (Hebrews 11:1).
This presupposes some things. First, it presupposes that we are being led by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17; Romans 8:1). Otherwise, we are in the position according to the proverb, "up the creek without a paddle". We are lost on a sea of false assumptions and opinions, regardless of the scholarship, intelligence, or expertise we or anyone else may possess. Yes, all questions concerning our salvation are answered in the Bible. However, that which is couched in letters, syllables, words in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, etc. are only the wrappings of the One who inspired the original. Men who put down words were responding to divine initiative and could only respond in "earth speak". They, although inspired, were still flesh, and so limited by their flesh as to the communicable devices. This was a good thing, since those who would translate, copy, and read it would also be "of the earth earthy". Adding to this, is the innate subjectiveness of our earthiness - we tend to form things in our own earthy image. It would seem that we can become utterly lost in our own humanness - unless... unless the Holy Spirit finds us. He will find us, and give us what we need to know at any given point in our times - if we truly desire truth and to live by it.
The Holy Spirit is the Author of all scripture, and is also the master Interpreter of scripture. These things being so, who do we suppose would know the most concerning how we are to "work out" our salvation through the application of these scriptures? Our application of God's Word can often be as much misapplication as right application. Application of what the Holy Spirit has written for us, is often hazy in our understanding. Often we just do not know how to apply the Bible to our individual lives. Some of the functions of the Holy Spirit are to comfort, convict, convince, lead into truth, and the final Interpreter of the Word of Truth to those who are being led by the Spirit. He is the master Revelator who inspired the writers of the Bible. He is also the master Translator and Interpreter along side of each of us. He intercedes for us in our prayers when our hearts are filled with the inexpressible. He was often with us, even before He was in us (John 14:17).
Regardless of how accurate the translation, commentary, or interpretation there is always the Ultimate. That ultimate and final authority with each of us must always be the Holy Spirit. He is in us and with us in our private times when we do not understand and are plagued with uncertainty and doubt. After all, who could be a better one to interpret than the One who wrote the Bible? It may or may not be the time for you to fully comprehend what is in question. In these times, remember to wait for His time to coincide with your time (Isaiah 30:18).
Scholars attempt to discern the most appropriate words and phrases for a translation. Whether they are right or wrong, or make mistakes, whether they are biased or not (corruptions of the Bible will become worse as the end draws near (1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:13-17), if we are depending upon the Holy Spirit, He will reveal the meaning in our spirit according to His will and our need and position in our time line for proper understanding (John 14:26). Translations are important to the degree to which men are capable. To that degree, for us, the translation is relevant, if we are looking only to Him to write the truth in our hearts and minds. The Holy Spirit will reveal from the Bible what He wants us to understand in our times. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us into "all truth", a progression into more truth, as well as correction of error. He did not qualify that statement with regard to future translations or translators. The Apostle Peter warned that prophecy in scripture (the OT scriptures were the only ones in existence) is not of "any private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20). It is interesting to note that the word for "interpretation" can also be translated "application".
Jesus did not leave us without comfort and guidance. He said He would not leave us to our own devices. He does not leave us orphans, to go it alone in understanding and applying God's Word. God knew that there would be mistakes, errors and self-serving bias in translations of the scripture, and by those who misuse them. He also knows our humaness. He also has made provision of this. Without the illumination of the Holy Spirit no one will understand the Bible correctly. The Holy Spirit answers all things pertaining to the Bible and our life in Christ.
He is Author
He is Revelator
He is our Comforter
He is our Advocate
He is Interpreter
He is Applicator
We must take up the sword of the Spirit - the Word of God - and let Him apply it to everything in life (Ephesians 5:15-17; 6:17). Let Him lead you with God's Word, into God's truth and his will. He will come along beside you, and reveal how to apply the Word (John 14:15-18), if you will trust Him unto obedience in all your times. And wait....
"When He [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in Me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. I still have many things to tell you, but you can't bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you."- John 16:8-14 (HCSB)
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