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​The Bible Is Simple

It’s message is clear and understandable, even to those who are mentally challenged.
Anyone can know Jesus. 

That does not mean we will understand everything without careful study or being taught by the Holy Spirit. He is our teacher Who guides us to know His truth.

Some things we will never understand. Like eternity or the trinity.
Those attributes of God are so far above us, we can only try to describe His immenseness. 

Other attributes, like His love, we obtain a greater knowing as we experience His holiness.
We see how great His love for us truly is, especially when we see our own wickedness.
That, too, is hard to understand.

There are layers of understanding.
We listened to a preacher at my son’s Bible school. He spoke a very simple message.
But as we left, my husband commented how deep that message was.
Like an onion that had levels.
As the layers became closer to the center, the message became more “real.”
It reflected the depth that speaker knew God.
And how great was his God.

That is not to say that message was understood by everyone. 
For unless the Holy Spirit reveals His truth, the listener will not understand.
The preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who don't believe. 

That makes the study of the Scriptures more dependent upon listening to God's Spirit than having an education or being smart.
All can come to Christ and know Him.
What is more simple than that?

Yet, not all will come.
That is not a matter of understanding the message.
It is the stubbornness of the will.

We had a guest visit us while we read our family devotions. 
We were reading in Samuel, describing David fleeing from Saul.
After reading, the guest said, "David wasn’t afraid because he already knew what God was going to do." He continued to tell us why.
That was not what the Bible said. 

David was afraid A LOT.
He feared Saul would kill him at any wrong turn. 
David sought answers by writing out his fears, these are many of the Psalms.
He found answers by recognizing God was in charge and would make all things right, even the now prospering wicked.

That visitor interposed his views on what the Bible said, rather than listening to what the Spirit told him.
He made the Bible confusing.
God's message in the Bible is clear and unmistakable.

We must be willing to hear the Spirit’s whisper. 
Sometimes that requires us to read and be still. 
Sometimes the Spirit convicts, instructs, or assures. 

I Tim 3:16 says it well, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  

We don’t dictate what the Spirit teaches.

Second Peter 1:20  says “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

That means at those Bible studies where someone says, “This is what this verse means to me….”  It should be in line with the whole Scripture.
It should mean that for everyone.

There can be many APPLICATIONS of a verse, where you apply the principle to real life, but the meaning should be universally the same.

Truth is consistent.
If what is said in one section of the Bible conflicts with another, perhaps our viewpoint is not from the Spirit.

That is part of maturing as believers. 
When I was younger, I was dogmatic about issues that weren’t foundational.
In college, I heard excellent preachers present their various, convincing preferences to when the tribulation and rapture would take place.
All sounded convincing.
All were God-seeking scholars.

We must step back and re-examine the Scriptures.
I wonder if we any of us are right.
Maybe none of us really know.

When I think how much we messed up Jesus’s first coming, even with so many prophecies telling how and when He would come, I can believe even with the help of today's best scholars, we won’t have the second coming right either. 
(Remember God is so far above our understanding.)
But that doesn’t make His second coming less sure. 
It just means we don’t really know when. Or how. 
It's not a plain issue. 

I am dogmatic that Jesus is coming back.
God has told us what we need to know so we will prepare for His return,
not be anxious by all the completed signs that we can check off our list of prophecies.
That is news to rejoice, not a declaration of doom.

We don't ignore those passages for they shed light into Who God is.
I avoided books about prophecy. They seemed too hard for me to understand and fit all those prophecies into what has taken place with what will take place.
When my husband taught Daniel in Sunday school, he didn't emphasize all those prophecies, but gave an overview of the entire book, showing how God was in control of all nations and people.
Even Daniel in the last chapter didn't understand what he wrote.
Know God's answer to his confusion?
Just keep doing what I told you to do.
With that emphasis, I was able to appreciate Daniel, and praise God for His sovereignty.
The Bible, in this case, Daniel, became simple to me. 
I will not say I can explain it all, but I can say I'm not intimidated by Daniel now.
I can read it and learn more.

Truth is consistent.
It is tempting for us to point at politicians and rulers and list their wrongs. 
For each wrong, we can show their inconsistency with truth.
It is also that way with us. When we allow wrong, we are inconsistent.

Consider, for example, vegans.
Vegans try so hard not to use animal products.
They have equated death of an animal as evil.
Because their assumption is not based on truth, they have trouble with its applications. 

Our bodies cannot function without vitamin B's. Yet some of those vitamin B's can only be derived from animals.
Vegans in the U.S. are not hindered by not eating meat because breads and cereals are fortified with those vitamins.
But those who live in other countries, who do not have fortified foods, suffer. 

Their principle against using animals does not work with reality.
Their "truth" is inconsistent.
When a principle is not true, it cannot be consistent with real life.

In science that is how we form laws. 
Hypotheses are tested and proven consistent every time.
Science is repeatable.
If they are any exceptions, then it cannot be a law.

Why does it matter if it is really true? 
Your life can’t be consistent with something that is not true. 
Inconsistencies bring mental breakdowns.

TO the degree our doctrine (or belief) is false to that degree our practice will be inconsistent—life will be fake.
That is why having the right doctrine is SO ESSENTIAL to walking right.

But some things are not answered in the Bible.
When I write historical fiction, I research as much as I can to incorporate truth into my story.
When I take a character from the Bible, I try to reflect who that person is as accurately as I can. 
But much of the research is admittedly guesswork.
Only some things are known.
For me to fill in the story, I must choose what fits the Biblical story best.
I do my best to “flesh out” a character­—to make them real. 
But that may not be who they really were.
The Bible does not say. 
So it is not plain.

It is tempting for me to take my research and my writer’s privilege and equate that to Biblical truth.
I can get dogmatic about who that person was.
I’ve equated my “writer’s privilege” with Biblical truth.
IT IS NOT THE SAME.

The Bible has no errors. It is the Word of God.
My writing is not inspired, nor error free---much as I seek to present truth—that is why it is "biblical fiction" (An oxymoron, if there was one, but there's that.)
I must acknowledge the difference between my writing and God’s.
As I write, I try to bring the reader closer to God. But it is not God's Word.

We can get distracted pursuing interesting questions and topics and forget why the Bible was written. 

God gave us His love letter to know HIM.

The Bible simple? You bet.
Because God wants us to know HIM. 
That's it. It's that simple.


How have you seen the God in the Bible in an unusual passage or story?
 

Your one sentence really sums it all up, "God gave us His love letter to know HIM." Really very simple. And if we don't understand everything, keep reading until the Spirit speaks. I remember someone saying one time, "It not what I don't understand that bothers me, it's what I DO understand." That is enough for each of us to deal with. Thanks for sharing, maybe someday I'll catch up on your articles.

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I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Faith
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Thoughts to Ponder
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Do the Scriptures Burn You?
Being in His Presence
Contentment: It's Not for the Timid
How Secure Are You?
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The Earthworm Is My Hero
Heart Issues or Issues of the Heart
Things Aren't Always What They Seem
More faith articles are found here:
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under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Or here:
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under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Articles on Suffering can be found  here, 
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under Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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