When I was little, I got the word death and deaf mixed up. This was especially problematic when my Sunday school teacher would talk about the death of Christ on the cross. I couldn’t figure out why we went on and on about the Lord’s hearing loss!
As silly as that sounds, there are still times that I get things confused and mixed up in Scripture. Let’s face it, the Bible has some passages that are difficult to understand. Even the smartest theologians struggle with the meaning of certain verses (that’s why they continue to study).
But if there is any consolation in all of this, it might be that we are not alone. Even the apostle Peter admitted the difficulty of understanding certain parts of Scripture. As he concludes his second epistle, Peter makes a reference to Paul’s writings in which he states:
There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Here are two quick observations:
1) Even apostles like Peter struggled with understanding portions of God’s Word. That’s saying a lot considering the fact that Peter wrote parts of the New Testament. If we understood everything in the Bible perfectly, all at once, why would David go on and on about meditating on God’s Word (Psalm 119) or why would Paul charge Timothy to study God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15)?
2) It is vital that we do not give up studying difficult passages. Otherwise, we make ourselves susceptible to believing false teaching. That’s why Peter urges us to “take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people . . . ” How? By “growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Notice he encouraged them to “grow.” There is never a time in the life of the believer where we stop growing and maturing in our faith – no matter what our level of biblical understanding.
So if you have been discouraged because you can’t understand everything in Scripture, take heart. You are normal! Don’t see this as a reason to quit studying, but instead, see it as all the more reason to continue studying the precious revelation of God to us!
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