Paul said something in I Corinthians 4 that struck me today. He had been talking about being a servant of Christ, faithful. He said it didn’t matter to him if people judged him. He didn’t judge himself. “He who judges me is the Lord.” So like him – or not, agree with him or not. It’s God’s praise he wanted.
Then he said he wants us to learn something from his example: “… not to think beyond what is written…”
I want to be careful not to take these words out of context. But Paul goes on to say opinions are divisive. What you and I think is irrelevant in light of God’s truth. What does Scripture say?
What does it say?
In the context of this letter to the Corinthians, Paul is saying he really didn’t care what they thought about his teaching. He only cared about being a servant of the One who inspired Scripture, and being faithful to the written Word.
Is Paul really saying to take Scripture at face value? I think so. And it’s a theme that God has laid on my heart for a while now. Somewhere along the way we’ve come to believe the Bible is hard to understand, that it takes a theology degree to understand it. So too many Christians limit themselves to reading the New Testament or Psalms. Or they allow their pastors to read the Bible and just tell them what it says.
Paul says you are no different than anyone else, not the farmer, or the nurse, or the college professor with a ton of letters after his name. The understanding of Scripture is given to us by God Himself! But we have to read it. And God will be faithful to give us the understanding he wants us to have when we do.
We are already rich!
I believe that when we ask God to reveal himself through this written Word, he does! Read it expecting to get it. What does it say? That’s what it means.
God inspired every word written there. So it must all be important, relevant, understandable. So read it all!
Then read it again.