Not So Random Thoughts 5

Matthew 22:23 On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him, 24 asking, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘IF A MAN DIES HAVING NO CHILDREN, HIS BROTHER AS NEXT OF KIN SHALL MARRY HIS WIFE, AND RAISE UP CHILDREN FOR HIS BROTHER.’ 25 “Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; 26 so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27 “Last of all, the woman died. 28 “In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” 29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 “But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: 32 ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB ‘? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

The Sadducees and the Pharisees would have thought of themselves as experts in the Bible. However, claiming to be an expert is not the same as understanding Scripture. We see this time and time again in the Bible as the experts had a serious misreading of Scripture and their thinking and their lives were built on that. Jesus seemed to spend a lot of time correcting the so-called experts regarding their understanding of Scripture. Not only were they mistaken about the Scriptures, but they were also mistaken concerning so many things about God. It is not surprising that they misunderstood both the Scriptures and the character of God as those things go together.

We see the same thing in our world today. People misunderstand the Scriptures and they misunderstand the character of God. Jesus’ answer to the Sadducees went to their misunderstanding of both the Scriptures and of God. This is perhaps a pattern we need to understand and practice as well. When a person has a misunderstanding of the Scriptures or a particular doctrine, it may reflect a serious misunderstanding of the nature of God as well. We would do well to remember the teachings and practices of Jesus at this point.

There are many professing experts on the Bible in our day as well. It may be that they have an academic knowledge of the Bible, but that is not the same things as understanding Scripture and especially of understanding Scripture in light of the true character of God. Understanding some academics about God is not the same thing as understanding God in His glory and in His beauty. Even the lawyers or the experts on the law misunderstood the meaning of Scripture and God. An expertise in the Scriptures and of theology as such is no guarantee that the expert understands the spiritual meaning of Scripture or of God Himself.

The soul must learn that Scripture and the character of God must be revealed to it by the Spirit of God. The natural man can understand words, but only the spiritual man can understand spiritual things. The natural man can be brilliant in terms of intellect, but will always be blind to spiritual things unless God is pleased to give him a new heart and then show him spiritual things. Only the Spirit of God can reach the inward parts of man to teach a person spiritual things. Only the Spirit of God can reveal to a person the things of God. Only the Spirit of God can give spiritual enlightenment. After all, it is God alone who can teach a person spiritual things in the inner man which is how God teaches His people.

It does not matter a person’s academic or lack of academic status, a person must understand something of the nature of God in order to understand spiritual things and Scripture. All doctrines must be examined and compared to the character of God to check them. It is the character of God that helps check our doctrine and not our feelings about whether we like it or not. When we check doctrines and interpretations by ourselves and our own desires, we will never be accurate as doctrines and Scripture are determined by God. This is the great problem in our day. We want things to be determined by us rather than by God. We want things to be determined by our idea of justice and our idea of right and wrong rather than by the God who made all things for His own glory. As Jesus said, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.”

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