27 Apr 2004

How to read Bible without law mentality?

Submitted by theshovel
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The simplest answer I can offer you is this: Read it in the expectation that it totally revolves around the reality of Christ.

Now, that may sound rather vague, but it really isn't. You see, our problem with the written word is the very same as our problem with life itself. We have learned to assume that there is no relevancy between our actual life and God. To help resolve our conflicts and confusion we have resorted to religion - NOT to God.

To this religious logic, any "communication" from God is designed to prove our inadequacies and failures, and then to offer the "appropriate" course of action to follow in the attempt to crawl out of our unfortunate hell-hole. The outcome of our religious mindset has redefined the Bible - as well as our gut-level view of life - so that it fits our expectations.

This means that as long as we read it in view of our expectations we will continue to view it in the same manner that we view our day to day living. But the truth is that Christ is not only the living center of the written word, he is also the living center of life itself. No, no, not life as we perceive it, but life as it really is.

The understanding of Christ is not only the understanding of the Bible, it is the understanding of life ... because Christ is the understanding of GOD.

Why do we get so screwed up by studying the Bible? Because we still insist that God gave His Spirit so that we can now understand the BOOK. This is so backward! It is just another way to say that the NEW covenant has been given so that we might live under the OLD covenant. The writings testify of God and His goodness toward us ... but the Spirit reveals Him to us.

The thing about reading the written word that convinces us that we are still under law is the assumption that we are. We see it in the Bible because we expect to see it there. Even when we start reading one of our favorite "grace" verses, we view it as if it has been nestled within a context of legalism ... and we hesitate to lose the verse by examining it within the expected law we believe is waiting to snag us. If we are certain there is a monster in the closet, then we will see a monster in the closet.

Personally, I LOVE reading the Bible ... but I do not read it to find God, or to get closer to God. No, no, no!! I am already as close to God as I can be because Christ has brought me into God, and God into me. The Bible does not cause the understanding of God, Christ has already given me the understanding of God.

Comments

Isn't reading the Bible and praying a "manifestation" of God working in our lives? Is it not the actual moment and experience of God alive and working in us being rendered or appearing in us at any given moment in real time?

theshovel's picture

As seen throughout the world, the acts of reading the Bible and/or praying, by themselves, may be nothing more than slavish adherences to religious bondage. God's working in us at every given moment may be manifesting itself despite our particular action. In saying this, I do not discourage you to read your Bible or speak out to your Father, just not to assume that either is some kind of safe bet of his manifestation. :)

Jim

“The thing about reading the written word that convinces us that we are still under law is the assumption that we are. We see it in the Bible because we expect to see it there.”-Jim Though I do not doubt this, I guess the way I would describe it for myself would be some of the above but more of the FEAR that it could be there.[in an unknown sense] For I have also had many great revelations of His grace in the same book early on. I would also add that in some instances the WORDING also threw me off or at least has thrown me off. For the way in which things are placed and bedded in the interpretation have caused a further fear in me that maybe He wasn’t a God of grace and Life from not of this world.[that I knew Him to be] This erodes and eats away at confidence. For me I was the only one thinking God was a God not of this world in my surroundings. In my personal lot I was only 19 with no family, no education ,no home, no support and no identity. I had nothing. The church rescued me in a sense. There love and Life they shared with me was everything to me[despite any human wisdom imparted]. But I was lost without it all. So you can imagine that when things began to show forth a discrepancy I was not too confident to share and or live out the things God had been teaching me despite any human logic surrounding me. My confidence caved, for I had no one to relate to, no one to talk to or encourage me in His Life, No one to bounce off what I was learning that was contrary to what the “IC’ was teaching..and I had no credibility considering my lot. Young, poor, homeless, uneducated,lonely,depressed and newly alive and very impressionable. Confused about the whole idea of losing a source of support in the body[my lot] as well as in my faith by my inner difficulties with what some were sharing. I am just glad for the revelation that God Himself would never leave us..nor let go. For that is all I had for 20 years. The rest is just a pile of pain and utter confusion. Yet I realize that much of this personal assessment is an OUTER assessment. For many wonderful and maybe even necessary things have taken place in the spirit were it cannot be seen by my human eye.

adam, that is a wonderful and free-ing vantage point to share! thank you for it, for it is an encouragement!  :) love and hugs, sher

I absolutely love what you shared here bro. And I have a sneaking suspicion that those things were indeed necessary, with our God working in them things very glorious. How interesting, isn’t it, that our perspective outwardly can be one thing, yet even with a caved-in confidence, the true confidence was and is and will always be there, quietly being the reality, causing all the other outward stuff to end up just as you said, a pile. Ron

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Random Shovelquote: The Explanation of God (view all shovelquotes)

Jesus Christ himself IS the understanding of God to us because he himself is the explanation. source