Questions & Answers
Where did you learn about grace and the Bible?
It would be simple just to say that through the revelation of the Spirit I have learned these things, but that doesn't really answer some of what you're asking, huh?
I've studied the Bible for years. God has put me through much disillusionment and fear because of Bible verses that have been interpreted by the religious mind. Somehow, He wouldn't let me be satisfied with finding an answer so that I could have an answer. There is security for the religious mind to have an answer. I discovered (in the midst of ridicule from my fellow leaders) that there is nothing wrong with unanswered questions ... because often the question is a better answer than the answers I heard or came up with myself. I have come to despise standing on flimsy and, often, dishonest answers. You know, that stuff you tell others that you are not really sure of yourself.
I had a teacher in Bible College (one of the rare outside teachers in an otherwise home-grown faculty) who challenged the way we had learned to prepare messages. We would usually have a topic to teach and then go find Bible verses to back it up. We found safety in sticking to the basic teachings of the school. This teacher, though, declared that if we would study the passage in context and avoid the urge to force it to fit our favorite cross-references, then we would discover that the meaning of the passage would be sufficient to make it's own points. For me, it was a novel idea. Of course, he taught that you really needed to learn the Hebrew and Greek (of which I know a little), but he opened my eyes to let the Bible speak for itself instead of me forcing the meaning.
Through all of this, I discovered that the Bible was not the life, but that it declared the life. I used to be in bondage to a book, but the book tells me that I am not in bondage to anything! I also discovered that Jesus is The Word of God.
I absolutely love the Bible. I study it quite a bit. But I've learned that the knowledge of God is much different than the knowledge of the Bible. The Bible taught me that! :) It has taught me that the knowledge of God CANNOT be learned by studying the Bible, but that it has been put within you. John says that WE KNOW ALL THINGS and that WE KNOW GOD. That doesn't mean that you know all the information in the Bible or that you ever will. The knowledge of God is far superior for it is real knowledge of God, Himself. The Bible tells us about that life that is in us. It doesn't make me KNOW God, but it encourages me to be confident that I know. Does that make sense?
That something that keeps drawing you back to the truth that seems frightening is the very life of God within you. You have already made it obvious to me that something seems wrong to you about the fear-based teachings you have learned. Who do you think really makes you know that? Yeah, the Spirit of God within you. The reason that the freedom of Christ makes a connection with you is that it speaks to the real you ... the one who has been set free. His Spirit witnesses with your spirit. Book knowledge will always be something that you try to apply, but the knowledge of God actually works within you.
Well, there's more than you asked for, huh? :)