HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE

 

James 1:21-25

21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

We will never grow without a knowledge of the Word of God.

  1. But it’s not enough to just know Bible facts about God. We must know the God of the Bible.
  2. We need to understand the Bible.
    1. Read: James 1:21-25
    2. Emphasize: James 1:21 – Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
  3. This is written to Christians. Why is the author telling Christians how to be saved?
    1. Salvation comes to us in three tenses:
      1. Past tense
      2. The past tense of salvation happens when we receive Christ as our personal Savior and are saved from the penalty of sin.
  • We will never have to die and go to Hell because our sin has been washed whiter than snow with the blood of Jesus Christ.
  1.  
  2. Present tense
  3. This is salvation from the power of sin.
  • Even though we will not go to Hell, the devil has not ceased working on us.
  • Sin still has its allurement and its attractions.
  1. Not only do we need to be saved past tense, but we also need to be saved present tense from the power of sin.
  2.  
  3. Future tense
  • When Jesus comes again, we will be saved from the possibility of sin.
  • The Greek word for “soul” is the word “psyche.”
    1. This is our mind, emotion and will.
    2. Our mind, emotion and will need to be controlled by the Word of God.
    3. Then, we will live in victory.

John 17:17 – Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

  •  
  1. The Bible says that we are to receive the Word of God.
    1. James 1:21 – receive with meekness the implanted word
    2.  
  2. There are two words in the Greek language for “receive:”
    1. One means “to grasp, to reach out, take, to get.”
      1. This is not the word used in James 1:21.
      2. We can’t just reach out and snatch the Word of God.
      3. Sometimes a person will determine to study the Bible like they study history or geography.
      4. He gets a concordance and lexicons and takes his mind, will, determination and intellect and sets out to master the Bible.
      5. He may learn the word or facts, but he will never understand it.
      6. This is self-promoted taking; it is grasping.
      7. It is going into the Bible to extract the truth.
    2. The other word means “to welcome.”
      1. This is the word used in James 1:21.
      2. It means to receive as though you would receive someone into your home, as you receive a guest.
      3. If we are to understand the Bible, we must learn to welcome the Word.
      4. We must open our hearts and minds and welcome the Word.
      5. We don’t just reach out and take God’s Word.
      6. We lift up our hands to Him and receive the Word by faith and by grace and let God’s Word come into our hearts.

 

James shares four ways to welcome the Word.

 

  1. welcome the word with a CONTRITE heart (james 1:21) ` Repentant
  2. There is a moral qualification to understanding the Word of God.
  • Not primarily an intellectual qualification, but a moral qualification.
  • It is not enough to know Greek and Hebrew and have a Bible dictionary.
  • James 1:21 – Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness
  • “Superfluity (overflow, or excess) of naughtiness” literally means “that which remains,” “that which is left over.”
  • It means residual sin.
  • When we get saved and become a new Christian, we are very much like Lazarus who came out of the grave. John 11:33-44
    • When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he came forth dressed in the grave clothes of the old life.
    • The stench of the old life was upon him.
    • Jesus told them to loose him and let him go, to take off that which remains (the superfluity of naughtiness).
  • Luke 15:20-22
    • When the prodigal son returned to his father, he came back dressed in rags.
    • The father told them to put a new robe and shoes on him, and take off the old rags (that which was left over).
  • As Christians, we are saved and on our way to Heaven, but we have some superfluity of naughtiness; we have something that remains.
  • We do far more repenting after we’re saved than we did when we were saved because we have learned so much more about ourselves and about the Lord Jesus since the time we were saved.
  1. We do far more repenting after we’re saved than we did when we were saved because we have learned so much more about ourselves and about the Lord Jesus since the time we were saved.
  • The word “filthiness” in this passage means “ear wax.”
  • If we want to hear, then we must clean out our ears.
  • The sin in our lives is like wax in our ears.
  • We need to get rid of it.
  • The reason many of us don’t understand the Bible when we read it and the reason God’s truth does not come into us is because we have hangover sin, that superfluity of naughtiness.
  • We have spiritual wax in our ears.
  1. It is absolutely important that when we study the Bible that we make a full confession of sin and ask God to search our hearts.

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

 

We need to get our hearts right with God.