(Used by Permission of George the DragonSlayer.)
CORRECT INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE IS ONLY POSSIBLE BY THOSE WHO HAVE GROWN TO BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE: THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD (2 Pet 1).
If this wisdom would have been practiced from the beginning of the church, there would not be thousands of denominations today.
Scripture puts great emphasis on the importance of becoming mature saints in order to be qualified and effective in the ministry of the church. Paul states that the work of the ministry is for the perfecting of the Saints for ministry (Eph 4:8-25). Paul writes to Timothy regarding this subject stating that ministers are to exemplify the life of Christ. They also must be tested before entering the ministry otherwise they will bring apostacy to the church (1 Tim 3-4). Paul taught the church to stand fast in the traditions taught by the apostles whether by mouth or by letter (2 Thes 2:14, 3:6, 2 Tim 2:1-2). God teaches us through circumstances, through the Bible, and through the church fathers and saints how to discern and interpret what the Scriptures teach.
According to Peter this also applies to being able to interpret the Scriptures correctly in order to avoid false teachers and apostasy in the church (2 Pet 1-2). Peter points out that a true teacher and interpreter of the Scriptures must possess the knowledge of God by partaking of God’s divine nature (2 Pet 1:5-9). He then points out that believers should give diligence to make their calling and election sure by partaking of God’s nature (2 Pet 1:10-11). The purpose of Peter’s letter is to confirm and establish those churches in the true faith (2 Pet1:12-13). Peter finishes this first chapter by establishing that no prophecy ever came by private individual interpretation: by human impulse, but holy men spoke from God who were borne along by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:18-21).
As we visit the words of Jesus in his sermon on the mount Mathew Chapter 7, we are given further insight on this critical subject:
Our Lord Warns men against rash judgment and uncharitable censures (Mt 7:1-5). He shows that holy things must not be profaned (Mt 7:7-11). He exorts the church to enter in at the strait gate (Mt 7:13-14), and to be aware of false teachers, who are known by their fruits (Mt 7:15-20). this shows that no man will be saved merely by his profession of Christ (Mt 7:21-23). The wise man built his house upon a foundation of the rock (Mt 7:24-25), while the foolish man built his house upon a foundation of sand (Mt 7:26-27). Christ concludes his sermon and the people are astonished (Mt 7:28-29).
Paul picks up on this theme in his letter to the Corinthians (1Co3) dealing with the problem of carnality in the church.
Paul begins this chapter by stating that Christians that are in a divided state over non essential issues are as children concerning the knowledge of God and sacred things (1 Co 3:1-3). Paul was trying to teach them that all the apostles were only instruments which God used to bring them to the knowledge of the truth (1 Co 3:5-8). The church represented as God’s husbandry, and God’s building, the foundation of which is Christ Jesus (1 Co 3:9-11). Ministers must beware how and what they build on this foundation (1 Co 3:12-13). The church of God is his temple: you and me, and he that defiles it shall be destroyed (1 Co 3:16-17). No man should depend on his own wisdom to interpret the Scriptures or proclaim the knowledge of God apart from divine revelation given to and by fully matured Christians as Peter taught in (2 Pet 1), for the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God (1 Co 3:18-20). The Lord knows the thoughts and reasonings of the humanly wise and recognizes how futile they are (Ps 94:11). So let no one exult proudly concerning man as a leader, for all things are yours, whether Paul or Peter, or the universe or life or death, or the immediate and threatening present or the future – all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s (1 Co 3:20-23).
Paul puts much emphasis on the problem of fleshly carnal Christians; especially teachers. Paul begins his letter to the Romans chapter 8 with this issue of carnality and how to overcome it by abandoning their life to God’s providence in all suffering. Paul sums up this teaching in Romans 12:1-2 as we present our whole bodies a living sacrifice to God as our true worship.
The truly happy Christian is the one who walks under the influence of the Holy Spirit (Rm 8:1-2, Ga 5:16-26). Jesus taught this truth in His beatitudes on the sermon of the mount (Mt 5:1-12). The purpose of God in sending his Son into the world was to redeem men from sin and the miserable state of their carnal mindedness (Rm 8:3-8). Paul teaches how Christ lives and works in his followers; their blessedness here, and their happiness hereafter (Rm 8:9-17) depends upon them picking up their own cross and following the way of Christ (Lk 14:25-35). Sufferings are the common lot of a man, Gentiles and Jews have the hope of being finally delivered (Rm 8:18-23). The use of hope is very important (Rm 8:24-25). The spirit makes intercession for the followers of Christ (Rm 8:26-27). “All things work together for good to them that love God, and are called according to His purpose” (Rm 8:28). This is the means used by God to bring man to eternal glory (Rm 8:29-30) The great blessedness, confidence, and security of all genuine Christians, whom, while they hold fast to faith and a good conscience, nothing can separate them from the love of God (Rm 8:31-39). Paul’s over arching desire was that the church would experience the person of Christ fully formed in them (Ga 4:19).