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Personal interpretation

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Pah, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

    Jun 2, 2004

    There are two topics here but let's concentrate of the later paragraph. My contention is that without personal revelation that comes from God's Holy Ghost, scripture and even extra-scriptual writings then become as the highlighted quote means, "taken on personal beliefs, personal prejudices, and cultural context".
  2. kevmicsmi

    kevmicsmi Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2005

    I think even with personal revelation scripture is cherry picked by all, and taken through a filter depending on an individuals beliefs, prejudices, etc. None of us are perfect.
  3. evearael

    evearael Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    This is a problem across 'believers' of many faiths whose motives are less than pure, though it is also worth considering the general level of ignorance many people have about their own faith and that they may be quoting what they heard from another, not what they have read and confirmed for themselves.
  4. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    I suppose that is correct; I would say in my case most of my faith comes from personal revelation from God's Holy Ghost; to me the Bible and scripture are still relatively new.
    I suppose some would see me as a 'very bad' Christian for not having studied the Bible in the past.

    The strange thing is, that beliefs I have always held dear have been confirmed by members's quotes of scripture since I have joined the Forum.

    There again, I am not your 'conventional Christian' except in that I believe in all I need to believe, to title myself a Christian.
  5. Ormiston

    Ormiston Well-Known Member

    May 24, 2005
    This seems accurate with my experience with Christians. They pick and choose what verses fit there own prejudices and make excuses or avoid talking about the ones they dislike. Personally, I'd prefer this to a real "Bible-thumper" in that those people are even further from reality than average.
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

    Jan 18, 2006
    Of course we all pick and choose, and we all interpret through our own lens...and there's nothing inherently wrong with that. But, when we stand on our interpretations blindly as the truth -- an absolute -- then we deny others' interpretations, and we limit the scope of truth. Our interpretations must be tempered with other voices, and we must realize that, while for us, our interpretations may seem absolute, they are only a small piece of the larger picture, and that truth is largely more amorphous than many of us choose to recognize.
  7. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

    Feb 3, 2005
    Indwells The Christian

    Many passages make it clear that the Holy Spirit indwells the Christian (Romans 8:9,11; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Other passages make it just as clear that the tool in which the Spirit uses to abide, influence, lead and direct believers, is the Word of God (Ephesians 5:18-19 "be filled with the Spirit"; Colossians 3:16 "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly"). In fact, the Bible also says that the Father and Jesus also dwell in the Christian (1 John 4:12; Colossians 1:27). Paul makes it clear that Jesus dwells in us through faith (Ephesians 3:17), which means that God is dwelling in us only in so far as we are believing what He has said. When we are following and accepting His truths, then God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is influencing our lives for good. This indwelling isn’t a personal or direct indwelling, that is, the Holy Spirit (God) isn’t actually and personally living in our bodies, for Jesus said that God not only dwells in the believer, but the believer dwells in God (John 15:5), and yet no one argues that we personally dwell in God’s person. The Bible also says that the "truth" dwells in the Christian (2 John 2). Not that a copy of the Scriptures is literally inside us, but that if we are listening to the truth, then the truth is influencing our lives. "First, Christians dwell in God (1 John 4:13) and God dwells in Christians (4:12,16). This in no way denotes mysticism (and I use the word ‘mysticism’ here to mean the direct and intuitive acquisition of knowledge and power). Rather it is the indication of an established relationship. Second, Christians are in Christ and Christ is in Christians (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27), but nothing mysterious is intended by this. Third, Christians dwell in (walk in) the Spirit and the Spirit dwells in Christians. But why assume that mysticism is meant here—why assume that the Spirit literally and directly dwells in, and works on, the mind and heart? Why not conclude as in the case with God and Christ, that this also indicates an established relationship—a relationship that is regulated by the Spirit" (Winters p. 139).

    Results Of This Indwelling

    • Christians are led by the Spirit: "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14); "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law" (Galatians 5:18). Carefully note that being led by the Spirit is a conscious choice which the individual must make (Galatians 5:16 "Walk by the Spirit"). Through the Word of God, the Holy Spirit guides us in every aspect of our lives that is connected with our eternal salvation. As one writer said, "When one is totally convinced that the Spirit is leading him directly by some subjective manner, such as by experience, feelings, intuition, nudges, etc…, he has little use for the Bible…..In theory he may hold to the Bible, but in belief and practice he abandons it---he accepts his ‘leadings’ as God’s will for him" (Winters p. 137), but what a wonderful blessing to know that at any time I can seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in a very accessible and understandable revelation, that is, the Bible. The command to "walk by the Spirit", infers that we can live according to the wisdom revealed by the Holy Spirit. The standard of conduct that He revealed is very realistic.
    • The Spirit produces fruit in Christians: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23). Take a good look at each one of these qualities. For example, "love" is an act of the will, rather than something that just happens in us. Through the gospel, the Spirit instructs us on why we should love, how we can have peace and why we should be peacemakers, what it means to be kind, gentle, and faithful, and why we should have self-control. The good news is that if you really want to have these attitudes in your life, all you have to do is listen and be willing to accept and apply the Spirit’s teaching (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
    • Christians are often made to feel unspiritual because they don’t attribute all sorts of feelings and actions to the direct operation of the Holy Spirit, but the real test of a Christian is whether they really do have a relationship with the Holy Spirit or not (Romans 8:14 "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God"). There are many people who claim that the Spirit is leading them in some great endeavor or to make some great sacrifice (not found in the Scriptures), but the same people who make these claims are the same people who remain in false doctrine and opposed to God’s will on very simple subjects such as baptism. To me a study of how the Holy Spirit leads us is very convicting, and not always initially comforting, for if I am persisting in a sin, then I don’t have a relationship with the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13). If I am practicing any of the works of the flesh, then the Holy Spirit and I don’t have anything in common (Galatians 5:16-21). How can I claim that the Holy Spirit is dwelling in me, when I am ignoring or rejecting what He has said? (Acts 7:51)
    • The Spirit puts to death the deeds of the body: "for it you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (Romans 8:13). The Spirit enables us to overcome temptation and sinful habits, or a worldly frame of mind, through the instruction, enlightenment, and directions of the Spirit’s revelation, coupled with all the great words of encouragement and motivation which He has also revealed. For example, the Spirit has plainly told us that, "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able" (1 Corinthians 10:13). He has also told us that God never entices anyone to sin, rather, we are tempted when we are drawn away by the evil thoughts in our heart (James 1:13-14), which means, if we will allow His message to clean up our minds, then we won’t be tempted as often. Why would God warn us about evil thoughts and lusts, if we couldn’t ever remove such thoughts from our hearts? The very fact that lust is condemned infers that we don’t have to lust, or that lust isn’t an inherent part of our thought processes (Mark 7:20ff; Philippians 4:8). If lust is something learned or acquired, then it is something that can be unlearned.
    • In this very passage we have a tremendous incentive to get the upper hand in our lives over temptation. "You will live" (Romans 8:13), do we really want to "live" and live with God forever? Do we want to enjoy true life to its fullest and be alive instead of just subsisting?
    • The Spirit enables us to cry "Abba! Father!" (Romans 8:15). The Spirit has revealed to us what a loving Heavenly Father we have. God wants us to be His children and Jesus died in our place so that we could become sons of God. Everything that He has ever done for us has always been in our best interest. The expression "Abba! Father!", was a common expression by which children affectionately addressed their fathers. The person who is really convicted by the teachings of the Spirit, won’t resent God or stand in dread of Him, rather, such a person will come running to God, crying out, "You are My Father!"
  8. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Jun 1, 2005
    I most definately pick and choose to fit my own bias. :)
    But who doesn't?