How Well Do You Understand God’s Word?
Scripture indicates that some understand God’s Word better than others. An unbeliever does not truly understand God’s Word in that, without the Spirit, he does not see its value to himself and thus rejects it (1 Cor 2:14–15). Believers truly understand God’s Word, and vary in their understanding of it.
Those Who Misunderstand
Negatively, some completely misunderstand God’s Word. They hear it, reject it, and even use it as a means of ungodly gain. Referring to what false teachers do with Paul’s letters, Peter states, “There are some things in them… which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Pet 3:16).
Those Who Understand But Should Understand More
Some hear and believe God’s Word, but they do not advance in their understanding and application of it as much as they could and should, which is to their shame. Before explaining the complexities of how Christ is a priest like Melchizedek, the author of Hebrews stated that, for his readers, “it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Heb 5:11–14; cf. 4:14–5:10). Some Christians had not grown much in their understanding of God’s Word, and in the time lost, they could and should have been teachers of God’s Word to others.
Those Who Understand Well
Others are teachers and understand some things better than others. Quoting 2 Pet 3:16 again, Peter said of Paul’s letters, “There are some things in them that are hard to understand.” Paul understood what he wrote. For others, however, these things were not as understandable.
No One Has Reached His Limit
Really, though some might understand truth about God better than others, there is no end for us in growing in our understanding of God’s Word, and what knowledge we possess is no reason to boast (1 Cor 8:1). There are many things yet unrevealed (Deut 29:29), and more that could have been said was not (John 21:25). Until glorification, the command to grow in the knowledge of God is ours to obey, implying there is always more to know (2 Pet 3:18). And even then, we as finite beings will never fully comprehend our infinite God, giving us cause to glorify Him forever (Rom 11:33–36).
About David Huffstutler
David pastors First Baptist Church in Rockford, IL, serves as a chaplain for his local police department, and teaches as adjunct faculty at Bob Jones University. David holds a Ph. D. in Applied Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His concentration in Christian Leadership focuses his contributions to pastoral and practical theology.