Understanding How To Be Scripturally Balanced!
(Ver 1.1) Today I will discuss the importance of being scripturally balanced while simultaneously being radically sold out for God. There are many people in the world who are only partially sold out to God and they place severe limitations and constraints upon themselves and their relationship with God. Baptists are guilty of this, Methodists are guilty of this, Catholics are guilty of this, and even Pentecostals are guilty of this mistake. I do not believe there is a Christian denomination that exists that does not have people who are guilty of this sin of placing limitations upon what God wants to do in the earth today. There has been in the last 50 years the upswing and growth of churches in America that are called or labeled as being “Faith” based churches. Many denominational churches have frowned on then, looked down on the people in these other churches and have openly criticized them and given them derogatory names and labels. I have heard them called “the name it and claim it bunch”, “the blab it and grab it church” and on and on I could go. Such actions of so called Christians are usually done out of ignorance and I do not fault them for being ignorant and behaving in ungodly ways. The net result of these attacks causes more harm to themselves than it does to harm those who are called the names. I noticed that Jesus was taunted and called names even while hanging on the cross for their sins and Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. Wow, what an example Jesus gave to us of unconditional forgiveness.
What I am going to do is give you a small list of some of the subjects found in the Bible and then ask you some basic questions about them and how they relate to each other. You should notice by reading this small list of subjects exactly where you are strong in your knowledge of the Bible and where you are weak in your knowledge of the Bible. But, if you think that you are strong in every area then you should make yourself God and you should not be wasting your time reading my insignificant Bible lessons.
Here we have a very basic set of theological subjects and words found in the Bible and they are each a separate distinct theme that can be studied individually and independently from the others. However, there are also countless other subjects found in the Bible that I did not even begin to mention. Then there are scripture dependencies, inter-relationships and cross-relationships between these subjects that exist and must also be taken into account in order to understand any of the subjects fully. Here begins the greatest downfall of why we have so many denominations in the world today. One church group learns a little bit about one subject and either totally ignores the other subjects or think they are not relevant to what they know about this one subject that they teach so strongly. By embracing only a single truth exclusively as being the complete truth, you in effect shut your minds to what else God wants to teach you. So whenever God teaches another church something new about a different subject the other churches immediately reject the new church’s teachings as being heretical because it does not fit with what they teach and believe. What people do is think they know more than they actually know and this results in them not learning anything new that God wants to teach them. Wow, what a bunch of arrogant idiots the church has been. Let’s take the Baptists who I love dearly because they love to preach the grace and salvation of God to everyone but, then they typically as a group ignore how that it takes faith to even get someone saved. So they reject the Faith churches as being heretical false teachings, like faith is not even mentioned in the Bible. I could go on and on about how one church does this to another because they are a little bit different on what they emphasized, but please forgive me if you are a Baptist so that I do not do what I just described. I know that there is plenty of good Baptist that exists in the world so I’m not teaching against being a Baptist.
So what exactly am I teaching today? Part of the message has to do with being open to new things, but then my main point is actually more important than that and it is that you should be balanced in your approach to learning and studying the Bible. God may show you something new in the Bible that no church teaches so do not restrict Him from doing this if He so chooses. This is how people put limits on what God can do in the earth today. They close their spiritual eyes and squint when they read the Bible and only allow God to say what they want to hear. If a Bible verse does not line up with what they currently believe then they usually just ignore it. What you should do when you read your Bible and you see something that does not line up with what you currently believe to be the truth, is to spend time asking God to show you the real truth and allow Him to resolve the conflict.
In my list of topics that I gave you earlier, which one is the greatest one to know? Which one is the most important spiritually speaking? Which ones should you study first? Which ones can you omit? Here are a series of highly subjective questions that if you asked 20 different people you would get 20 different answers. That is the problem we face today in the church. Everyone has a different opinion to what is important to know and they simply ignore the other subjects found in the Bible. I really do not believe that this is the way that God intended it to be. That is why I am teaching a Bible lesson on being balanced. In this lesson I want to emphasize the importance of at the least learning a little bit about everything and then continuing to grow in the knowledge of every subject using a balanced approach. In this way you do not narrow your focus to a select few subjects and get stuck in a ditch that grows deeper so that you are unable to get out of it. This is a common ploy of deception used by the enemy; he will attempt to get someone off track and stuck in a particular rut so that they can see nothing else. I run into people on the internet like this all the time.
I have had numerous people attack me as a liar and a deceiver because they see verses in the Old Testament Bible that says God is in complete control and since He is a sovereign being we have no choices to ever make to be saved. It is just a predetermined choice of God whether you are saved or not saved. These people are guilty of being radically unbalanced in their interpretation of God’s Holy Word. They see only verses that they want to see and ignore those that I gave them that conflict with their beliefs found in the New Testament. Instead of praying and asking God to show them the truth like I have done, they already have determined what the truth is and categorically reject all others. Wow, that is a dangerous attitude to take. God is not stupid, you know and He is perfectly capable of speaking to you and showing you the truth if you ask Him to. But, do not ask Him to prove that you are right about anything, only ask Him to show you the truth and then when He does, if it is not what you thought was the truth, you now have a problem that you must choose to change or remain with your wrong beliefs.
I try to remain balanced in my Bible study and my Bible lessons. I do not try to emphasize any one subject over another and I do not ignore conflicts. When I am presented a conflict like the verses that “Predestination” enthusiasts like to grasp hold of so tightly, I go and pray and ask God to help resolve the conflict. I then in faith go and study my Bible to see what I can find on the subjects and then I remain open for the Spirit of God to speak inside of me and reveal what I am reading in His Word. This is just not that difficult to do, but I doubt that very many Christians actually have learned how to do this. The Bible clearly tells us that the Spirit of Truth inside of us will be our teacher and guide. So learning to hear from God is essential to being a balanced Christian.
So that was just my introduction to becoming a Balanced Christian. I’m sorry it took me that many words to introduce a simple subject. But, I guess that I’m technically still not done. Let’s begin by defining what it means to be balanced. In ancient days, men created scales in order to measure the weight of items. This was a two sided device that you place your item on side that you want to weigh and then you place set weights on the other side until the two sides are level and thus balanced equally. This is a very simple concept but yet it speaks volumes to us when applied to a spiritual reality. Let’s review some scriptures that speak of being balanced using this scale system:
Deu 25:15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Lev 19:36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.
Pro 16:11 A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work.
Pro 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
Here in these verses found in the Law of Moses and Proverbs God commands the Children of Israel that they must be fair and just. This is called honesty in some circles but it goes way beyond that also. The term just weights are given as a definitive commandment from God. The term “balance” is also reflective in this message of being equal on two opposing sides. What unjust crooked men would do is to use false weights that favored their personal gain over the lives of those who they were doing business with. They would always cheat just a little bit at a time so that they do not get caught and are found guilty of being a liar and are killed. You can read the opposite of the approach of being well balanced and just in verses like Hosea 12:7, Amos 8:5 and Micah 6:11 where God condemns deceitful men who use false measurements and unbalanced scales to cheat people out of the truth. What we learn from these natural examples is some very strong spiritual lessons to Bible interpretation. For example, if we only study the subject of grace and ignore the subject of faith then we become unbalanced. So being scripturally balanced appears to be a priority to God based upon a few scriptures that we have read so far.
Can you see how to apply these lessons of the balance scale to spiritual things and Bible study? Here is the challenge that we are faced with today; applying the Word of God concerning natural things to our treatment of things that we do not see in the spiritual realm. Let me give you another example of how people can become unbalanced and not even realize it. You see earlier I mentioned that the Spirit of God is our teacher and guide to all truth (John 16:13). This is a verse of scripture that I have heard some people read and tell me that this is why I do not need to go to church and hear a preacher teach me anything. They think that God will teach them everything that they need to know and unfortunately for them this is not what God said He will do at all. Here is the example of taking a truth found in the Bible and exalting it to be the only truth and that is their downfall. You see you can find other Bible verse that directly contradict this information for example here is one:
1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
So here we have a verse that directly contradicts with the fact that God is not a universal teacher and that He does not give everyone the same knowledge, gifts and abilities. This verse very clearly tell us that only some and probably only a few are apostles and only a few are prophets and only a few are teachers, etc. Why wouldn’t God make everyone a prophet? Why wouldn’t God make everyone a teacher? I think church services would be highly confusing if everyone got up to teach at the same time or already knew everything that was to be said. You see we are getting into an extremely complex set of questions because the Bible clearly says that God does not show favoritism or partiality towards anyone but, yet we do see that God only selects a certain number of people to be teachers in the church and this makes our life very complex. For example, God did not pick everyone in the nation of Israel to deliver Israel from the Egyptians. God selected only Moses to lead them out and this was God’s doing. Why would God select a few people to teach the Bible to the church and then tell us that the Spirit of Truth will teach us all inside of us? It would appear to be a contradiction, yet it could be just our wrong view of the Bible causing us to see it like it is not. You could take either one of these positions and think that you were following the truth by ignoring the other fact. You could only go to church and expect your pastor to teach you everything you should know or you could stay at home and expect the Spirit of God to teach you everything that you need to know. Either way you would be scripturally unbalanced and fall into deception. What we learn is that the real truth is a balance between the both of these positions and not just one side of the scale.
I’ll give you one more example of being unbalanced. Very often men want to put God into a religious box and see Him only as the All Powerful Omnipotent being who destroyed the world in Noah’s flood. Most of the time these men are focused on scriptures of judgment and power demonstrations and they ignore verses that are contrary to what they have selectively chosen to believe. This is a prime example of being scripturally unbalanced and putting all of your eggs in the God the Judge basket. You see if you actually studied the Bible in a balanced fashion you would see a God that is revealed as a much gentler, kinder, loving being. Remember when Jesus took the time to wash the feet of all of His disciples? Why would the omnipotent God bow to the level of a servant or slave and do this? I’m sure that this boggles the minds of the men who believe in only an all-powerful judge. You might look at Matthew 20:28 where Jesus tells us that He came into the world not to be ministered to, but to minister to others. This is a directly contrasted God to the one that is found in many of the Old Testament verses that exhibit His awesome power. Here we have another example of two possible extreme positions that can clearly be taken as the only truth. We can find many people who believe in the omnipotent judge who comes with wrath in His eyes and we can find many who believe only in a God who is a humble loving shepherd to His sheep. However, there must be a balance between these two positions that states He is both of these simultaneously and that He loves his children while He judges his enemies. This is an example of being scripturally balanced and not taking one position over the other. This is a great example of how you should be reading and studying your Bible every day. Come to realize that there is more than one truth in the Bible that can be found. Then come to realize that the actual truth is a balance between them all. I hope and pray that you enjoyed this lesson and have learned something that is valuable to use in your everyday life. God Bless!
Posted on December 30, 2010, in Bible Interpretation, Keys to Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Prophecy, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.