Today was an important day for my family as we could finally buy an above-the-ground swimming pool.
“Why was it so special,” you ask?
We began looking for a pool at the beginning of March when everything shut down because of the Coronavirus. But we weren’t the only ones with the idea. No pools were available on Amazon, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, yes, you name it. They were all sold out. Instead, several sneaky people were selling the same products on Amazon with a 700% price increase. Coincidence? I think not. But leaving the evil-people behind in the dust, we could now finally rejoice in having a pool for our kids to enjoy.
So far, so good. There was just one problem.
Every time the kids walked in and out of the pool, they dragged lots of dirt and small twigs with them. It meant that the pool water was already dirty after a short while.
It didn’t take long to see the problem and find a solution. I found a plastic bucket and filled it with water for the kids to walk through before crawling up on the ladder into the pool.
But before that, I had to clean the bucket before filling it with clean water. We had previously used it to clean our bunny cage, so it needed a good scrub.
As I was cleaning it, I began thinking about what would have happened if I didn’t clean it. The kids would have walked through the bucket with the clean water and cleaned their feet from all the dirt. But their feet would have been made more filthy with remains from our bunnies, and they would have brought it into the pool. The last would have been worse than the first. If I hadn’t given attention to the details, I’m sure the kids would have gotten sick to their stomachs.
The dirty bucket reminded me of how important it is to observe the well from where we draw our Bible teaching. If we believe the source is clean when it is dirty, the consequences can be severe.
I spent many years in the past listening to Bible teachers who claimed to teach the Bible. The problem was that they didn’t. They were sincere, and their messages sounded biblical and Christian. But as I became a Berean (Acts 17:11) and began checking their teaching against the Bible, I realized that it was unbiblical.
What changed the game for me was when I took a Bible interpretation course. The course taught me the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture. It gave me a new lens to understand Scripture and skills to interpret it right according to the author’s intent. I wish someone had taught it to me much earlier in my Christian life as it would have saved me much pain and confusion.
Friend, what I want to say to you is this: Be like the Bereans even when you listen to some of your favorite preachers. Do they teach the truth of the Word of God? Are you sure? Because if not, you might very well be drinking poison that will end up hurting you and others and bring dishonor to Christ.
A Quick Way to Get Started With Bible Interpretation
A quick but helpful way to check a preacher’s teaching is to check the context of a passage or verse. As they say, “Context is king.” You will sometimes see that a preacher takes a particular verse out of its context. It’s a massive problem because the person will use it to make his point and completely ignore the authors’ intended meaning with the text.
Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). We are sanctified by the Word of God, not man’s clever thoughts and creative ideas that have no scriptural basis.
If you are looking for more help in interpreting the Bible but aren’t quite ready to engage in a Bible interpretation course, I recommend you to check out Howard Hendricks’ book Living by The Book.
It might just prove to be the most important book you will ever read besides the Bible.