“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”
2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
One critical aspect of spiritual growth is repentance. Repentance, in this sense, means initially believing something to be true and having a subsequent change of heart. Another aspect is devotion to the study of the Word and prayer. These two are connected.
In some Christian circles today, there are some topics that cannot be brought up because of personal opinions. People would rather continue to live as if the Bible did not explicitly address certain topics. In such circles, sound doctrine is often difficult to communicate because it conflicts with popular worldviews.
The Bible speaks of this:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers…”
2 Timothy 4:3 NKJV
In some other circles, picking a verse of scripture and running with it without proper study is the order of the day. This does not align with a diligent study of the word. For instance, If I write a letter to you and you read only a few paragraphs, how can you understand the full intent of the letter? It is safe to say that you have not read it and will never really understand it.
The same situation played itself out amongst the Jews. If they had taken into account all scripture, they would have clearly seen and discerned the person of Jesus. For example, the supposed sacrifice of Isaac is a pointer to how Jesus would be sacrificed for sins.
Prophecy upon prophecy pointed to Jesus yet they didn’t take it into account. Isaiah prophesied about Him. David prophesied about Him.
When Jesus rose from the dead, His proof that he was the Christ was not merely that he was alive and had appeared to them in the flesh. Jesus expected them to believe that He was the Messiah because of all the scripture said about Him (Luke 24:25).
In light of this, when we study the scriptures, we should take care to study properly (2 Timothy 2:15) so that we can repent of having given into mental models as well as develop proper conviction. Since your convictions will always influence your conclusions, it means that you must be intentional and deliberate about its source.
An approach to Bible study that is based on solely defending ‘your truth’ will always fail when ‘your truth’ is based on an incomplete or false understanding of God’s word. There is only one truth – the truth of God’s word. Be given to the study of it with an open mind.
Submit yourself to corrections in the word. Take note and apply them to your life. Let the Word of God correct your perceptions and strengthen your convictions.