Author: Ron Graham
Five Principles of Understanding
—What the mind must do to understand God
Five attitudes and acts of the mind are required in order to gain an understanding of the word and will of God. If we are lacking in any of these principles, we will not understand the Bible and be enlightened by its message.
1 Loving the Truth
Those who do not love the truth will believe the lie (2Thessalonians 2:l0).
2 Searching the Scriptures
People become believers in the truth because they are ready to search the scriptures with open minds (Acts 17:10-12).
Some only pretend to search the scriptures, so fail to find the truth (John 5:39,46-47).
3 Comparing the Scriptures
The point of searching the scriptures is not to find “proof texts” for something we want to believe.
Spiritual things can be correctly discerned only by spiritual means. The Holy Spirit's teaching is understood by more of the Holy Spirit’s teaching, comparing scripture with scripture (1Corinthians 2:6-13 KJV & Greek).
The New Testament itself exemplifies this process. For example see Hebrews 1, which compares various scriptures to conclude that Jesus is superior to angels.
All scripture, not just parts of it, should be taken into account (2Timothy 3:15-17).
4 Asking God’s Help
It is right to pray for understanding of God's revelation (Ephesians 1:15-18, Philippians 1:9-11).
In God's providence we are blessed with the ministry of teachers to help us understand (Ephesians 4:11-15).
5 Abiding in the Word
We must learn not to go beyond what is written (1Corinthians 4:6) but to abide in God's word alone (2John 1:7-9)