bible with keySometimes, attempting to find God’s truth can be a difficult and discouraging task. The more I watch others struggle to understand God’s Word, the more I’m certain that only one blessed over-abundantly by our Lord could ever hope to find much of the truth contained in it, as that truth has been so obscured and confused by so many different viewpoints and traditions. Oftentimes it can just seem that one has discovered and settled upon the truth, when along comes someone else with a new idea that sounds good and like it could be true. No wonder so many find the work of searching for truth so frustrating!

Many start off the search for truth with enthusiasm and vigor. Especially those who are saved later in life often find their newfound faith exciting and think the search for what God would tell us from the Scriptures will be a satisfying and rewarding task. They start with enthusiasm to seek out the truth of God’s Word. Yet often their search is waylaid by difficulties. They find that every viewpoint has a counter-viewpoint, and every explanation has those who will oppose it. Godly and reasonable people can often be found on both sides of an argument. The Bible often appears to be mysterious and obscure, particularly when the explanations one is taught do not seem to match up to what the words on the page are actually saying. Often the fires of the desire for truth are quenched by the water of disagreement, orthodoxy, and confusion. And this is the very way that our great Enemy wants it, for it is he who has worked so hard to craft things this way and he who does everything he can to keep people from understanding the fullness of God’s truth.

Yet whatever or whoever is the cause for the difficulty and confusion in Bible study, it nevertheless remains truth that all too often those who set out to plumb the depths of Scripture end up satisfied with scratching the surface. In the face of such a weight of error and confusion, the average student will often find it easier to just rely on his church to interpret what the Bible says for him. Then, he doesn’t have to think about it for himself. Instead, he just cheers his church on like a baseball team. “Go, Baptists! Yay, Lutherans! Bravo, Methodists! Win, Pentecostals!” This lets him off the hook of having to wade through the error to seek the nuggets of truth. But, when it comes right down to it, this hardly seems like the kind of attitude that God would encourage.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

But too many seem content to make their church their shepherd.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the council of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2

No matter how hard it might be to find the truth, it is our duty to do so. If we want to be like the blessed or “how happy” person mentioned in this verse, we must study and meditate on the Word for ourselves. No earthly source of wisdom or learning can take the place of the Scriptures.

Often, loyalty to the Bible above all else will mean accepting viewpoints that do not match up with what is taught by the churches and Christian orthodoxy. Yet this is what the faithful student must do if he wishes to remain faithful to His Lord. But it is hard to adopt a new viewpoint, especially when this means opposing family, friends, and church. It is much easier not to rock the boat. Like the Pharisees who believed in Jesus but did not have to courage to make their belief public, it is all too easy to love the “praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43)

Too many are afraid that if they give themselves over to Bible study, and if they base their beliefs only on what they find there, not on the teachings and opinions of men, then they might make a mistake and get off on some damaging sidetrack. It might be so, that our limited understanding will fall before the complexity of Scripture. Yet in this assurance we can rest, that if we truly believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and in His death and resurrection on our behalf, then we are God’s children, one day to be His sons dwelling in glory. Believing that and spreading the good news of Christ are our primary goals. Finding “the rest of the truth” is secondary, although an important secondary! Yet if we fail at this secondary task, we still can never lose our reward for fulfilling the primary task. Our belief in Christ can never be taken away from us!

But what hope can the honest student of God’s Word have for finding all the fullness of truth that God will have for him? How can he wade through the multiplicity of error built up over thousands of years by the Evil One for the purpose of keeping men from the truth?

I believe that there are several keys to understanding the Bible which will prove invaluable to the student in seeing through the errors and finding the way to the truth. These keys can unlocks the doors to much of the fullness of truth that God originally meant for us to find in the Bible. These keys are so valuable and so important that each one can unlock a shower of truth and turn back a flood of error.

Key #1: The first of these keys is the truth of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. This key above all other is invaluable, as it opens the way to eternal life itself. Without this key, none of the others are truly valuable nor often even attainable. I am currently working to set forth this key in my study on the book of John.

Key #2: The second key is the truth of dispensationalism. This key opens for us an understanding of God’s work today, and how it differs from God’s work in the past. A right understanding of the Word properly divided will not only help us know how to live and walk before God today, but will also help us interpret many difficult and otherwise inscrutable passages in the New Testament. I have set forth this key in my studies on dispensationalism, and will further cover it in my upcoming series on the book of Acts.

Key #3: The third key is the truth of the kingdom of God. This key opens for us an understanding of God’s ultimate goal for this earth, and all the work He has been doing upon it. This kingdom is the theme of many, many books and passages in the Bible, and only by using this key can these passages be unlocked and truly understood. I have set forth this key in my studies on the book of Psalms, as well as in other studies.

Key #4: The fourth key is the truth of man’s nature and destiny. This key opens for us an understanding both of what we as Adam’s race truly are and what our future, both of the saved and of the unsaved, will be. Satan’s first attack was against this key (Genesis 3:4), and using it will unlock much of the error he has spread for six thousand years. I have set forth this key in my series on our essential nature and future destiny.

Although error might be rampant and our struggles against it difficult and often discouraging, I believe that a true understanding of the Scriptures is attainable. I pray that through my writings and setting forth of the important keys of understanding I have mentioned above that I am helping my readers to come to a better understanding of the truths that God would have for each of us to know, love, and appreciate.