A Fellowship In Christ Jesus

A Fellowship in the World, but not of the World

A Ministry of D. Paul Walker

Confirming Defending Bearing the Gospel of Christ Jesus

Seven Precepts to Understanding the Bible

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Precept Must Be upon Precept

Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:…

Isaiah 28:9-10

If you have carefully contemplated the first six precepts of this study you should be able to recognize this principle in their construction, for we have been practicing this one throughout. We have been taking the word of God line upon line, a little here and a little there and forming precepts. The precepts of the Bible are its universal inviolable general truths upon which all else is established. It is from these that correct doctrine must be built.

The preceding six precepts or general truths taken together, precept upon precept, establishes the doctrine of studying God's word. God's word must be diligently studied, it must not be added to nor diminished from and all that is written must be believed in order to be able to understand it correctly. These three are the principles God requires of the heart. The Scriptures themselves are God's revelation of who he is and what he has done, is and will be doing, and what he requires. Further, the Bible teaches with similitudes, or examples, many times woven in history. Finally, it all has to be rightly divided. These first six, all taken in conjunction, lead to the successful culmination of the seventh, establishing the correct doctrinal teachings based on the Bible's precepts. All of the doctrines of Scripture must be built from the precepts contained therein.

Our title verse, Isaiah 28:9-13, explains the reason why the Bible is written the way it is, not only to teach knowledge and to give understanding in doctrine but to destroy those who refuse knowledge and understanding. "…that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."

The Bible, to those who will put their faith in God's word and diligently study it, neither adding nor diminishing from it and believing all that is written, is the source of knowledge and understanding in the things of God and this world.

Proverbs 2:1-9 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 9Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

To those who are not diligent, not believing and who add and diminish from the word of God, it is laden with snares to confuse and befuddle, refusing them knowledge and understanding leaving them confused or snared in a lie.

Proverbs 1:20-33 Wisdom crieth with out; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25But ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

1 Corinthians 1:25-29 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29That no flesh should glory in his presence. Who can receive this knowledge and understanding?

Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts….

Hebrews 5:11-14 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Understanding is for those who are weaned from the milk of the word, that are ready for its meat. Therefore, our growth as Christians is required, we must mature in the word. Our spiritual growth and our understanding go hand in hand.

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

The doctrines of God are the facts concerning what he has established as the moral laws, standards, requirements, and responsibilities on any given subject according to the precepts of the Bible. The precepts are developed by studying and taking the relevant parts a little here and there a little and putting them line upon line as shown throughout this lesson. No biblical doctrine or teaching can be correct if it violates any of God's precepts, its general truths, upon which all else must be founded. Without a correct understanding of the Bible's doctrines the Church is what it has become; weak and divided. Without sound doctrine we are confused.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion,…

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned;…

I Timothy 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

1 Timothy 4:13-16 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 16Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

In the absence of correct doctrine reproof, correction and instruction all would be in error.

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:…

Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,…

Understanding the correct doctrinal teachings of the Scriptures is one of our main purposes in life.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

As part of studying the Scriptures, a list could and should be made of the biblical precepts as they are discovered. The biblical precepts are simply God’s stated principles or the general truths on how he has determined and established all things and no doctrine can be correct if it attempts to evade any one of them. You cannot formulate correct biblical doctrines without having an accurate understanding of the precepts upon which they are built. Any doctrinal statement or teaching that violates any biblical precept is in error.

The seventh precept to understanding the Bible is:

Precept upon Precept,
line upon line,
here a little and there a little
I cannot too greatly emphasize the importance and value of Bible study; more important than ever before in these days of uncertainties, when men and women are apt to decide questions from the standpoint of expediency rather than on the eternal principles laid down by God, himself.

John Wanamaker 1838 - 1922
American Businessman, US Postmaster General

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