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The way we “color” in the lines of Bible reveals our understanding of the text. The colors and life of the text come from Holy Spirit. The shading and depth come from studying the things around the text, like languages, history, and culture. All of this together impacts our relationship with God and how we represent Him to others.
What does it mean to color the Bible?
- The Bible gives us the black outlines in white pages, but rarely gives us the colors or shading.
- Gives us what people say and do, but it rarely gives us the “why.”
- Gives us the facts of history, but not an understanding of the culture.
- Where do our colors and shading usually come from?
- Teachers we’ve heard in the past.
- Culture – art, movies, books.
- Reading and studying in isolation.
- Two examples of mis-colored passages, followed by what we need to properly color, properly understand, God’s word so that we can properly relate to God and represent Him to others.
The video walks through two examples of how we mis-color the Bible from Genesis 3 and Revelation 3.
What do we need to color the book properly?
Balance of these three things.
- Need the word – Black and white lines, focus. It’s the source, it’s the foundation, it’s the unchangeable black and white framework.
- Need Spirit – Color and vibrancy. illumination and inspiration.
- Need knowledge – Shading and depth. academic, history, culture. To be a 21st century Christian is to be a student of ancient history.
If any one of these is isolated and excluded from the rest, we get into trouble. Extreme but real examples.
- Bible-dominant leads to legalism. All rules, no life. Must be right at all costs. Pharisees. Generally good intentions but leads to seeing everyone else as the enemy, not sinners in need of a savior.
- “But the Bible itself says that its all we need.” Yes, but it also tells us to study. It also says the Spirit will teach us.
- Spirit-dominant leads to feelings-driven faith. How does this make me feel? Happy, powerful, spiritual, freedom to do what I want. Lots of equivocation and justifying of sin because lack of Bible for authority.
- “But the Bible says that the Spirit will bring to our remembrance what Jesus said?” Has to go in before you can remember it.
- “Spirit will give us the words to speak…” yeah when we are on trial for our lives for out faith.
- Knowledge-dominant leads to filtering the Bible and the Spirit through human experience and understanding. Reduces the Bible to a collection of stories. We decide who and what Jesus is. We deem miracles and the power of the Spirit as impossible.
- The Jesus Seminar
- The Bible is no longer the authority, popular opinion and culture are.
- ALL of these are real, they happen, and they are easy to slip into.
How do we encourage balance? How do we grow in these areas individually?
- Word – read it. All of it. 66 books… One book. God’s heart and mind.
- Without the black and white lines of the Bible you are left with a Jackson Polack painting.
- GET THE WHOLE PICTURE and understand how the parts fit together to make the whole.
- Spirit – test Him.
- Understand that He speaks. Understand that what He says will always line of with scripture, it will never contradict it.
- Realize that He will speak to you as you ask Him to. He will speak to you where you are in life, which is why God’s word is living an active. It’s why you will learn one thing from it and someone else will learn something different from the same passage, and they will never contradict. If they do, one of you is doing it wrong.
- Knowledge – become a student. To be a Christian is to be a student of ancient history. Learn the history and culture of what you are reading and studying. You can have an entire library in your pocket and it isn’t that expensive to build over time.
As you look at your own knowledge and understanding of the Bible, as you look at your relationship with God, as you look at how you represent Him to others, what is missing from the picture?
Is it the black and white absolute lines of the Bible? Is it the color and life of the Holy Spirit? Is the the shading and depth of knowing the history and culture of the of them people, places, and times of the Bible?
What is the next step for you in having a colorful, vibrant, deep, and eye popping understanding of God’s word, relationship with Him, and the ability to represent Him to others?