Why is there so much confusion in the world, when it comes to understanding the Bible? Why is even God’s Church sometimes not immune from misinterpretations and wrong ideas about certain aspects of God’s Word?
The simple answer is that God must reveal His truth to us — but we must be His followers; that is, we must be willing, humble participants. We must replace our own human wisdom with the knowledge of God. We must give up our own ideas, speculations and concepts, and let God teach us His unalterable truth.
A most important key to gaining true Biblical understanding is to let the Bible interpret the Bible. Rather than trying to force our own human ideas upon a Scripture, we must follow God’s instructions to search all the Scriptures and to add “here a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28:10), until a full and clear picture emerges.
Let us take the concept of the gospel as an example. There are perhaps as many ideas as to what the gospel is, as there are Christian churches, all claiming to be part of the Body of Christ. If one were to only look at all the Scriptures on this topic of the gospel, there would be no need for confusion.
The gospel is most and foremost defined as “the gospel of the kingdom of God” (Matthew 4:23; Mark 1:14-15). As there is only ONE gospel (Galatians 1:6-10), any other designation and description of the gospel must be looked upon as describing certain aspects and characteristics of the one and only gospel — that of the Kingdom of God. Far too many look at these descriptions as alternate or additional gospels. One famous evangelist once told Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong (who died 19 years ago, on January 16, 1986): “You are doing a great work proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom of God, while I am doing a great work proclaiming the gospel of grace.”
However, the gospel of grace (compare Acts 20:24) is just a description as how to enter God’s Kingdom. It is by grace — God offers to us entrance into His Kingdom through grace or unmerited pardon.
The gospel of the Kingdom of God is also the gospel of Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1; Romans 1:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; compare Romans 1:9), and of God the Father (Romans 1:1) — as it is Their message (gospel just meaning good news), which They proclaim to man. It is a glorious gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4 (Authorized Version); compare 1 Timothy 1:11), and when we identify with it, it has become “our” gospel (2 Corinthians 4:3; compare Romans 2:16). It is an eternal or everlasting gospel (Revelation 14:6), proclaiming the everlasting truth that man can obtain eternal life. It is a gospel or good news of peace (Ephesians 6:15), as God’s Kingdom will establish peace on earth. This very same gospel of the Kingdom of God was proclaimed to Abraham (Galatians 3:8). It is the gospel of our salvation (Ephesians 1:13), because when we enter the Kingdom of God, as born again members of the Family of God, we have obtained our eternal and ultimate salvation.
Rather than teaching different gospels, the gospel of the Kingdom of God can be described in many different ways, but all these descriptions only contribute to the essence of the one true gospel (For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.”)
When we study the Bible, we must submit to God and His wisdom. We must follow God’s directives to search all the Scriptures and to read them, “here a little, there a little,” until we can see clearly the all-encompassing truth on a given matter.
It is a joy, reassuring and very rewarding to do so — as long as we do it right.