Did you ever think that there are no Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Pentecostals, Charismatics, you name it, in heaven? There’s only one family in perfect union with Christ, and each other, in the Father’s embrace by the Spirit (Eph.3:14-15; 2 Cor.13:14). And, by the way, you are seated there with Christ now.
Furthermore, have you ever noticed that the New Testament writers didn’t used word studies? In fact, they never seemed to follow any exegetical or hermeneutical approach in their teaching. For that matter, as I said here, Jesus was said to have never even studied (John 7:15).
They all taught by way of revelation.
Now, they did know and use Scripture, but they didn’t know or use it the way most of us have to been taught to know and use it. It was by way of divine inspiration in fellowship with God (1 John 1:1-4). And they invite you and me into this same fellowship. Here’s how John put it (bold-type added for emphasis).
“that which we have seen and heard we declare to you,
that you also may have fellowship with us;
and truly our fellowship is with the Father
and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)
You see, the religious people of Jesus’ day had commentaries; Jesus knew the Father. The former were earthly; the latter was Heavenly. John says this about Jesus.
“No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matt.11:27)
That’s an amazing statement in light of the history of man’s relationship to God leading up to this time. For this includes Adam, Enoch, Moses, Elijah and the prophets, David…everyone! Think about it. No man actually knew the Father until Jesus came in flesh. We were all spiritual orphans, as I have talked about many times on this blog. Jesus came to change that by sending us His Holy Spirit (John 14:18).
The same is true today. Not that commentaries are bad, in and of themselves. The problem is, we rely on them for Bible knowledge when we can truly only know God, or even truly understand His Word, by way of spiritual revelation (1 Cor.2:11-16).
For this is how we’re told to interact with God.
“These things we also speak,
not in words which man’s wisdom teaches
but which the Holy Spirit teaches,
comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Cor.2:13)
And what about us not being divided?
A.W. Tozer said in “The Pursuit of God” that one hundred pianos tuned to the same tuning fork are automatically tuned together. And that “tuning fork” is the Holy Spirit.
Relationship based on doctrinal interpretation always divides; the Spirit always brings the unity of the faith (Eph.4:3, 13).
So, perhaps this is why we have thousands of commentaries that don’t agree with each other, even more denominations and sects dividing over what the Bible says and what it means to be a Christian. And why there’s so much confusion for those who aren’t about what Christ and Christianity is all about.
Just saying… 🙂
Now, I believe that God loves diversity. I mean, look at us! So denominations or cultural differences in our worship aren’t bad…unless they become divisive.
Our divisiveness just shows we have not been fashioned by Love, because we deem other things more important (Col.3:14).
And we usually divide over interpretation. Of course, we like to call our interpretation “the truth,” but as I’ve said before, Truth is found in a Person (John 14:6).
And the only way Jesus–the Truth–said that the world would know we are His is by our love for one another (John 13:35; 17:21-23), not by our interpretation of Scripture, or anything else we seem to think is more important.
Paul called the Corinthian’s sectarianism carnality, acting like “mere men” (1 Cor.3:1-3); they didn’t know who they really were, they still regarded one another according to the flesh, so they could not receive spiritual things (2 Cor.5:16).
All our exegetical and hermeneutical tools for interpretation that we value–seeing everything through our Western rational, earthbound “glasses” inherited from the ancients Greeks–are great when you don’t have spiritual revelation.
They’re also severely limiting in that they keep you stuck inside your own head instead of His. And then we come under the delusion that we understand what the writers were actually trying to describe when we’ve most likely not even touched it.
Why is this so? Because revelation cannot be deciphered by the mind. It must first be received by the Spirit to our spirit, then, and only then, can we try to find language to describe it.
This heavenly revolution started with Jesus and proceeds forth even today. So I invite you into this communion–where God’s Living Word becomes incarnated in us, where our life overflows with the Spirit, flowing in and out to and through one another–as we abide in the superabundant grace of Jesus Christ and unfathomable love of the Father.
On that note, I will end with Paul’s blessing to us.
“The grace that comes through our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love that is of God the Father,
and the fellowship that is ours in the Holy Spirit
be with you all!” (2 Cor.13:14 PHILLIPS)