1. According to Romans 10:17, faith is developed as a result of hearing God's Word. 2. We learn from other passages that God's Word must be heard correctly. 3. In this regard Jesus said in Matthew 15:10, "Hear, and understand." 4. The eunuch of Ethiopia illustrates how a person can read Scripture without understanding it (Acts 8:26-31). 5. To hear and understand we must know how the Bible teaches. 6. In our lesson we are concentrating on 4 principles that will help us to hear Scripture and understand it.
I. FIRST, THE SCRIPTURES TEACH BY "DIRECT COMMANDS"
A. Direct commands are instructions that God has revealed in a direct manner. B. Direct commands may be grouped into two categories. 1. One category consists of "general commands." a. In general commands we are told what to do, but we are not told exactly how to do it. b. Example: the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). 2. The other category consists of "specific commands." a. In specific commands we are told what to do, and we are told how to do it. b. Examples: 1) Genesis 6:14 2) Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16
II. SECOND, THE SCRIPTURES TEACH BY "PRINCIPLES"
A. Many subjects or issues are not specifically addressed in the Bible; however, the Bible reveals a number of principles that will settle any issue that may arise in any culture at any time. B. Examples: 1. Jesus presented a far-reaching principle when He said that His followers must seek God's kingdom first (Matthew 6:33). 2. Many issues can be settled by the principles revealed in Romans 12:1-2.
III. THIRD, THE SCRIPTURES TEACH BY "EXAMPLES"
A. An example is a "pattern" that is revealed in the Bible. B. Example: We learn when the Lord's Supper is to be observed from the example revealed in Acts 20:7.
IV. FOURTH, WHEN STUDYING THE BIBLE WE MUST OBSERVE "THE SILENCE OF SCRIPTURE"
A. Both the Old and New Testaments teach that God has given us everything we need to know (Deuteronomy 29:29; 2 Peter 1:3). B. However, just because some practice is not specifically condemned in the Bible does not mean that we may participate in it (Leviticus 10:1-3; Hebrews 7:11-14). C. We need to be concerned with doing that which the Lord has instructed us to do in His Word (Colossians 3:16-17).
1. A noble request is made in Psalm 119:18. 2. By applying these principles when we study the Scriptures we can hear and understand as Jesus commanded in Matthew 15:10.