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Wresting or Reasoning Scripture

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With spiritual growth issues there can be varying beliefs, but only the doctrines that are settled in the “truth” will liberate you from disappointment (Jhn 8:32). Concerning the issue of receiving salvation, there can be no varying beliefs on the essentials of believing in the Lord Jesus’ expiation for our sins. Scripture is directly clear for ease of understanding the latter, but is not always so clear in the former, which answers to the various interpretations concerning spiritual growth issues.

Myself, I believe the difficulties with interpreting the growth truths (esp. the Pauline Epistles) are to allow us to exercise love to one another in the proper manner of patience with wanting to understand one another. After all, everything God does is to this end, to live in His love to Him and to one another (Jhn 13:35); and not as we love ourselves but as He loves us (Jhn 15:12). I believe those with the correct understanding of the growth truths will continue to grow and increasingly find less, if any, disappointments (we should never be disappointed); and those who struggle more than not in apprehending the growth truths will continue to encounter disappointments—but yet are retained in their salvation.

At face value, the spiritual growth truths of the NT of Scripture often appear contradictory (which of course is never actual), and answers to the reason why most Bible commentators utilize the method of “necessary inference” (which opponents call “new inference”) in order to maintain a unified agreement between scriptures. Some commentators use the method of Biblicism (literalism) but results with less success and accurate interpretation.

Example: “Whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (Jhn 11:26).
Apparent contradiction: “Every branch in Me that bears not fruit He takes away” (Jn 15:2).
Inference: Many if not most understand the phrase “in Me” to mean “believes in Me,” and understandably so considering the way it reads. But to avoid contradiction between these two passages it’s required to assume (infer) that “in Me” has the intention that “everyone who professes to believe in Me,” otherwise contradiction cannot be avoided.

John Gill – “There are two sorts of branches in Christ the vine; the one sort are such who have only an historical faith in him, believe but for a time, and are removed; they are such who only profess to believe in him, as Simon Magus did; are in him by profession only; they submit to outward ordinances, become church members, and so are reckoned to be in Christ, being in a church state, as the churches of Judea and Thessalonica, and others, are said, in general, to he in Christ; though it is not to be thought that every individual person in these churches were truly and savingly in him.”

Example: “in the latter times some shall depart from the faith” (1Ti 4:1).
Inference: “some shall depart from the profession of the faith,” since God keeps those who truly are in the faith from leaving it (Phl 1:6).

John Gill – “that is, from the doctrine of faith, notwithstanding it is indisputably the great mystery of godliness, as it is called in the latter part of the preceding chapter; for from the true grace of faith there can be no final and total apostasy, such as is here designed; for that can never be lost. It is of an incorruptible nature, and therefore more precious than gold that perishes, and Christ is the author and finisher of it.”

My reason for sharing this is only to be informative of some of the ways commentators reason the Scriptures. I do not expect most to be receptive of this information, but I believe some will benefit. Personally I believe the present lack of spiritual growth will continue until the translation of the Church, in which of course all will come to light.

God’s guidance to all who seek truth over self-justification, and God be blessed in the highest!
 

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