How does a non-believer make sense of the Bible?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by FARWALKER, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. FARWALKER

    FARWALKER
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    I have a hard enough time as a believer making sense of The Word.

    I was reading Psalm 91 tonight and wondered what someone (who had never read the Bible) would think when they read verses 9-10 which says, "Because you have made the LORD - my refuge, the Most High - your dwelling place, no harm will come to you; no plague will come near your tent".

    We all know and so does the non-believer that harm does come to our "tent" sometimes. How does someone make sense of this and perceive it as truth?

    I would love to hear your thoughts and personal commentaries on this.

    Pray for me:BangHead:
    Tim
     
  2. robustheologian

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    This may be hard to reconcile if one interprets this to refer to anyone more the psalmist himself.
     
  3. convicted1

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    They can't make sense of the bible. It is a Spiritually discerned book. 1 Cor. 2:14 & Romans 8:7, for starters, shows that the non-believer can understand it. They may find a few 'nuggets' hither and yon, but nothing deep whatsoever....


    Most non-believers...I said MOST....won't even want to pick up a bible and read it to begin with....
     
  4. Scarlett O.

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    Well, we know that Psalm 91 is NOT saying that Christians will experience a pain-free life, because that is not true. We, the just, suffer - along with the unjust. That's how rain falls according to God.

    It isn't wise to interpret Psalm 91 that way. The devil twisted God's words with Eve and he used Psalm 91 as a literal thing when he tried to trick Jesus into jumping off the Temple. He said, "Doesn't the Bible say that angels will bear you up and you won't even stub your toe?" Psalm 91:12

    I don't want to interpret God's Words in the manner of the devil.

    I think one needs to go back and read Psalm 88 and see just how MUCH the believer will suffer and cry out to God. And there is Psalm 44.

    If we interpreted Psalm 91 as a literal and universal get-out-of-suffering-free card, the we would have to interpret the whole psalm as literal and therefore we would be birds, God would be a bird, and we would all go around stepping on lions and snakes.

    Plus, you have to remember that the Psalms are full of emotion - from crippling despair to euphoria. We cry out a lot of metaphorical things in those states.

    Hmmmm....

    So what DOES it mean?

    This is only my opinion, but it is based on personal experiences - OFTEN times repeated.

    Evil will NOT befall a believer who "dwells" (that's the key point here!!) in the Most High. How so? Either God will physically deliver him or else God will go through the suffering WITH him and ergo, he will endure - much like Job endured and came out in the end unscathed and restored. Or much like my aunt endured brain cancer and God healed her - eventually - by calling her home.

    "Befall" - evil cannot keep God's people down forever.
     
    #4 Scarlett O., Feb 27, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  5. kyredneck

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    9 For thou, O Jehovah, art my refuge! Thou hast made the Most High thy habitation;
    10 There shall no evil befall thee, Neither shall any plague come nigh thy tent.
    11 For he will give his angels charge over thee, To keep thee in all thy ways.
    12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Ps 91

    It's a Messianic psalm.
     
  6. FARWALKER

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    Verse 11

    "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways".

    God entrusts angels to protect believers in their endeavors. Why, would He do this? For what purpose does the LORD commission angels when He certainly needs no help?
    :type:
    Tim
     
  7. Iconoclast

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    God uses means many times. Here is one of the functions angels have to God's elect;

    13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

    14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
     
  8. Scarlett O.

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    You are quite right. God certainly needs no help. So why did he create angels to be his holy workforce?

    To be succinct - God did so because it pleased Him to do so. That's why God created anything that He did - carpenter ants, giraffes, pine trees, and angels.

    Revelation 4:11 - "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

    Creating and utilizing angelic forces doesn't make God less omnipotent. He doesn't need the angels to accomplish His will.

    It is merely His prerogative in how He chooses to do things.
     
  9. kyredneck

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    42 saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
    43 And there appeared unto him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. Lu 22
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    I think the only sense any of us makes of it is what the Spirit of God allows us to understand.
     
  11. Van

    Van
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    Greetings and welcome to our discussion group. We have people holding very different views of scripture, Calvinists, Arminians, and those of us disagreeing with both sides of the spectrum.

    I expect someone presented the Calvinist answer, all fallen people are unable to understand all spiritual things, thus only those altered by Irresistible Grace can gain spiritual insight from studying the Bible.

    And, I expect, someone else presented the Arminian answer, all fallen people are unable to understand all spiritual things, but God has provided "prevenient grace" to all men so they can understand spiritual things.

    A third view, definitely a minority view, thinks the Bible teaches fallen men have limited spiritual ability and therefore can understand the spiritual milk, but not spiritual meat.

    So if we turn now to Psalm 91, lets consider what it says, as if we can understand the fundamental truths of scripture.

    Our first question is does God protect us from pain, suffering, and death in this life, or is the promise that His salvation applies to our life after (1) we physically die, or (2) after Christ returns?

    If we are expecting not to suffer, we have not read where we should be honored to share in the suffering of Christ.

    So at first glance, lets say the surpassing riches of God's inheritance reserved for us, makes small potatoes of the travails of this life.

    Now, by studying God's word, and following His path of righteousness, we avoid snares of this world. Recall our daily prayer, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
    So, as in tennis, we should minimize our "unforced errors" but we cannot eliminate them, nor should we think God will prevent us from making mistakes that bring hardship upon us and upon those we love.

    When God says "no harm will overtake us" or "no illness will come near our home" clearly we need to understand this as referring to our abode in heaven.

    As a general rule, we should always ask, "What is the least God is saying." Thus we do not add our speculation to God's word.

    Thus by following God's path of righteousness we will avoid some of the pitfalls of this life, i.e. trample a lion or snake, but to read into this we will never fall prey to Satan, the World, or our Fleshly desires would be an overreach.

    As has been demonstrated by our Christian siblings as they near physical death, the refuge of the Lord is found in their faith in the blessings to come in a place without tears.

    God Bless
     
  12. Zenas

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    It's unlikely that a non-believer would be able to understand the Bible without assistance. See, e.g., Acts 8:30-31.
     
  13. convicted1

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    :thumbs::thumbsup::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  14. Van

    Van
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    I see two posters think Acts 8:30-31 supports the notion that folks cannot understand some spiritual things in scripture, the fundamental truths, i.e. the spiritual milk.

    If you look at the passage, and recall that Jesus was a mystery unrevealed until explained in the NT, the fact that the revelation of Jesus was hidden in Isaiah says absolute nothing about fallen man's ability to understand spiritual milk.
     
  15. convicted1

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    One can not get the Spiritual milk unless they are sucking on the 'breast of consolation' as a new born babe...



    --Before she is pained she hath brought forth, Before a pang cometh to her, She hath delivered a male. Who hath heard anything like this? Who hath seen anything like these? Is earth caused to bring forth in one day? Born is a nation at once? For she hath been pained, Zion also hath borne her sons. `Do I bring to the birth, And not cause to bring forth?' saith Jehovah, `Am not I He who is causing to beget? I have also restrained,' said thy God. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, And be glad in her, all ye loving her, Rejoice ye with her for joy, All ye are mourning for her, So that ye suck, and have been satisfied, From the breast of her consolations, So that ye wring out, and have delighted yourselves From the abundance of her honour. For thus said Jehovah: `Lo, I am stretching out to her peace as a river, And as an overflowing stream the honour of nations, And ye have sucked, on the side ye are carried, And on the knees ye are dandled. As one whom his mother comforteth, so do I comfort you, Yea, in Jerusalem ye are comforted.(Isa. 66:7-13 YLT)

    Here is an picture of salvation. Once Christ and His bride, the church, 'come together', they conceive their children. Then the new birth takes place and the new born babe sucks Mother Jerusalem's breast. A baby can't get any of it's mother's milk until after a birth has taken place. It's the same way Spiritually. No one can get the 'sincere milk of the gospel' until the birth from above has taken place...
     

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