Do You Understand?

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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This was the question Philip asked of the Ethiopian prince as he sat reading from Isaiah’s prophecy (Acts 8:30), and it is a question which we should continually keep asking ourselves as we read the holy Scriptures.

There are always those among God’s people who do not much care whether or not they understand what they read if only it warms their hearts! To them the Bible is little more than a fetish. Taking only those Scriptures which appeal to them, and leaving the rest, they actually feel themselves quite spiritual and often talk about believing the Bible whether or not they understand it!

But such “spirituality” is far from genuine, and such “faith” is blind and superstitious at best. While it is true that the Bible teaches many truths which we believe, although they are beyond our comprehension (such as its opening verse!), yet how can we believe what the Bible says unless we understand what it says? God would have us understand what we read and believe it intelligently.

Indeed, true faith will want to know and understand more and more of God’s Word. One who does not care whether or not he understands what God has said is not truly interested in knowing what God has said. His faith is based on his own will rather than on God’s Word, for regardless of the meaning of Scripture, he will take any passage that suits his fancy and use it as he wishes. How great an emphasis God Himself places upon the importance of understanding His Word!

On one occasion, when our Lord saw the multitudes, He “was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things” (Mark 6:34). And now that the secret of God’s “eternal purpose” has been made known, how much more reason there is to study the Scriptures, with a view to understanding them! How Paul, by the Spirit, emphasizes this, as he writes of his prayers for the saints:

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling…” (Eph. 1:17,18).

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

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