Have you ever talked to someone, or read something, and a word was used that you didn’t know or understand how it fit in the context? Did you ask clarifying questions, do some research, or did you let it go? What if this happens when you are reading your Bible?
As we read through Ephesians, we will come across some hard words, words we might have heard before, or words we think we understand.
As we encounter these words and are trying to decide what to do with them, let’s keep two texts in mind. The first text is 2 Timothy 3:16-17,
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Here, Paul points us to the ultimate authority in the words because of the author. Why are these words worth understanding? Because 2 Timothy tells us they are breathed out by God. The God of the universe who intricately created the world, fashioned it together, and sustains it by the word of his power, has breathed out the very words that lie before us in our Bibles. ey are intricately fashioned together so that we might read and understand them, to be equipped for every good work. Each word has value because it’s God’s word; God gave it to us so that we might know him.
Not only has God given us His word,
but He has given us His Spirit that we might understand it.
The second text to keep in mind is 1 Corinthians 2:11-13,
For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”
The very God of the universe who “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11), has given believers the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, to interpret spiritual truths for us, as 1 Corinthians says. Just as the spirit of someone knows and comprehends their thoughts, the Spirit of God knows and comprehends God’s thoughts. For those who have trusted in Jesus, the Spirit is given for many reasons, one of which is to help us understand words in Scripture.
How do these texts confront our need to understand hard words we come across in Scripture? Worth and accessibility. These words are worth understanding, and understanding them comes through the accessibility of the Holy Spirit to all God’s people. So as we read, we may boldly approach the text, knowing each word is worth understanding and that we have the ability to understand each word through the Holy Spirit. With that in mind, let us pursue with fervor the hard words we encounter to the end that we more fully know our God.