One of the most remarkable things that Jesus said as it relates to Bible study is this…
He said all of the Bible can be summed up with two commands.
Love God with a deep passion, and seek the highest good for the people around you (Matt 22:36-40).
Pretty simple. But deep.
The Center of Scripture and Your Study
This is the core of scripture, and for your Bible study too.
The 10 commandments all deal with these two topics. The first four are about your relationship with God, while the last six have to do with your relationship to people.
Pretty much any time Israel ran into trouble in the Old Testament, it was because they failed in these two commands. They fell into idolatry or they did not take care of widows and the orphans.
All of the justice passages in scripture are a response to «love your neighbor as yourself.»
Pretty much everything Paul said to the Corinthian church touched on love for others. It’s why there should be no divisions in the church and no arrogance regarding spiritual gifts.
Focus on What You Understand
Mark Twain is credited with saying, «Some people are troubled by the things in the Bible they can’t understand. I’m troubled by the things I can understand.»
I bring this up because there are many things in the Bible we don’t understand. I mean, seriously Paul, why did you have to bring up «baptism for the dead?» (1 Cor 15:29). No one likes uncertainty, and so we can become obsessed with new or interesting interpretations of difficult passages.
Yet, what is crystal clear, and what is repeated over and over again in the Bible, has to do with the vertical and the horizontal of your relationships. Are you doing your best to love God and others?
Those are the two things that should preoccupy your mind. They are your lifetime goals.
The next time you study a passage of the Bible, see if its meaning doesn’t touch on one of these two central commands:
Love God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.
All of God’s blessings as you study his word. And if you need help in doing this, check out our signature course.