Many people are under the mistaken impression that what the Bible says is just a matter of opinion. However, the proper way to study Scripture is to begin with those truths that are so clearly stated in Scripture that there is no debate as to the fact that they are in the Bible. I am not saying that everyone will accept them, just that no one will be able to dispute the fact that they are in the Bible. For example: While there are many who reject what the Bible says about a six-day creation, no one can deny the fact that the Bible says, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11). Likewise, no one can deny the fact that the words “the evening and the morning” are used in connection with each one of the creation days (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31). Those truths are beyond dispute because they can be verified by anyone willing to look up the references.
In the same vein, no one can dispute the fact that the Bible says, “We are the clay, and thou our potter,” and “Hath not the potter power over the clay?” Yet, both of those statements reveal the spiritual significance of creation in regard to our relationship to God (Isaiah 64:8, Romans 9:21). In addition, the words, “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve,” tell us the significance of creation in regard to the roles of men and women (1Timothy 2:12-13). The words, “And hath made of one blood all nations of men,” tell us the significance of creation in regard to our relationship to other races and nationalities (Acts 17:26). And, the words, “He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh… What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” tell us the significance of creation in regard to marriage and divorce (Matt 18:4-6).
However, the fact that God created the first man and woman in His “own image,” makes it clear that God is not responsible for sin, and that He is fully justified in condemning our sins (Genesis 1:27). We are told that God “Made man upright,” that everything He created, including man, was originally, “Very good,” and that there was no sin in the world prior to Adam’s transgression (Genesis 1:31, Ecclesiastes 7:29, Romans 5:12).
The spiritual significance of Adam’s fall into sin is revealed by such words as, “There is none righteous, no, not one, // The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, // By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” and we are “By nature the children of wrath” (Romans 3:10 and 5:12, Jeremiah 17:9, Ephesians 2:3). Furthermore, just as these passages relate to the fall because they reveal our fallen nature and need of a Savior, the entire law of God relates to the fall, because it too reveals our fallen nature and need of a Savior. [Romans, chapter five, contains a number of verses that deal with the spiritual significance of the fall.]
The fact that Christ is called, “The mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6), “The Son of God” (Luke 1:35), and, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23), all in connection with His virgin birth, reveals the intimate relationship between His birth and His deity. Therefore, everything that the Bible says about His deity relates to what it says about His birth. Furthermore, since everyone born in the normal way is a sinner, the fact that He was “without sin,” reveals the relationship of His unique birth to the sinless aspect of His nature (Romans 3:10, Hebrews 4:15). Finally, the fact that He, “Came into the world to save sinners,” reveals that the very purpose of His birth was our salvation (1Timothy 1:15).
[NOTE: In regard to His birth, we are also told that He is, “From everlasting” (Micah 5:2), that He existed, “From the beginning” (Isaiah 48:16), and that, “All things were made by Him” (John 1:3,14).]
The Bible reveals the spiritual significance of Christ’s death when it tells us that He was, “Wounded for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5), “Offered to bear” our sins (Hebrews 9:8), and, “Died for our sins” (1Corinthians 15:3). It goes on to tell us that we are cleansed, “From all sin”, “justified”, and, “Made righteous”, “By His blood” (1John 1:7, Romans 5:9&19). Moreover, the fact that His death is described as a “sacrifice,” an “atonement,” a “propitiation,” and a “redemption” further reveals the meaning of His death, while telling us what that death accomplished in regard to our own salvation (Hebrews 9:26, Romans 5:11, 1John 2:2 and 4:10, Colossians 1:14).
Words such as, “If Christ, be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins,” or “Who was… raised again for our justification,” reveal the spiritual significance of Christ’s resurrection, (1Corinthians 15:17, Romans 4:25). By rising from the dead Christ revealed to the world His victory over death, and His victory is the basis of our assurance that He will raise us up. That is why Peter said, “God… hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” and why Paul devoted much of First Corinthians fifteen to the hope of the resurrection (1Peter 1:3). In short, Christ was raised from the dead that we might have faith [hope], and through faith, justification, new birth, and deliverance from our sins. [It is worthy of note that all three persons of the Trinity had a part in Christ’s resurrection (Galatians 1:1, John 10:18, 1 Peter 3:18).]
The spiritual significance of Christ’s ascension into heaven consists of three things. First, it is only because Christ ascended into heaven that the Holy Spirit was sent into the world (John 16:7-13). Second, since Christ sits at the right hand of God, He is our “advocate with the Father,” and as our advocate [lawyer] makes “intercession for us” (1John 2:1, Romans 8:24, Hebrews 7:25). And third, because Christ ascended into heaven, we are assured that He will return in glory to judge both the living and the dead (John 14:3, 2Timothy 4:1, Colossians 3:4).
The spiritual significance of Christ’s return is revealed in the fact that all men will be judged “according to their works” (Revelation 20:12-13). However, what all too many fail to realize is that because “the blood of Jesus Christ… cleanseth us from all sin,” (1John 1:7) those who trust in Christ, “shall not come into condemnation”(John 5:24), for there is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus”(Romans 8:1). Therefore, for a Christian, the spiritual significance of Christ’s return is heaven and eternal life; while for an unbeliever, it is condemnation, separation from God, and eternal torment (Mark 16:16, Revelation 14:11).
In regard to the day of Judgement, the Bible tells us that Christ will judge both the, “living and the dead” (2Timothy 4:1), both believers and unbelievers (Matthew 25:31), on the day of “His appearing” (2Timothy 4:1). We are also told that judgement shall take place on “the last day” (John 12:48), and that on that day, “all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth” (John 5:28-29). “The elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2Peter 3:4&12), and there will be a new heavens and a new earth (2Peter 3:13) wherein all who trust in Christ will dwell with Him in His, “everlasting kingdom” (2Peter 1:11, John 18:36, 2Timothy 4:1).
I began by pointing out that in studying Scripture, we must begin with those truths that are so clearly stated in Scripture that there is no debate as to the fact that they are in the Bible. Once we have learned those truths, “line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little,” we are then able to straighten out our own thinking by judging and rejecting every interpretation, conclusion, assumption, idea, philosophy, or opinion that contradicts what the Bible clearly and explicitly says (1Corinthians 11:31, Isaiah 28:10 and 8:20, 2Corinthians 10:5).