Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I am very thankful for the library that God has blessed me with over the years. I have been blessed to “spend time with” the men that God has used to spark revivals over the centuries. But here is one thing that I believe we need to be very careful of in regards to bible commentaries or bible commentators in general. And that is the tendency to rely upon them for understanding of what God says. Now let me be clear here, beloved. There are some very helpful tools that further our understanding of God’s Word. A good Hebrew or Greek lexicon is one. A book of a biblical manners and customs is another, since the Bible is basically an Ancient Near Eastern book that is drenched with Jewish customs and traditions. A good topical bible that categorizes subjects. Of course the best Tool is God the Holy Spirit. After all, The One Who inspired the Bible knows more about Scripture than all and every commentator combined, and He dwells inside of you!
Human nature tends to sway towards preferences of understanding. Such is true in our understanding of Scriptures. Have you ever noticed the variety of flowers and colors in God’s creation? So too within the body of Christ, there are different “colors” or shades of understanding of bible truths. Every denomination has it’s own set of beliefs and definitions of bible truths. While it is important that we agree on the non-negotiable foundations of our faith, it is a fact that we cannot deny that there are a lot of different views on a lot of topics within the body of Christ. The other evening while out of town on vacation, I was watching cable television evening news (we do not have cable at home). As I surfed the various stations, Fox, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, BCC, I was intrigued by the fact that they made some very impressive points in presenting their political or philosophical leanings in their reporting of a similar event regarding the actions of the President or some legislation in Congress. Their experts or analysts presented the facts on the subject that drove home their point. It was at that moment that I began to have these thoughts about different commentaries and their different “slants” towards making their point on subjects such as baptism, communion, Spirit baptism, translations, church government…..oh my, put the spiritual remote down!!!!
My point this morning IS NOT to misrepresent the value of bible commentaries or discourage you from using them. Just be aware that there is a variety of views held by different parts of the body. When you take a step back and put them all together through the lens of Scripture, they present a much bigger God and form a more beautiful garden than one flower. My word to you is to use all and any of the commentaries with a spiritual seat belt on, because like the evening news, they CAN tend to be seeking to convince you to believe that their way of seeing things is the only true way. That evening news view of seeing things only causes division and strife. We now hold public debates on some of these issues. Outside of the absolutes of the character of God, and the necessary redemptive truths of the gospel of grace, both writer and reader alike all tend to see through a glass darkly on sub-topics of our faith.