Have Ye Not Read?

Six Keys to Understanding God’s Word

Study Series on the Awesome Words of Almighty God

John 8:43


Pastor Craig Ledbetter

DATE: 27 September, 2008 AM

PLACE: Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.        Introduction (John 8:43)


A.      Our Lord asks a question…


1.       (Mat 12:3)  But he said unto them, HAVE YE NOT READ what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;

2.       (Mat 12:5)  Or HAVE YE NOT READ IN THE LAW, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

3.       (Mat 19:4)  And he answered and said unto them, HAVE YE NOT READ, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

4.       (Mat 22:31)  But as touching the resurrection of the dead, HAVE YE NOT READ that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,…


B.      This was asked to a very religious group called the Pharisees! What a slam! They had read the Old Testament over and over, and had discovered what was the middle verse, and the middle word of the Scripture was, and they knew exactly how many words and letters there were in every book and chapter. They knew the names of the people in Scripture, how long they lived, where they were buried. They thought they knew all there was to know about the Bible…

C.      And Jesus comes along and says, “Have ye not read…?”

D.      I wonder, if our Lord were to enter into this room, and stand up here from this pulpit and ask us all the same question, how would we answer?

E.       The question is not “Do we know what the Bible has in it?” or “have you every read its words?”

F.       The question is, like Philip asked the Ethiopian Eunuch, “Understandest what thou readest?” Do you understood what you read? (John 8:43). Something is stopping people from hearing God’s word.

G.      I want to help you today start understanding what you read in this Book of books!


II.      Background


A.      The Bible is NO Ordinary Book.


1.       Written by God (2Peter 1:21)

2.       Eternal (Matthew 24:35)

3.       Perfect (Psalm 19:7)

4.       For all nations and for All Time - A perfect 66 Book Library that GOD wrote for all people


a.       Written not just the Jews, but all nations

b.       Written not just thousands of years ago, but it has prophecies and commands that clearly point to today, and even a thousand years into our future!

c.        Written not just to adults, but to children


5.       God wrote this Book!


B.      The Bible is THE Most Important Book.


1.       The only Absolute Truth (John 17:17)

2.       The Foundation for Faith – confident faith!

3.       Soul-Food –


a.       We are in the midst of a FAMINE (Amos 8:11)

b.       Most people are STARVING and they don’t know for what, nor how to find the “food” that they need! Our children, teens, parents, etc!

c.        Our Soul HAS to have God’s Words to live (Matthew 4:4; Psalm 130:5; 119:28)


1)       Your body HAS to eat

2)       Your spirit HAS to worship

3)       Your soul HAS to know and live by God’s words!


4.       Life-Manual


a.       How to handle problems

b.       How to bless and protect your marriage

c.        How to train up your children

d.       How to handle rough authority problems

e.        How to deal with your past, and handle your future

f.        How to worship, pray, praise, and weep

g.        How to live and even how to die!

h.       It is pretty inclusive of all that we need to know!


5.       Nations and laws are built upon the words of this Book


a.       Without this Book we would have almost no rights, hospitals, checks and balances in our governments, protection for the weak & the poor

b.       Most laws today are directly related to the instructions in the Bible on how to treat one another – innocent until proven guilty, there has to be 2 or 3 agreeing witnesses to accuse you of a crime – not just by suspicion, etc.


6.       This Bible is more than just words on a page. Without it our world would have crumbled long ago!


C.      The Bible is an Unknown Book!


1.       Taken for granted in 95% of all homes

2.       Sometimes only worshipped, but not read

3.       Easily misread – people try and read it only to not understand it at all


D.      Good News! It is NOT Impossible to Read and Understand the Bible… it was written to be read with our eyes, understood with our mind, believed with our heart, and lived with our lives! But it is only going to be opened up to the hungry (Luke 8:9,10)

E.       The command - “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read” Isa 34:16


III.   Message – Six Keys to Understanding God’s Word



A.      Read It With Purpose.


1.       To Know and Love God

2.       To have Answers and not just questions

3.       To calm the heart and mind

4.       To stop you from sinning (Psalm 119:11)


B.      Read It With Spiritual Eyes and Ears (John 8:43-45; 3:3-10; 1Cor 2:13-15)


1.       People CANNOT understand this Bible without the help of its Author

2.       There are some parts that are plain

3.       But the rest are only understood spiritually, from God’s viewpoint


a.       That’s why people MUST get born again – even the most intelligent of professors, and religious leaders!

b.       That’s why we as believers HAVE to pray before we read, asking God to open our eyes so that we can see the wonderful truths of this Book (Psalm 119:18)


4.       Most of you do not read this Bible with spiritual eyes and ears.

5.       When you do read it spiritually:


a.       You will start to see a whole other dimension to life – an eternal dimension – that people are more than just flesh and bones, that they will live forever, in heaven or hell, that the economy is not worth worrying about – GOD is!

b.       You will also start to hear another voice in your heart than your own (John 10:27-28)


C.      Read It With Perseverance.


1.       Have a set time to read your Bible – like you do to eat

2.       Read a set amount – at least two chapters at a time, but four is best

3.       Read to the finish, and start over. Keep reading this Bible over and over, to learn it, and see in it deeper, and greater beauty and truth

4.       Start in Matthew, read through to Revelation

5.       Then start in Genesis and read all the way through to Revelation


D.      Read It With Faith (Hebrews 4:2)


1.       You can fully believe what you read


a.       A lot of people only believe the easy parts

b.       They come to something hard or strange, and they skip right over


1)       The miracles

2)       The warnings – damnation of hell

3)       The clear prophecies – too clear from many people

4)       The descriptions of creation – think it had to be by evolution


2.       Start just believing what you read – especially the promises!


Every promise in the Book is mine!

Every chapter, every verse, every line.

I am standing on His Word divine,

Every promise in the Book is mine!


3.       What promises do you know, do you firmly believe? Do you recall them to your heart and remind yourself daily of God’s promises that cannot fail? I do!


a.       Heb 13:5 I will never leave you nor forsake you

b.       Philp 4:19 My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus

c.        Isa 43:2  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

d.       Isa 40:31 They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

e.        Ps 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.


E.       Read It With Carefulness – pay attention to HOW you read your Bible


1.       Read it Literally, take it literally


a.       The cults “spiritualize” and allegorize” and symbolize everything

b.       Jesus was a real, literal, perfect Man

c.        The nails were real and rusty

d.       Israel REALLY walked through the Red Sea on dry ground

e.        God REALLY rained down bread every morning for 40 years

f.        God really wrote the ten Commandments with His own finger

g.        Satan really IS a seven headed hideous dragon who appears as an angel of light to people who are not aware of his trickeries

h.       The antichrist will be a real person who will unify Europe into a one world government, with one religion, and one currency, and will attempt once more to eradicate the Jews!

i.         Obviously there are times when Jesus is using an object lesson, talking about a spiritual truth, but he always tells you that He is

j.         But the rest of the time, when He is speaking of heaven, He is speaking of a literal, real place!

k.       When He is warning of hell, He is speaking of a real, literal place with fire and brimstone, and darkness and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth!


2.       Read it Practically


a.       Keep it simple and practical. Ask yourself, and ask God to show you how what you are reading applies to your life today?

b.       You will be surprised to see how what you are experiencing right now will go along with whatever you are reading in the Bible!


3.       Read it in Context – little blurbs and snippets of Scripture taken out of the context in which they were written can be damning


a.       Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

b.       1Co 15:29  Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

c.        Psa 14:1  says, “There is no God” – NO! In context it says, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”


4.       Store it away into your heart and mind – memorize it and meditate on it

5.       Test what you Think (1John 4:1; Acts 17:11) – use your mind as much as your heart!


a.       Rightly dividing the words (2Tim 2:15)

b.       Some things belong to the Jews, some to the unsaved, some to the believer, some to the past, some to the future

c.        It would be good to test what you think something means

d.       That’s why we come to Church and God will come at a truth in the preaching that you hold to from a different angel to help you make sure you fully understand it!

e.        Keep a notebook and write in your Bible your thoughts


F.       Read It With Obedience (James 1:22-25)


1.       Look for what you must do when you read


a.       Maybe it is to humble yourself and go to your brother and apologize

b.       Maybe it is to go to someone you stole from and pay them back

c.        Maybe it is to stop right where you are and pray for your parents and your others that you haven’t prayed for in a long time

d.       Maybe it will be for you to get back out soul-winning and telling someone every day about how to get saved

e.        Maybe it will be to lay aside your tithe once again and start giving to the Lord every week

f.        Maybe it is to finally be honest with everyone and admit you are lost and get born again today!


2.       This is the highest goal of reading my Bible – to obey it!

3.       It is more than just information, and facts, and truths – it is the way to live (Matthew 4:4), live “by every word”


G.      Try to read your Bible in any other way and you have just wasted your time, and you are ripe for a cult to come along and capitalise on your confusion

H.      Read the Bible this way, and NO SIN will enslave you, and no one will confuse you, and no doubt will discourage you, and no fear will stop you from living the victorious Christian life that Jesus purchased for you at Calvary!


IV.    Conclusion


A.      Our Lord asks a question… HAVE YE NOT READ? I wonder, if our Lord were to enter into this room, and stand up here from this pulpit and ask us all the same question, how would we answer?

B.      Simple Truths


1.       The Bible is NO Ordinary Book.

2.       The Bible is THE most important Book for all people, and for all time

3.       The Bible is an Unknown Book!


a.       Taken for granted in 95% of all homes

b.       Sometimes only worshipped, but not read

c.        Easily misread – people try and read it only to not understand it at all


C.      Six Keys to Understanding God’s Word


1.       Read It With Purpose

2.       Read It With Spiritual Eyes and Ears

3.       Read It With Perseverance.

4.       Read It With Faith (Hebrews 4:2)

5.       Read It With Carefulness – pay attention to HOW you read your Bible


a.       Literally

b.       Practically

c.        Contextually

d.       Store it away into your heart and mind – memorize it, meditate on it

e.        Test what you Think – use your mind as much as your heart!

f.        Rightly dividing the words (2Tim 2:15)


6.       Read It With Obedience (James 1:22-25)