Developing Spiritual Understanding Part 1

John 14:6

Jesus said to​ him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to​ the Father but through Me.

My Developing Spiritual Understandings: by Russ Miles © 2018~05

Philipp 3:12

Not that I have already obtained this or​ am already perfect; but I press on to​ make it​ my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

Having asked God ~ in​ the Name of​ His son, Jesus ~ for wisdom and insight, I begin the work of​ resolving some of​ my own theological conflicts. I feel, my developing spiritual understandings, some of​ God’s knowledge ~ that He has graciously shared with me ~ may be of​ interest to​ some others who seek to​ remove the denominational barriers dividing many of​ us. With utmost humility, some trepidation, and limited formal education, I embark, accepting this self~assigned task.

Matthew 6:1

"Beware of​ practicing your righteousness before men to​ be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is​ in​ heaven.

First of​ all, I profess to​ be a​ Christian. Therefore, whenever possible, I will use The Bible, God’s inspired written Word to​ mankind, as​ the authority for my reasoning’s. is​ this the only “Inspired” Word of​ God? Probably not, but it​ is​ the most widely available, generally accepted, compilation of​ His reflections to​ mankind through these particular chosen authors. The Bible is​ a​ great place to​ start.

John 3:16

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in​ Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

While this is, perhaps ~ the most well known ~ certainly the most memorized, scripture today ~ as​ taken from the New King James Version translation ~ I feel other translations offer rich insights into many disputable, and more difficult for me to​ understand, truths of​ God’s Word. For example:

(CEV) John 3:16 God loved the people of​ this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in​ him will have eternal life and never really die.

(TEV) John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in​ him may not die but have eternal life.

I am not married to, nor confined by, any one single translation. Thousands of​ dedicated scholars have had the inspiration, and diligence to​ complete these works. Although there are many more, the ones I will attempt to​ stick to​ in​ this study are:

New King James Version

New American Standard Bible

King James Version

Revised Standard Version

Modern King James Version (Green's Translation)

Literal Translation Version (Green)

American Standard Version

John Darby's New Translation

Weymouth New Testament Translation

Young's Literal Translation

Contemporary English Version

Today's English Version

Reina Valera 1960

International Standard Version


JPS 1917
JPS 1917

I only pray that I do not do with God’s sacred Word what the Apostle Peter said others have done in​ interpreting the Apostle Paul’s writings.

(TEV) 2 Peter 3:16

This is​ what he says in​ all his letters when he writes on the subject. There are some difficult things in​ his letters which ignorant and unstable people explain falsely, as​ they do with other passages of​ the Scriptures. So they bring on their own destruction

Even by Peter’s and Paul’s time, people had misinterpreted scriptures and written statements to​ justify their own positions about what they wanted to​ explain God was saying. Now that we have had another 2,000 years and major language changes, we can even more easily do this, either accidentally, or​ even on purpose.

NKJV 2 Peter 3:17

You therefore, beloved, since you know [this] beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of​ the wicked;

Matthew 7:13

Go in​ through the narrow gate. The gate to​ destruction is​ wide, and the road that leads there is​ easy to​ follow. a​ lot of​ people go through that gate.

Matthew 7:14

But the gate to​ life is​ very narrow. The road that leads there is​ so hard to​ follow that only a​ few people find it.

Luke 13:24

Do all you can to​ go in​ by the narrow door! a​ lot of​ people will try to​ get in, but will not be able to.

What cautions! So, I warn you, do not take everything that I say as​ direct from God ~ but rather see my words as​ the soulful meditations of​ a​ much loved ~ seeking the truth ~ happily forgiven ~ man. Look up the scriptures for yourself. Pray for Almighty God to​ lead you to​ the truth and reveal the errors in​ my understandings and thinking.

John 8:32

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Philipp 3:16

in​ any case, we should live up to​ whatever truth we have already attained.

1 Peter 4:11

if​ any one preaches, let it​ be as​ uttering God's truth; if​ any one renders a​ service to​ others, let it​ be in​ the strength which God supplies; so that in​ everything glory may be given to​ God in​ the name of​ Jesus Christ, to​ whom belong the glory and the might to​ the Ages of​ the Ages. Amen.

Of significance ~ regarding the scriptures:

(TEV)2 Timothy 3:16 & 17

All Scripture is​ inspired by God and is​ useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to​ do every kind of​ good deed.”

Perhaps, I must set aside ~ for the moment ~ some of​ the doctrines I had accepted as​ fundamental, as​ a​ result of​ the training and instruction that I have had to​ date. I know it​ will be difficult for we want to​ believe that what we have learned from our personal knowledge quests, pulpits, or​ Bible studies ~ is​ right. Some of​ the things I am suggesting here are in​ conflict with many of​ the traditional Christian foundations and other widely accepted church beliefs.

Ephesians 4:3

Try your best to​ let God's Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at​ peace.

Again, I am cautioned:

(CEV) James 3:1 My friends, we should not all try to​ become teachers. in​ fact, teachers will be judged more strictly than others.

Let me just say here that I am but an​ ardent, anxious student who wants to​ stay in​ the mouth of​ God, while heeding the warnings.

Revelation 3:16

Thus, because, lukewarm, thou art, and neither hot nor cold, I am about to​ vomit thee out of​ my mouth.

I have, in​ my life, run both hot and cold. Yes, I have been lukewarm too. I can tell you, hot is​ better! it​ is​ a​ lot more satisfying.

Okay, I am ready for some meat. Let’s ask some questions: “Exalt Jehovah our God?”

Job 33:12

" Look, [in] this you are not righteous. I will answer you, For God is​ greater than man.

Job 36:22

" Behold, God is​ exalted by His power; Who teaches like Him?

Psalms 7:11

God [is] a​ just judge, And God is​ angry [with the wicked] every day.

1 John 4:8

He who does not love does not know God, for God is​ love.

Rev 3:19

I correct and punish everyone I love. So make up your minds to​ turn away from your sins.

1 John 4:16

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is​ love, and he who abides in​ love abides in​ God, and God in​ him.

Psalms 99:5

Exalt Jehovah our God, and worship at​ his footstool. He is​ holy!

How can I worship this God?”

John 4:24

God is​ Spirit, and those who worship God must be led by the Spirit to​ worship him according to​ the truth.

[ Please see Developing Spiritual Understanding ~Part 2]

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