How we interpret the Bible matters. In fact, biblical hermeneutics have an incredible relevance for the Christian life. As God’s word brings us a much more detailed knowledge of our Creator (2 Tim 3:16-17, 2 Pet 1:20-21), we learn through this word of our failure (Rom 3:23), our separation from Him (Eph 2:3, 12), and our need for Him (Jn 14:6, 15:5). We learn of His provision of grace and mercy through the death of Jesus Christ for our sins (Rom 1:16-17, 3:21-25, 1 Cor 15: 3-4, Eph 2:4-6), and we learn of how, by belief in Him, we can have eternal life (Jn 3:16, 6:47) and become children of God (Jn 1:12), as evidenced by the power of Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead (Jn 11:25, Rom 1:4, 1 Cor 15:20). We learn of the richness of our position in Christ (Eph 1:3), the power and security of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Eph 1:13-14, 1 Cor 12:7, 13), the provision of brothers and sisters who are to love and encourage us and to whom we are to do the same (1 Cor 12:12, Col 3:16-17, Heb 10:24, 1 Jn 4:11), and our future inheritance of being face to face with Him once our journey here is through (2 Cor 5:8, 1 Thes 4:17).
God’s word provides the believer with a remarkable certainty that is the absolute birthright of the believer in Jesus Christ. This is the biblical worldview. Yet if we fail to hear and heed God’s word because we have disregarded how He intends for us to understand His word, then we have erred greatly. We have not simply made a tactical error with a few minor theoretical implications. We have covered our eyes and ears and are shouting out our own preferences and our own decrees, drowning out the words of life and truth He has so lovingly given us. We declare – as if we are somehow entitled to such authority – our own worldview, rooted in an epistemology we have shaped, promoting a metaphysic we have created, following an ethics after our own desires, and preaching a socio-political model for our own conveniences. We miss who He reveals Himself to be. We miss the sweetness of getting to know Him – the very meaning of our lives (Jn 17:3). We miss the joy of doing life as He designed (Eph 2:10). We miss the beautiful task He has given us to do with a beyond-the-sun perspective (Ecc 12:13). We miss how He intends us to interact. Ultimately, we are no longer tasting and seeing that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8). We are trading that most wondrous flavor for something far less, and for something inauthentic. Herein is the priority of Biblical hermeneutics and theological method – that we hear our Creator as He has spoken, and that we respond as He has designed, for our highest benefit (2 Tim 3:16-17), and ultimately for His highest glory (Rom 11:33-36).