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The Scriptures Are A Portal Into God’s Presence

Last night I had an opportunity to spend time with some of the young adults at Gateway Church here in Austin. I shared some ideas on why the Bible is a trustworthy book, and we had a time for Q & A. It was a great time to interact and get to know some great new people!

Here are some of the highlights:

So many people throw out all of God’s Word because some of it doesn’t make sense at first glance. Other times, people use the Bible to push their own agenda rather than allowing the text to mean what the author intended for it to mean.

Humility is essential in understanding and applying the Scriptures.

Life transformation comes through the application of the Scriptures not information about it.

Understanding the types of literary genres is essential to understanding the meaning of the text.

For the letters in the New Testament, whenever we share particulars (specific life situations) with the first-century setting, God’s Word to us is the same as his Word to them.

God is the hero of all biblical narratives. The biblical narratives are descriptive rather than prescriptive.

We need to use the Scriptures to interpret Scripture.

We need to try to determine how the original hearers would have identified the story.

Wisdom is the ability to make godly choices in life.

We can trust that what we have as the Bible is a trustworthy document. In other words, we have enough proof that what we have is what was written.

Most importantly, my friend and mentor Erwin McManus gave me one of the best ways to describe why we should read and apply the Scriptures to our lives. He said: “The Scriptures are a portal into God’s presence.”

Next steps:

Check out the Gateway Church webpage designed for the skeptical and the curious.

Listen to the “Life’s Toughest Questions” series at Mosaic by Erwin McManus (bottom right of the page).

Many of these principles came from How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. For an overview, send me an email at eric.bryant@gatewaychurch.com with “Reading the Bible” in the subject line.

Try reading through the Gospel of John. Notice how Jesus interacts with people, and ask God to speak to you. Try living out what you sense Him saying to you.

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Dr. Eric Michael Bryant serves with Gateway Church in Austin as the team leader for Central and South Austin and as part of the teaching team. Eric previously served at Mosaic in Los Angeles and his books include Not Like Me: A Field Guide to a Influencing a Diverse World and A Fruitful Life: Becoming Who You Were Created To Be. Eric coaches church planters and campus pastors, teaches on Post Christian Ministry, and leads a cohort for a Doctorate of Ministry in Missional Effectiveness through Bethel Seminary where he earned his Doctorate of Ministry in Entrepreneurial Leadership.