How Can We Differ?

Q. Is it possible for believing Christians who have the Holy Spirit as our Seal, after being baptized and accepting Jesus as our Savior, to read the same portion of scripture and have different opinions about what it says?

A. Yes, I’m afraid it is. Although the Bible only teaches one position on the various doctrines it contains, sincere believers often disagree on what the correct position is. Some of this is due to the fact that there are often different levels of interpretation, and some is due to the fact that as fallen creatures we are all products of our sin filled environment. And we all have different perceptions based on our unique personal experiences.

The Holy Spirit is a counselor who’s guidance can be overridden by our conscious minds when it conflicts with these perceptions, and no teacher is immune to it. This is why the Bible admonishes us not to take anyone’s word for what it says, but to study it for ourselves and make up our own mind as to whether what we’re being taught is what the Bible actually says. (Acts 17:11).

Reading or listening to what others think can be very helpful, and Paul told us to eagerly receive their teaching. But listening to others is no substitute for personal study. As it was with the Israelites and the manna, we’re each responsible for getting our own “daily bread.”

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