Doctrine #6: Understanding

I had a pretty solid group of friends that I went to youth group with. We all were striving to be "sold out" for Jesus. When we graduated from youth group and ventured away from the church, all it took was a convincing argument, and the presentation of new facts and our beliefs were dismantled. Many of those people have fallen away from the faith now. What happened? Our faith was built on a lot of Right What's (God created the universe, Jesus died to save you from your sins, etc.,) but we lacked understanding.

Understanding is a reason. A reason is a Right WHY. Understanding CREATES. Understanding combines multiple facts (knowledge) in order to create new knowledge. The devil does not create and therefore does not have understanding. The SPOKEN word of God always brings understanding.

Question:  Do you believe God wants us to pursue understanding?

Next Doctrine: Doctrine #7

Table of Contents

If you need it, here is the support from God's Word...

This was the passage that concluded the previous Doctrine. Pay attention to understanding this time...

"1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction; To discern the words of understanding;
3 To receive instruction in wise dealing, In righteousness and justice and equity;
4 To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion:
5 That the wise man may hear, and increase in learning; And that the man of understanding may attain unto sound counsels:
6 To understand a proverb, and a figure, The words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; But the foolish despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:1-7)

("discern" meant "to determine the reason for". "Sound counsels" involved understanding because it was the reason behind the counsel. If you did not have sound counsel you would only have information: A WHAT. When you give advice, when you share your opinion, when you help someone, do you give them a WHY?)

(In the previous Doctrine, we covered the Greek word for the written word which was knowledge. There were two types of spoken words referenced in the New Testament. The first type was the Greek word logos: Strong's #3056 - "from 3004; something said (including the thought); by impl. a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extens. a computation..." Basically, logos wasn't only the word itself. It was also the thought, motive, or reasoning behind the word. It was the understanding. Logos was the spoken word that had or requested understanding.  It was a WHY to the third power!)

(Here is a passage we covered from Doctrine #1: Words that used logos.)

"1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not." (John 1:1-5)

(We saw God created everything by speaking it. Now, we see everything was made through Jesus who is the spoken Word that has understanding. We saw the next passage in both Doctrine #1: Words and Doctrine #2: Definitions.)

"14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them in the sight of the Lord, that they strive not about words, to no profit, to the subverting of them that hear.
15 Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.
16 But shun profane babblings: for they will proceed further in ungodliness,
17 and their word will eat as doth a gangrene: or whom is Hymenaeus an Philetus;
18 men who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some." (2 Timothy 2:14-18)

(The word of truth that profits (creates) was logos. Words that lack understanding were called "profane babblings". We saw the simplest understanding behind a word is its definition; the word itself is a fact. The word itself is knowledge. However, the word with a definition is understanding. This "sound word" is able to create. In the following passage that was also covered in Doctrine #2: Definitions, the word "question" and "word" were logos...a word that looked for or had the understanding: the reason why. A word = A WHAT/ Knowledge. A definition = A WHY/ Understanding.)

"41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,
42 saying, What think ye of the Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David.
43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying,
44 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I put thine enemies underneath thy feet?
45 If David then calleth him Lord, how is he his son?
46 And no one was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions." (Matthew 22:41-46)

(No one was able to give Jesus a reason why, so they no longer asked him for any more understanding. The next three passages were presented in Doctrine #2: Definitions.)

"6 Let no man deceive you with empty words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience." (Ephesians 5:6)

(Again, "words" was logos. Paul stated empty words, a Right WHAT with NO WHY, can be deceptive. You can avoid deception by asking "why?". If someone asked you to do something that was against what you believe, would you ask them "why?" in order to expose their motives?)

"3 If any man teacheth a different doctrine, and consenteth not to sound words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 he is puffed up, knowing nothing, but doting about questionings and disputes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 wranglings of men corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, supposing that godliness is a way of gain." (1 Timothy 6:3-5)

(This passage linked Doctrine with words of understanding. In fact, this passage stated words without understanding puff us up because it is knowledge. Not understanding the why ends up in destruction. Doctrine is not only the Right WHAT, it also contains the Right WHY and therefore can create.)

"1 I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
2 preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts;
4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

(This final passage from Doctrine #2: Definitions again showed Doctrine linked to words of understanding. In verse 2, "word" was logos. Preaching the understanding leads to a lot of things that create. The following passage was presented in Doctrine #4: God's Thinking.)

"1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.
2 And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think as to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith." (Romans 12:1-3)

(In verse 2, the word "prove" meant "to determine what was good by using understanding". Once again, Paul encourages us to think "soberly". The word "sober" means to have "whole understanding," and have control of your thoughts. Next, we will look at some passages we haven't previously covered.)

"29 And Jesus said unto them, I will ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things." (Mark 11:29)

(The word "question" in this passage was logos. It is like Jesus is saying, "I will ask you to show your understanding". Likewise, this was the same for the next passage.)

"1 And it came to pass, on one of the days, as he was teaching the people in the temple, and preaching the gospel, there came upon him the chief priests and the scribes with the elders;
2 and they spake, saying unto him, Tell us: By what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?
3 And he answered and said unto them, I also will ask you a question; and tell me:
4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men?
5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why did ye not believe him?
6 But if we shall say, From men; all the people will stone us: for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.
7 And they answered, that they knew not whence it was.
8 And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things." (Luke 20:1-8)

(Notice, Jesus and the religious leaders spoke words asking for understanding from each other. The religious leaders reasoned in order to try and answer Jesus' logos. When the religious leaders couldn't provide the understanding, Jesus didn't give it to them. In fact, there were other examples of Jesus not providing understanding.)

"10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11 And he answered and said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." (Matthew 13:10-11)

(Notice, if these people had understanding, it would result in knowledge: knowing the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Those who can't explain the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are by Jesus' definition not believers. The believers know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven because they have understanding; the disciples were believers. Remember, we have the "Mind of Christ". What mysteries were too great for Christ?)

"13 making void the word of God by your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things ye do." (Mark 7:13)

(Have you ever considered the danger of holding to tradition? Jesus said the Pharisees made the word of God that brings understanding VOID (unprofitable) because of their tradition. Does man-made tradition have a reason why? Having a Right WHAT without a Right WHY makes God's Word void. If what you believe comes from "man's way of thinking" then you are following tradition. If the reason for your beliefs are, "That's just the way it is" you could potentially make the word of God void.)

"12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Hebrew 4:12-13)

(Again, "word" was logos. The word of God that brings understanding is living, active, able to discern thoughts and intents. Also, the "to do" at the end of the passage was logos. We are supposed to understand God. If we didn't understand God how would we know we were serving Him? How would we know that we are not being deceived?)

"1 Hear, my sons, the instruction of a father, And attend to know understanding:
2 For I give you good doctrine; Forsake ye not my law.
3 For I was a son unto my father, Tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
4 And he taught me, and said unto me: Let thy heart retain my words; Keep my commandments, and live;
5 Get wisdom, get understanding; Forget not, neither decline from the words of my mouth;
6 Forsake her not, and she will preserve thee; Love her, and she will keep thee.
7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; Yea, with all thy getting get understanding." (Proverbs 4:1-7)

(Again, Doctrine is linked to understanding. This passage said with all thy getting (something that you purchase) get understanding.)

Did you ever think there was such a huge difference between knowledge and understanding?  Clearly knowledge and understanding are different, and they ought to be working together in you. The Bible encouraged us to get understanding. Understanding creates. However, this passage stated wisdom is the principal thing, even better than understanding. Wisdom is different than knowledge and understanding. What does it look like for something to be the "principle thing"?

Now, if you were to look at puzzle pieces you would notice a difference between them. All the pieces with straight edges are corner pieces, and the corresponding colors match the picture on the box. But, the puzzle is still incomplete. What's next?