Friday, March 8, 2024

When It's "Not" Found In Scripture

 By: Lauren Thomas 

When faced with a complicated question not directly addressed in Scripture, it can be helpful to have a framework for finding an answer to that question. Because the Bible was written long ago, there will arise topics and issues in our day that aren’t found in Scripture. However, as the Bible is the inspired word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), and will accomplish God’s purpose (Isaiah 55:11), we know that we can find the answers we need in God’s word. 


16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-7 ESV


For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV


so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11 ESV


God knew we would face things that weren’t going to be found word-for-word in Scripture. But He put everything in Scripture that we would need to build a Biblical framework and worldview.


As Christ-followers, when we want to know how to approach a question, issue, or opinion not directly addressed in Scripture, we can use the following steps:


1.          Go to Scripture. We start by looking in the Bible for similar issues. If the issue we are bringing forward is not directly addressed, we look at themes and principles in the Bible to direct us in making decisions and forming opinions. We should be wary of our own biases and backgrounds so that we can come to Scripture with fresh eyes. We often have lenses we don’t recognize which can impact our interpretation of the Bible. 

2.          Pray and Seek the Holy Spirit. Bring your question before God in prayer. As you seek God in prayer, be aware that the Holy Spirit will not and cannot contradict Scripture (John 16:13). He promises to give wisdom to those who ask without doubting (James 1:5-8). So ask Him for direction.

3.          Get Guidance from a Leader. Ask a trusted and respected Christian leader about the question, ideally someone who will not be threatened by your question. Don’t just ask them the question, give them context. Don’t just ask their opinion, ask what Bible passages or principles inform their opinion. Finally, ask them what led to the forming of their opinion.  Thank them for their direction. Take what they have to say and repeat steps 1-2. You might even want to talk to multiple respected sources. 



Though written long ago, how has God’s Word proven powerful and effective in your life? 

Have you used a similar process to determine how to approach a complicated situation? What did you learn through that process? 

Is there something you are facing currently which would benefit from applying the above process?

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