From a Biblical perspective, the order listed in the question is CORRECT.
GOD sets the order for us in the following verses: [II Timothy 3:16,17]
'All scripture is given by inspiration of GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of GOD may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works' [Authorized King James 1611 Bible]
The first part is: 'All scripture is given by inspiration of GOD, and is profitable for doctrine,...'.
These two factual declarations clearly establish what the Bible claims for itself and for what it should first be used. Firstly, as THE Word of GOD, the Bible was inspired by GOD. The action of the prophets and apostles was to hold the pen in their hands. Then, as they wrote, GOD utilized the personal writing styles of each inspired man to preserve all His Words for us without ERROR. Any belief system which does not agree with this is doubting GOD's ability to inspire and preserve His Words. This doubt gives rise to many incorrect personal opinions that "man wrote the Bible". The Bible does NOT belong to man. The Bible belongs to GOD.
Secondly, the very first use of the scripture is for DOCTRINE. A doctrine is any principle or position established as TRUE by an instructor or master. Obviously, by this definition, you can see that FALSE doctrines may exist from earthly instructors and masters. Conversely, when the doctrines come from the HEAVENLY Instructor and Master, there is absolutely nothing FALSE about them. Any of GOD's doctrines (such as prophecy, judgement, redemption, sanctification, purification, salvation, remission, justification, etc.) are declared by the Bible as FACTUAL statements in order to establish a person's foundation of KNOWLEDGE.
The second part is: '...,for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:'
Once the proper, factual foundation is established, the scripture is then able to minister to a person's faith. The authority of the Word of GOD is able to CHALLENGE a person's faith. The authority of the Word of GOD is able to CORRECT a person's faith. The authority of the Word of GOD is able to PERFECT a person's faith. These things will encourage a person to really start questioning, researching, and judging where their faith stands in relation to the Word of GOD. When used in this fashion, the Bible is able to establish a person's foundation of UNDERSTANDING.
The third part is: 'That the man of GOD may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works'.
Once the factual foundation is set and the faith is built up, the scripture is then able to minister to a person's feelings. If you have no factual foundation and do not know in whom you are putting your faith, then your feelings are suspect because feelings can be baseless, random, critical, and unstable. When you are feeling this way, there is no way you can produce 'good works'. For meaningful good works to be produced externally, your feelings must be made whole internally. Thus, to be a 'man of GOD', you must first be BORN-AGAIN in order to have the spirit of Jesus Christ in you. Then, the authority of the Word of GOD will give you the wisdom to sense the work of GOD on your feelings. The Word of GOD is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Therefore, unprofitable feelings will be eliminated, profitable feelings will be enhanced, and new feelings will be added on a personal level. Lacking nothing, from your new heart will flourish your 'good works'. In the end, from increased knowledge and deeper understanding, the Bible is able to establish a person's foundation of WISDOM.
In conclusion, GOD's order of importance is:
(1) FACT (to establish KNOWLEDGE)
(2) FAITH (to establish UNDERSTANDING)
(3) FEELING (to establish WISDOM)
Do you agree with the Bible? I hope to hear from you in a friendly exchange of information.
asked 18 Jun '10, 18:11
Barry Allen ♦♦
The process of interpreting and understanding the Bible is called exegesis. It is a scholarly way to approach the Bible, and to discern what the various passages mean within their whole context. It is necessary for the exegete, i.e., the scholar studying the Bible, to be a believer. (Professor Brian Lambert, Lecture Eight, BIB 355, Grand Canyon University). This means that every step of the way, when one is discerning the meaning of a given passage, one is aided by the Holy Spirit.
You might argue that it is indeed possible to understand and read the Bible without being a believer, but why would you? Most of the time, people who do this are trying to find fault either with each other or with the Bible itself.Of course, this is not always true. Some people read the Bible and like it for itself without the benefit of the Holy Spirit- but it takes on a whole new meaning when one is a believer in God and Christ. (Of course, here I am assuming that you are Christian. I apologize to those of other faiths.) If you are a believer in the Bible, then, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, layers of meaning come forth and provide the reader with a true sense of what God is trying to say to us.
Exegesis has particular steps towards finding the truth in a given passage. The first step is to consider what the author's original intent was in his own language. One might have to go all the way back to the Hebrew or Aramaic to gather this meaning. Then one reads the whole passage and the passages before and after to be sure to gather the correct context. And so on.
So before FACT, FAITH, and FEELING comes BELIEF IN THE BIBLE. Without this belief, the words of the Bible can be distorted and misused.
So, I would put the order this way (as a Bible Scholar) BELIEF in the Bible, FACTS to be discerned, MEANING to be uncovered, AND FAITH AND FEELING coming from the correct exegesis of the Biblical passage.
answered 19 Jun '10, 16:04
Thanks Jai! - I've learned a new word, I've never heard the term 'exegesis' before.
(19 Jun '10, 21:27) Michaela
Thanks for the great explanation, Jai.
(20 Jun '10, 23:25) Vesuvius
Thank you both! Jai
(21 Jun '10, 09:56) Jaianniah
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments
How about this, If we are spirit in manifested form, or manifestation of LOVE,(which LOVE is a condition of FEELING) then we have descended (like stairs) from WISDOM down through the FAITH or understanding that LOVE's law does not change to the FACT or knowledge that someone had to interpret this WORD of GOD. and to ascend back to SPIRIT you climb back up the stairs from FACT, FAITH, FEELING.
In Summary from the spiritual perspective, the order is FEELING, FAITH, FACT.
From the material perspective, the order is FACT, FAITH, FEELING.
answered 19 Jun '10, 10:29
The Bible has never been factually inaccurate. It is the interpretation of the Bible that has always been the source of error. Interpretation is inevitable; it is the reason that personal discernment is necessary.
I like what you said in one of your other questions about the true CHURCH being from within, and not from without. I think we can all agree that it is this connection to the DIVINE that provides the FOUNDATION for the fact, faith and feeling that establishes knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
But I'm having a hard time pulling all of that out of the Bible passage from Timothy that you quoted. I understand that you have provided an explanation in your question, but isn't that your interpretation of the scripture?
answered 18 Jun '10, 18:21
Vesuvius: What is "this connection to the Divine"? How do you obtain it? Is it free? Do you work at it? Are we all born with it? Is it only meant for a few? Is the 'the DIVINE' a person? Does 'the DIVINE' have a book? Or written words? Biblically, GOD's name is never 'the DIVINE'. This name is a NEW-AGE term that takes an aspect of GOD's NATURE and falsely turns it into a name. GOD's name is never 'the SOURCE' either. Without any private interpretation, the Bible clearly says that the ONLY way to GOD is through Jesus Christ [John 14:6]. What would 'the DIVINE' say about this?
(18 Jun '10, 19:19) Concerned Citizen
@Concerned: The Divine is God. You obtain this connection by a number of techniques. Prayer is one. Meditation is another. Becoming immersed in good works or an art form is another. As far as John 14:6 goes, I have asked God about this, and He says that He and Jesus Christ are one and the same; and sure enough, that is exactly what John 14:6 says.
(18 Jun '10, 19:35) Vesuvius
Vesuvius: If you could get connected to the Biblical GOD by prayer, meditation, good works, or art, then Jesus Christ did NOT have to die for fallen man, and the Biblical GOD would NOT have any SIN to judge. Every man on the planet does one or more of those things during his lifetime. Is every man saved? This means that you must now throw out 4 major judgements in the Bible and all their prophecies in order to accommodate this theory. This is not sounding 'Biblical' anymore. With respect, I am afraid we will have to agree to disagree on this particular matter.
(18 Jun '10, 21:00) Concerned Citizen
Clearly you have strong opinions about your faith. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's exactly this kind of legalistic, dogmatic attitude from Christians that turns off non-believers. If devout Christians have one failing, it is that they appear utterly incapable of explaining the Word in a way that the non-devout can understand it. If I had the kind of belief system you do, where I "knew" I would receive six crowns in heaven if I did all the "right" things, I suppose I would be pretty self-righteous too.
(18 Jun '10, 23:02) Vesuvius
I agree with Vesuvius. The WORD of God has to be interpreted and as soon as an individual puts into words what is projected onto his consciousness from God it gets distorted. Only the individual themselves understand the Truth of what is communicated from God. All the individual can do is to best relate the experience and HOPE others get true understanding and come to KNOW God intimately as CHRIST did. The FACT is God is omnipresent which means is in each and everyone of us. Therefore, each and everyone of us is ONE with God as Christ was "The Father and I are One"
(19 Jun '10, 10:41) RPuls
showing 2 of 5 show 3 more comments
Yes I agree, I know my church and pastor would too, the first and foremost thing is to study and know the Bible. That is like the first step up a stairway or ladder, it builds the foundation of solid stone or concrete, that shows how to have faith and even inspires us to have faith when we see what our brothers and sisters before us have achieved through their faith. Many do not realize all the people in the bible that through their faith had great miracles not just Jesus and Moses but many, when they read of these wonderful and amazing stories it shows them as Jesus said "the things I do you will do too" because they see yes that has happened and not once but repeatedly that isn't even to mention the old testament and the many there too. But to have that faith that they had you need to know about all those people so you can say, "Hey, these where ordinary people just like me but they had strong faith, if I do too I can have the same relationship with God as they did."
So yes first comes fact, then faith, next comes feeling.
After you have the faith you experience the feeling of that connectedness, the feeling of changing someone's life, or having them healed and their gratefulness to Jesus, you experience the feeling of the Holy Spirit when it comes over you, all of this is like the reward of the faith and the study.
answered 18 Jun '10, 18:29
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"Without the tao, Kindness and compassion are replaced by law and justice; Faith and trust are supplanted by ritual and ceremony." Lao Tzu