Volume 2 No. 2

Keys to Research

The Word of God interprets itself.

To understand God's Word certain keys to research must be understood and applied when working the Word to avoid private interpretation and maintain the integrity of the original text.

These studies are provided to outline some of the simple keys to understanding God's Word.

Michael Cortright

Keys to the Word's Interpretation

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Our Standing and State

Doctrine, Reproof, and Correction

II Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The entire Word of God is profitable. It is God's Word! The Word is profitable for doctrine which is how to believe rightly. The Word is profitable for reproof which tells us when we are not believing rightly. The Word is profitable for correction which brings us back to right believing. All three are needed for instruction in righteousness which is right believing or right living.

The epistles written to the church today are a great example of doctrine, reproof, and correction. The scope, structure and order of these epistles is vital to our understanding of that which is written to the church of God.

Our Standing and State

Two other structural categories can be studied in understanding the doctrine, reproof, and correction given us in God's Word. "Our Standing" describes that which we have been given spiritually in Christ. "Our State" describes our walk in understanding and using that which we have been given in Christ. An understanding of both are vital to the believer.

Our Standing in Christ

Doctrinally we have a standing in Christ. First we must gain an understanding of that which we have in Christ. When we fail to understand our standing in Christ once taught we need reproof from God's Word. When we accept for right believing a doctrine that is contrary to our standing as declared in God's Word we need correction. Following is a sample of the standing the Word of God says we have been given in Christ Jesus:

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith [believing] in Christ Jesus.

Our standing in Christ is that of children of God. We have been born again of God's spirit and as children we have been given much IN CHRIST.

Ephesians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ;
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:


I Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:


Ephesians 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.


I Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power;


Our State - the Walk in Christ

Doctrinally we have a state in Christ. The Word of God tells us how to walk in Christ. When we fail to walk in Christ our state is in error and we need reproof from God's Word. When we accept for right believing a doctrine that is contrary to God's Word and we walk according to wrong doctrine our state as declared in God's Word needs correction.

Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

We are to walk in Christ. Spiritually we have been given much in Christ. Once we understand that which we have been given we can walk in Christ. If someone put money in a bank account for you and you did not know it was there you would never spend it. But if you know about the account and you check it to see what is in it, then you can spend it. "Oh, I have $10,000? Ok, I'm going to buy a . . ." First we must know our standing - then we must walk accordingly. Our state is determined by what we do with that which God has given us in Christ.

Pilemon 1:6 That the communication [sharing] of thy faith [believing] may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

It is by knowing our standing and acknowledging every good thing that is in us in Christ Jesus that the sharing of our believing becomes effectual. An effective walk, a state which is in Christ, is predicated by a knowledge of what we have been given. As we have received Christ Jesus we are then to walk in him:

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 4:1 I Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.

I Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

I Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. II Peter 1:20

Keys to the Word's Interpretation
Volume 2 No. 2

URL http://www.cortright.org/key22.htm
© Copyright November 1999 Michael Cortright