Questions Answered – Do you have to be smart to understand the Bible?


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This article is part of the ‘Questions Answered’ series.

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I’m a young Christian and I’ve been attending a really good church for some time now.  I especially enjoy the bible study’s but I must admit that I struggle to understand a lot of what’s being said because I’m not really that smart. Do I need to be more of a smart person to understand the bible?
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You know something, when a person says a sentence like “I enjoy the church I’m a part of” and “I enjoy studying the bible” I imagine it’s like music to God’s ears and being a former Pastor, it’s music to my ears too and it just lights me up. Your obviously a wonderful kind of person with real desire so I’ll try my best and give you as good an answer as I can.
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It’s a very common feeling to have, especially when you’re first saved to feel a little out of your comfort zone in these conversations but it only gets better and better as you go on.  For most experienced Christians, it’s taken them years of experiencing God, personal study and listening to sermons to build up the kind of knowledge they have to hold their own in these studies, so please don’t worry about at all, it’s perfectly natural.
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What’s not natural but supernatural, is the way in which God uses people like yourself, who may feel they aren’t smart enough or intelligent enough to understand his Word, in some spectacular ways. In fact, any experienced Christian will tell you that God has a far greater preference in using people like you than others, simply because of the fact, that a person could have all the knowledge under the sun and still not possess a true heart for God. Friend let me tell you, you haven’t got much to worry about. Like most, I’m not the most intelligent person in the world either and years ago, the thoughts of ever writing or standing up and speaking publicly made me sick to my stomach however, as the years rolled on with God working in my life, he built me up to the place where I could easily write and preach.  So if God can do that with me, he can do it with anybody.
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I doubt very much that you’re not smart, you’re just a young Christian in the Lord but in answer to your question, the answer is no, no you don’t need to be smart to understand the bible, not on the most important parts anyway.  You’ve already experienced and will continue to build on, the greatest revelation the scriptures have to offer, Jesus and Jesus dying on the cross for mankind, anything else after that should only make that revelation grow so friend don’t worry. Let me leave you though with a true account of a man, who was far less educated than you and I, a man who was the main reason for one of the greatest moves of God breaking out in our area in the early 1900’s, as an example of how God can use anyone regardless.
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“……There lived in Hopeman a most remarkable Christian named Archie McPherson, known and respected by all in the district.  When God saved him he could not read one word, but he soon learned to read the bible, which was his one book, and the Holy Spirit his only guide and interpreter.  He rapidly became a most earnest, able Christian preacher.  Evangelical ministers from various fishing centres were glad to get Archie to take heir pulpit, and in every place crowds would flock to hear him.  He was not only a Godly man, but he was a man of God, with backbone and grit…..”
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God bless you and thank you.
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About Pastor Steven

Steven Birnie is a former local Church Minister and the author of Christian publications which include non-fiction, fictional and teaching eBooks with audio sermons. From the north-east coast of Scotland, Pastor Steven is married to Sharon and together, they have two young children called Emily and David. After seven years of training, three years of overseeing youth and young adults and, three years of being the Assistant Pastor in his local Church, Pastor Steven moved on to focus on writing Christian Publications. In the future, he hopes to open a Christian Children’s Home in his home town and write The Tribulation Soldier, his newest Series of Fictional, Military EBooks on the End Times, the Rapture and the Tribulation Period, as a 2.5 Million Word Series. But despite continuing pastoral work and writing, Steven remains devoted to his children, enjoying his family life with caravan holidays in the Highlands, fishing, canoeing and his favourite pastime, riding his motorbike through the Scottish countryside.