There are in fact several approaches on how to read the Bible. Among Christians there are, however, two possible approaches: either reading the scripture through religious lenses or through grace lenses. The last one is obviously most fruitful and encouraging. The religious carrying the religious glasses has not yet received or does not want a comprehensive revelation concerning the new covenant which was activated when Jesus died at the cross. Let us have a look at an example which displays how the different lenses work:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it (Matt 13:45-46).
This is one of many parables Jesus told. Through religious lenses this is rendered: The gospel is the fine pearl and you are the merchant who has to give up everything to follow Jesus. This is the old covenant working. It always points at you and says: You shall!
If we render the parable according to the new covenant we receive the following amazing and wonderful message: You are the fine pearl which God gave everything – even his son – to possess.
Which one of those two renderings motivates you to move closer to God’s heart?