Five Keys to Unlocking Any Passage of Scripture

January 11th, 2017 | Sermon Topic

January 8th, 2017 kicked off the Flourishing series. These are notes and quotes from my sermon for your reference. Hear the full sermon here.

Notes and Quotes

“Our greatest need today is an enlarged vision of Jesus Christ. We need to see Him as the One in whom alone the fullness of God dwells and in whom alone we can come to fullness of life. There is only one way to gain, clear, fresh, lofty, views of Christ, and that is through the Bible. The Bible is the prism by which the light of Jesus Christ is broken into its many and beautiful colors. The Bible is the portrait of Jesus Christ. We need to gaze upon Him with such intensity of desire that he comes alive to us, meet with us, and fills us with himself.” –John Stott

The Bible’s composition argues for its supernatural nature. The Bible is a collection of 66 books written over the span of 1,500 years by 40 different authors in three different languages on three different continents and yet have one singular focus.

The Bible is not true just because it claims to be true; it is true to life’s experience. “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” –John 7:17

Jesus believed the Bible and submitted himself to it as his authority.

“The overriding reason for accepting the divine inspiration and authority of Scripture is plain loyalty to Jesus. Jesus endorsed the Old Testament as the Word of God. Both his view of Scripture and in his use of Scripture he was entirely and reverently submissive to its authority as to the authority of God’s own Word.” –John Stott

The way we read a book is determined by the author’s purpose in writing it. The bible is not primarily philosophical book, a historical book, or a scientific book. The bible is primarily a story of redemption.

Five keys to unlock any passage of Scripture.

When reading a passage ask yourself these 5 questions. The first 3 are keys that help unlock the meaning of any passage; the last 2 are keys that help unlock personal application of any passage.

1. The Key of Redemption: Look to learn about God’s redemptive mission through Jesus Christ.

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Luke 24:27

2. The Key of God’s Nature: Look to learn about God’s nature.

3. The Key of Human Nature: Look to learn about Human nature.

4. The Key of Example: Look for an example you can live out.

Tuition at the School of Example is free, whereas the School of Experience can be very costly.

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 1 Corinthians 10:6-11

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4

5. The Key of Identity: Look for yourself and your life in the biblical story.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13


Our plan for flourishing this year: Get into the Word of God and get the Word of God into us and then let the Holy Spirit do His work.

Share your observations, comments or questions:
256-ECC-HLWD (256-322-4593) or

Jon Ritner joined Ecclesia as Lead Pastor in August of 2015. Before moving to LA, Jon had served for three years as a Pastor in a small church plant in Brussels, Belgium and for 10 years as a Pastor in a large church in Williamsburg, Virginia. Jon and his wife, Kristyn, have been married since 2002 and have two children, Addy (10) and Jax (7). Jon is a native of New York and a graduate of The College of William and Mary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Also, he keeps himself humble by rooting for the Chicago Cubs and playing pick up basketball with guys half his age.

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