Can anyone read and understand the bible on his own?

The bible teaches that natural man will never be able to understand its truth on his own; for only the Spirit of God, who understands the mind of God, can reveal the truths of God, which are in direct opposition to the wisdom of the world (1 Cor. 2:10-16; cf. Acts 8:30-31). However, when the bible is read or heard, the Spirit works as he chooses, giving understanding and producing faith in many who hear (Jn. 3:4-12; 16:7-14; cf. Acts 16:14). Therefore, it is of great benefit for anyone who so desires to study the bible, knowing that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), and that God gives his wisdom liberally to all men who ask him in faith (James 1:5-6); indeed, no one who hungers and thirsts for God's truth will be turned away, if he cries out to the Savior and applies himself to study the bible, for Jesus has invited us all with these words, “If anyone thirst, let him come unto me and drink” (John 7:37).

For all true believers, who have come to Christ in faith, there is every reason to be confident in studying the bible, for the apostle Paul tells us that “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16); and elsewhere, the apostle John tells us that we all have knowledge, and understand the truth, because the Spirit has given us an anointing so that we might not be deceived by the lies of the enemy (1 Jn. 2:20-27).

For Further Study
Interpretation: Christians Can Understand the Word of God by J.I. Packer

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