Dusty idea is that we have to study to gain knowledge of God's Word.
In my lifetime I've noticed a trend. It's possible that it's been there longer than that but I wouldn't know. I hear people saying that they feel like the scriptures in the Bible mean this or that. Like the Holy Spirit is moving through them in some physical way to help them understand or even give new meaning to the Word of God. It's like these people are saying the Word of God is too hard to understand. I need divine help in reading and understanding the Bible.
There is a chain of authority in life. We understand it in our earthly lives. In a business setting there are several types of positions. First there are the owners. The owners wouldn't be characterized as laborers, they own the business and if you want to receive the pay or rewards you have to follow the rules and work hard. The owners are in a class all by themselves by shear virtue of being the owners, creators of the business the workers are engaged in. Then next in the chain of authority are the workers. This includes everybody else from managers to laborers. Then the unemployed. The unemployed aren't working for the company, so there is no reward or payment coming to them.
We should also understand in our spiritual lives there is a chain of authority found in the Old and New Testament. Genesis 1:1, in the beginning God created... There you have the owner, all authority naturally goes to the owner of anything. We're the managers (Christians, Overseers, Elders), and laborers (Christians). People that aren't working for God are unemployed, no reward.
In finding our spiritual authorities we find God giving his Son Jesus all authority in heaven and earth Matthew 28:18, Phil 2:9-11, 1 Peter 3:22. So the authority was passed over to Christ. Christ gave authority to the apostles John 17: 6, 18, Matthew 28:18-20. They were inspired through the Holy Spirit. What they wrote was authorized by God. No authority has ever been given to anyone else as a chain of authority, Matthew 19:28, 1 Corinthians 4:9.
So the gold standard remains the Bible. Written by the apostles and inspired men. No matter what vision or revelation someone is claiming to have. No matter if you have a pastor that tells you God was speaking to him or the Holy Spirit is speaking to him in a certain way, outside the Bible. The Bible is the final authority. The apostles aren't here anymore. That's why the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:15 to STUDY to show thyself approve a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. If the Holy Spirit is going to come and give you what the Bible says miraculously why did all the authors of the Bible waste their time? There is no miraculous revealing to people of what the scriptures say. We have to study to gain that knowledge. We can pray for wisdom, but if we never crack open a Bible we'll never have the knowledge.
1. Know who wrote the Epistle/Book/Letter.
2. Know who it was written to.
3. Know why it was written to them.
4. Put scriptures and doctrine in its proper context.
5. Read all scripture in the proper context of all these things. This point CANNOT be over stressed.
Someone might say, "Do you really mean that God would allow me to be taught by a false teacher?" Yes, God will allow you to be taught by a false teacher. Cherry picking verses from the Bible to prove a point is a major flaw in Bible interpretation. An open mind and a closed Bible at the same time can be a dangerous thing. Revelation 2:2, Jesus was writing through John to the church at Ephesus. They had tried teachers in their midst and found him to be a liars. Did God allow the church at Ephesus to have false teachers come and teach a false doctrine? Yes, He did and expected them to check what these teachers said with what had been taught by the apostles, the golden standard.