In Proposition 4, George Peters states:
“The literal, grammatical interpretation of the Scriptures must (connected with the figurative, tropical, or rhetorical) be observed in order to obtain a correct understanding of this kingdom.”
With this proposition, Peters begins to define some specifics of how he believes one should approve the topic of the kingdom as outlined in Scripture. He specifically notes the importance of a literal grammatical interpretation; however, he does not reject other means of interpretation as being relevant to the conversation.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 4 is the following:
All believers ask for the aid of the Spirit in understanding the Scriptures, but this aid or enlightenment is not outside of the scriptural truth, but of it. Faith, in its influence upon the heart, qualifies the believer to appreciate the Word; for its truths can only be properly estimated by him who practically receives them and experiences their power in heart and life. The higher our experience of God’s promises, the more we are enabled to understand Holy Writ containing them. The Author of the Scriptures is the Spirit: we honor Him by asking His assistance to comprehend them, and such honor and reliance is only properly exhibited by a personal study of them. Human helps are valuable, and the Spirit will certainly (as experience testifies) use them in impressing the truth, provided the chief reliance is placed on the Scriptures themselves as given by Him and the moral enlightenment resulting from their reception. This distinguishes a mere student from a believer, for a man may be learned and able, and yet utterly fail to receive the truth as intended (thus failing in his apprehension), while an unlearned believer, cordially accepting and appropriating personally the Scriptures, experiences their power in his own heart and life. (“If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God,” John 7:17); but both combined, learning and religious experience, elevates the man to the highest plane.”
What a salient reminder of what our approach to Scripture should be all about. I have noted on occasion the overdependent approach we have when it comes to commentaries or the urge to rush off to find out what our favorite author says about a subject. Peters rightly encourages the reader to let the Holy Spirit speak when we engage Scripture. This is not to say that the thoughts of our favorite author or theologian are of no assistance or importance. What this is saying is one who truly wants to dive into Scripture will have a focus on a personal study of Scripture, using appropriate tools when necessary (i.e. dictionaries, commentaries, etc.), but focusing mostly on letting God speak to us through His Word without all the “outside noise” if you will. When it comes to a subject such as the kingdom, the proper definition and application must come from the pages of Scripture rather than the machinations or opinions of man.