How to Enjoy Studying the Bible. Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart Jer. 15:16

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1 How to Enjoy Studying the Bible Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart Jer. 15:16 1

2 Is this Your Experience with God s Word? Ps 119:103: How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Job 23:12: I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. Ps 19:9-10: The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 2

3 IF that is not your experience It could be because you may not have learned the skill of searching the Scriptures, and/or You may not have discovered how to use the Scriptures as a Guide to your life and enjoy the Blessings from having the Bible as your Guide! 3

4 These Series of Lessons are meant to help us do the following:- 1. HOW to enjoy searching the Scriptures, 2. HOW to have a correct understanding of the Scriptures, and 3. HOW to use the Scriptures to guide our lives and be richly blessed by God. 4

5 Unskilled in the word of righteousness? Heb 5:14 implies that EVERY CHRISTIAN needs to be skilled in the Word of Righteousness, Unskilled from apeiros which means inexperienced, that is, ignorant: - unskilful. There is NO EXCUSE for any Christian not to be skilled in the Word of God For though by this time you ought to be teachers, 5

6 You Can be Skilled in the Word of Righteousness You can be Skilled in the Word of God such that:- You would be able to discern good and evil competently for yourself (in terms of God s Will & Moral Standard); You would be able to teach others the Word of God in a competent manner ( 2 Tim 2:2) 6

7 5:100 (1:20); 100:10,000 (1:100); 1:1,000 Lev 26:8: And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. Jos 23:9,10: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you. 7

8 Expository Bible Study Expository Study - this type of study involves taking a passage in the Bible and finding out exactly what it means. You will go through a passage sentence by sentence and word by word. Start by reading and re-reading the passage. Look at the passages around the passage you are studying in order to understand the context. Look up parallel passages that deal with the same material. 8

9 Topical Bible Study Topical Study - this study seeks to study a topic by looking at all the passages that deal with a particular topic. A topical Bible and a set of crossreferences will help you in this type of study. The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible would be a huge help with this type of study. 9

10 4 Steps Approach to the Enjoying Bible Study (ROUND) 1. READ and Input the Bible into your Mind and Remember what you have read; 2. OBSERVE Carefully the Text (what does it say); 3. UNDERSTAND and Interpret its meaning within its immediate context as well as the OVERALL context of the Bible (what does it mean); N 4. DO what the Bible says (how may I apply the lessons to my life) 10

11 Skill #1: Read & Input the Bible Introducing the Concentrated Bible Study (CBS) method of Reading and Remembering the Scriptures. Developed by Bro Don Huddleston (currently preacher for the Hartford Avenue CoC in Ponca City, Oklahoma) when he served as minister for the Clark Air Base Church of Christ in the Philippine Islands. It was originally published in 1973 as a six-month course. 11

12 Reading the Bible the CBS way 1. Small groups of five people each join together in reading through an average of ten chapters of the New Testament. (adjustable to 5 chapters a week if too tough) 2. The chapters are read each day for the entire week. 3. Memory cards are prepared on which a summary of each chapter is written, as well as certain key verses are to be memorized. 4. Once each week, the group gathers to sit for a test and to review and discuss their reading for the week. 12

13 Example: Summary of Mark Ministry of John the Baptizer 9-11 Baptism of Jesus by John Temptation of Jesus Preaching of Jesus & Calling of the Disciples 13

14 End of Step #1: Read the Bible Summary of the 4 Steps:- READ and INPUT the Bible into your Mind and Remember what you have read; OBSERVE Carefully the Text (what it says and does not say); UNDERSTAND and Interpret its meaning within its immediate context as well as the OVERALL context of the Bible; N DO what the Bible says 14

15 Skill # 2: Digging Up Treasures: By Careful Observation of the Text Mat 13:13-16: Therefore speak I to them in parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear 15

16 Observe the Text/Passage by asking questions Ask the 5 W s and an H (who, what, when, where, why and how) Who is writing or speaking and to whom? Who are the major characters? What is the Text about? What are the main events? What are the major ideas? What are the major teachings? What are these people like? What does he talk about the most? What is his purpose in saying that? What questions does the passage raise in your mind? What words, phrases, or concepts don t you understand? What intrigues you? Write these questions down. What are the main points of this passage? What is the author trying to say? 16

17 Ask the 5 W s and an H work-horses 3. When did this event take place? When was it written? When will it happen? When did he say it? When did he do it? 4. Where was this done? Where was this said? Where will it happen? 5. Why was there a need for this to be written? Why was this mentioned? Why was so much or so little space devoted to this particular event or teaching? Why was this reference mentioned? Why should they do such and such? 6. How does this Text fit in with the context? (What goes before and after?) How is it done? How does it solve the problem? How did it happen? How is this truth illustrated? 17

18 More Questions 8. What are the commands? 9. What are the promises & principles? 10.What do I learn about God? 11.What do I learn about Jesus? 12.What do I learn about the Holy Spirit? 13.What do I learn about myself (or mankind)? 18

19 Other Aspects to Consider 14. What are the cause/effect relationships? 15. What are the repeated words and ideas? 16. What is the "big idea" of the Text/Passage? This can most readily be identified from the commands and the repeated words and ideas. Often there will be one command in the passage with several motivations. In one phrase, sum up the main thought of the passage. 17. Write out any additional observations including contrasts, lists, comparisons, etc. 19

20 Look for the Obvious: Repeated Words/Ideas When you observe the text, begin by looking for the obvious, such as repeated facts about people, places and events. Likewise, looking for the obvious facts, details or ideas establishes the framework in studying a book, chapter or passage of the Bible. 20

21 Look for Repeated Emphasis in the Text Let the text itself show you its repeated emphasis as revealed by repeated words, phrases, ideas, etc Does the Text/passage turn in any unexpected ways? Look for connections among the paragraphs, verses, etc 21

22 If the Text is a narrative, put yourself into the story. Put yourself into the Text/passage/event. What do you see, smell, taste, feel, hear? Choose one of the characters and become them. How would you have felt, thought and acted relative to what is recorded in the Text? similarity and in contrast. 22

23 Use External Tools In order to answer some of the questions, you may need to refer to your BASIC Tools:- Bible Dictionaries Greek Lexicons the Cross References (eg. Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge + Search option in the Bible) Resist using Commentaries 23

24 Summarize your Observation State clearly and concisely all the points you or the group have discovered/observed. Emphasize the main point(s) the passage has brought out Do not attempt to engage in Interpretation or Application at this stage yet! Do not read the Commentaries! 24

25 End of Step # 2: Observe the Text Summary of the 4 Steps:- READ and INPUT the Bible into your Mind and Remember what you have read; OBSERVE Carefully the Text (what it says and does not say); UNDERSTAND and Interpret its meaning within its immediate context as well as the OVERALL context of the Bible; N DO what the Bible says 25

26 Step # 3: UNDERSTAND and Interpret its meaning Context is Everything! Understand its Meaning within the following Context :- Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15), i.e. discern the difference between the Old Testament & the New Testament (Exodus 34:27,28; Deut 5:3; Heb 8:7-13) Consistent with the Immediate Context of the Book or Letter or Epistle (eg. Rev 1:1) 26

27 Rightly Divide the Word Old Testament Law no longer binding on Christians today 27

28 The Law was taken away on the cross Eph 2:15-16: having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross Col 2:14: having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 28

29 Law of Moses= Law of the Lord = the Law Luke 2:22-24: Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD"), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons." Luke 2:27: So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law 29

30 The Law = The 10 Commandments = the Old Covenant Ex 34:28: And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. (cf Deut 5) Some say that the Law that was removed was the ceremonial law of Moses but not the Moral Law, i.e. Ten Commandments. The Bible does not make such a distinction as between ceremonial and moral Law. Note in Luke 2:22, the offering was in accordance with the Law of the Lord/Moses. 30

31 What was the Law of Sin & Death? Rom 7:7-8: What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. The Law refers to the Ten Commandments and all the law delivered through Moses John 1:17: For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 31

32 Law of Spirit frees us from the Law of sin & death Rom 8:2-4: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 32

33 The Old Covenant was taken away by Jesus Heb 8:6-7: But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second Heb 8:13: In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. 33

34 Jesus took away the 1 st in order to establish the 2 nd Heb 10:1-4: For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Heb 10:9-10: then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 34

35 New Testament takes effect after death of Jesus, the Testator Heb 9:15-17: And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 35

36 Example of OT Requirement Removed: Circumcision Luke 2:21-24: And when eight days were fulfilled for circumcising him, his name was called JESUS, which was so called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord), and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. 36

37 Some say: Be Circumcised because Jesus was circumcised Some have erroneously understood that because Jesus was circumcised, THAT Christians today must act similarly! Acts 15:1: And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. Acts 15:5: But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses." 37

38 The Apostles Did Not Require that Christians need to be Circumcised But they failed to rightly divide the OT and the NT and that the latter teaches that Christians need not be circumcised: Acts 15:24: Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, 'You must be circumcised and keep the law'--to whom we gave no such commandment- 38

39 If circumcised, Christ profits you nothing! Gal 5:2-4: Behold, I Paul say unto you, that, if ye receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. Yea, I testify again to every man that receiveth circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace Gal 6:15: For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 39

40 Jesus lived under the Old Law, we are not under the Old Law Gal 4:4 but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law But we are no longer under the Law: Gal 3:23-26 Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace. 40

41 The Context of the Entire Bible The Sum of God s Word is Truth (Psa 119:160; Matt 4:4; John 17:17) hence, we must search the entire Scriptures to ensure that our understanding from this text is consistent with the overall context of the Bible. Let the Bible explains itself i.e. let one passage explains another. God s Will may best be understood in terms of what is Required by God (must do), what is Forbidden by God (must not do) and what is Permitted by God [May or may not do] (the latter being subject always to expediency in terms of the edification and spiritual well-being of our brethren Rom 14:13-21;1 Cor 6:12; 8:13) 41

42 Totality or Sum of God s Word is Truth The sum of Thy word is truth, Ps 119:160 (NASB) 42

43 The Accounts of Conversion in Acts and what they did 1. The Jews on the day of Pentecost - ACTS 2:14-41, heard, repented, and were baptized. 2. The Samaritans - ACTS 8:5-13, heard, believed, and were baptized. 3. The Eunuch - ACTS 8:35-39, heard, believed, confessed, and was baptized. 4. Cornelius - ACTS 10:34-48, heard, believed, and was baptized. 5. Lydia - ACTS 16:13-15, heard, believed, and was baptized. 6. The Jailer - ACTS 16:3-34, heard, believed and was baptized. 7. Saul (later called the Apostle Paul) - ACTS 9:17-18, and ACTS 22:16, heard and was baptized. The SUM of God s Word: Hear, Believe, Repent, Confessed, Baptized = Saved 43

44 Understanding the Bible Let the Bible Explain itself 44

45 The Bible is its own best commentary When we read something that we do not understand in one section of the Bible, frequently other passages in the Scriptures will interpret the unclear sections for us. Example: Someone wonders about the identity of the seed of Abraham who would be a blessing to all nations (Genesis 22:18; cf. 26:4) can read Galatians 3:16 and learn that the seed mentioned in Genesis is Christ 45

46 Seed explained Gen 22:18: In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." Gal 3:16: Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ. 46

47 What does the Bible say about itself? Instead of approaching the Scriptures with the mindset of, What do I think about, or What do you think about, we first need to ask ourselves, What does the Bible say about itself? If there is one section of the Scriptures that we do not understand fully, we always should examine other passages in the Bible that deal with the same subject first. 47

48 Creation in Six Days not Six Long Ages Exodus 20:11: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day. Gen 1:7: God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. Day & Night define the period of time 48

49 Fulfilled Prophecies Isa 7:14: Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Matt 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." 49

50 Hate explained Luke 14:26: If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. Explained by Matt 10:37-38: He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 50

51 Ascertaining the Will of God God s Will can best be Ascertained by the following common sense principles:- What is explicitly stated by direct statements of the Bible Jesus used this in Matt 4:4 it is written What is implied by or necessarily inferred from the direct statements of the Bible Jesus relied on this principle in Matt 20:30-32 Heb 7:12: For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law Approved examples of the Bible James 5:10; Heb 11; Rom 15:4; I Cor 10:6,11 51

52 Silence of the Scriptures? Does it permit or prohibit? Area of Controversy I Cor 2:16 Rev 22:18-19 I Pet 4:11 Lev 10:1-3 Heb 7:14 Deut 29:29 52

53 End of Step # 3: Understand the Text Summary of the 4 Steps:- READ and INPUT the Bible into your Mind and Remember what you have read; OBSERVE Carefully the Text (what it says and does not say); UNDERSTAND and Interpret its meaning within its immediate context as well as the OVERALL context of the Bible; N DO what the Bible says 53

54 Step # 4: Do what the Bible Says Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 54

55 God s Word is Profitable for 2 Timothy 3:16: "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for." Teaching. What did I learn? Reproof. Where do I fall short? Why do I fall short? Correction. What will I do about it? Training in righteousness. How can I make this principle a consistent part of my life? 55

56 SPACE Guideline SPACE guideline for being Doers of the Word:- Any Sin to confess/avoid Promise or Principle to hold on to Action to avoid Command to obey Example to Follow 56

57 Help from the Scriptures for Everyday Living For example, you want to learn about friendship Use the BASIC Tools to assist you. Check Nave s topical Bible under friends and friendship James 2:23 then check out ISBE on this verse on friend; also AT Robertson Check out Treasury of Scriptures Check out Search option under Friends 57

58 Another Example: Church Assembly Refer to I Corinthians for an insight into what the early church engaged in when assembled and the lessons we can learn for our assembly today. Look out for the word assembly or assembled or come together in the book. See what is said. How may we apply them to our assembly today? 58

59 Step # 4: Be Doers of the Word Summary of the 4 Steps:- READ and INPUT the Bible into your Mind and Remember what you have read; OBSERVE Carefully the Text (what it says and does not say); UNDERSTAND and Interpret its meaning within its immediate context as well as the OVERALL context of the Bible; N DO what the Bible says 59

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