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SIMPLE CHRISTIAN LIVING (2)
Profitable and Enjoyable Bible Study
Victor M. Eskew
A. The Almighty God of heaven has revealed His will to mankind. That will is found in the page of the book we know as the Bible.
B. As Christians, we are supposed to love, adore, and cherish this book. This love will cause us to be diligent students of the Word (Ps. 119:97).
O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.
C. Christians, however, do not study the Word of God like they used to. Hundreds of reasons could be given as to why this is the case.
2. We have become secular like the world
3. Ignorance and fear of the Word
D. Tonight, we want to look at the subject: “Profitable and Enjoyable Bible Study.” We want to give you some practical tips that will, hopefully, encourage you to study more. We need to be known once again as “The People of the Book.”
I. THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
A. In a previous lesson, we looked at the definition of attitude.
1. It comes from a word meaning “posture” or “position.” Our attitude is the position we take toward something.
2. Attitude involves our disposition or feelings toward something.
B. Two main attitudes are needed as we approach Bible study.
1. I can understand the Bible.
a. John 8:32
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
b. Ephesians 3:3-4
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words; whereby when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).
c. II Timothy 3:15
And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2. I want to understand the Bible.
a. This involves a very personal decision on the part of each person.
b. I cannot MAKE you want to study.
c. I can give you some good reasons why you should want to study the Bible.
1) The Bible contains the mind of God (I Cor. 2:9-13).
2) This book will enrich your life and make you a better person (II Pet. 1:3).
3) This book can save you soul (Rom. 1:16; James 1:21).
4) This book can give you eternal life (Acts 20:32).
II. LEARN BASIC SKILLS
A. Bible study is a skill that can be learned. The more one practices, the better he/she becomes.
B. A few basics:
a. Two verses:
1) Nehemiah 8:8
So they read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
2) I Timothy 4:13
Till I come give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
b. There are two types of reading:
1) Passive reading: reading more for enjoyment
2) Active reading: reading to learn and understand
c. How to actively read:
1) Actually write (copy) the Biblical text.
2) Ask: “What does this verse, text, mean?”
3) As you read, look up the definitions of the words and phrases you do not know.
4) Listen for changes in the text: person speaking, subject, place, etc.
a. We want you to outline because it forces you to think about the Biblical text.
b. Outlines label the major sections of a verse, text, chapter, or book of the Bible.
c. John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The Greatest Verse of the Bible The People of John 3:16
1. God: The Greatest Being 1. God: name (theos), loved, gave
2. So loved: The Greatest Love 2. World
3. The world: The Greatest Number 3. Son: only begotten, sonship, gift
4. He gave: The Greatest Gift 4. Whosoever: believe, perish, life
5. Whosoever believeth: The Greatest Faith
6. Perish: The Greatest Tragedy
7. Everlasting life: The Greatest Reward
3. Background information
a. Author: who wrote the book
b. Recipient: to whom the book was written
c. Date: when the book was written
d. Purpose: why the book was written
e. Theme: the golden thread that runs throughout the book
f. Key verse: a verse from the book that summarizes the contents
g. Major characters: Genesis, Ruth, Esther, Acts
4. Types of studies: Verse-by-Verse, Topical, Word Studies, Background Studies, and Character Studies.
III. SIMPLE RULES
A. Keep all passages in their context.
1. Recently, I wrote a bulletin article about “Lucifer’ found in Isaiah 14:12. In the immediate context the term applies to the king of Babylon (Isa. 14:4).
2. I Corinthians 2:9 is often applied to heaven, but the passage has nothing to do with heaven (See I Cor. 2:10).
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which the Lord hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit…
B. Bible passages do not contradict.
1. The Bible was revealed by the Holy Spirit of God (II Pet. 1:20-21). Thus, it is free from all contradictions.
2. Apparent contradictions have to be studied and explained (See Acts 10:35 and Titus 3:5).
C. The Bible contains figurative language.
1. Most of the Bible involves literal language and should be interpreted as such.
2. When figurative language is used, we must understand the figure of speech that is being used.
a. …all the night make I my bed to swim… (Ps. 6:6).
b. In Luke 13:32, Jesus refers to Herod as a fox.
And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox…
c. The book of Revelation is highly figurative (Rev. 1:1).
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angels unto his servant John.
D. Let one passage of Scripture help you interpret other passages of Scripture.
1. In Isaiah 7:14, there has been controversy over whether a Hebrew word should be translated “virgin” or “young woman.”
2. Matthew 1:23 gives us an inspired commentary on the verse. The Greek word in Matthew 1 can only mean “virgin.”
E. There are some things that you and I will never be able to answer.
1. God has not revealed some things to us.
2. Deuteronomy 29:29
The secret things belong unto the Lord our God…
F. It is possible for man to twist the Scriptures, making them teach things God never intended (II Pet. 3:16).
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.
A. Bible study is the duty of every Christian (II Tim. 2:15), but this duty ought to be a pleasure to the disciple.
B. We hope this lesson will encourage you to study your Bible more in the future.
C. Let’s go back to Deuteronomy 29:29.
The secret things belong unto God: but the things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.