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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No.09 Basics Of Bible Study???

 

While this may seem a little ominous, it’s really quite simple, and I hope to encourage us all to “dig in” more diligently!  First of all, we are called to study The Word, and we can rest assured of its veracity (truth)!

Study

to shew thyself approved

unto God,

a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,

rightly dividing

the word of truth.

16 But shun

profane

and vain babblings:

for they will increase

unto more ungodliness.”    2 Timothy 2:15-16

Paul told Timothy, that he was to “study”—dig in—to show himself as a proven servant of God—a workman, who has no need for shame before his God, or men.  And while this is a familiar verse, I want us to catch the, often missed, verse that follows.  While we are to draw near to God, there are some things that we are to not only, avoid, but we are to “shun” some completely—and things that are very current.  Paul was instructing this young preacher to avoid things that will “increase unto more ungodliness”!

I find it most curious that Paul realized something that many today have forgotten or overlooked; and while many seem to think that the profane is alright, it is most harmful!

Profane: characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things….to defile; debase; employ basely or unworthily….to treat with irreverence or contempt…

And without even trying, I believe most of us could think of venues in our culture that often tend to be “profane and vain babblings”!  And while my focus in this article isn’t to attack others, it is to call us to consider what we are willing to allow into our lives; and not only allow into our lives, but in many cases to influence our choices.  God, on the other hand, has called us to dig into His Word to know Him and reflect it before the world—not be influenced by the profane!

Trust in the LORD

with all thine heart;

and lean not

unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways

acknowledge him,

and he shall direct thy paths.

7 Be not wise

in thine own eyes:

fear the LORD,

and depart from evil.

8 It shall be health to thy navel,

and marrow to thy bones.”    Proverbs 3:5-8

Learning to walk with God is the greatest adventure that we can experience.  And He has given us the guide that we need—HIS Word!  Not only does God assure us of His care in the Proverbs, but He also gives us assurance that HIS Word is dependable for all our needs, for it is all inspired by GOD.

All scripture

is given by inspiration

of God,

and is profitable

for doctrine,

for reproof,

for correction,

for instruction

in righteousness:

17 That the man of God

may be perfect,

throughly furnished

unto all good works.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17

So, what does all this have to do with Bible study?  It is the basis of our total dependence upon God and His ways!

Order my steps

in thy word:

and let not any iniquity

have dominion over me.”  Psalm 119:133

God wants to unveil His way for us if we will but yield to His Spirit and dive into His Word as the guide for our lives.

How sweet are thy words

unto my taste!

yea, sweeter than honey

to my mouth!

104 Through thy precepts

I get understanding:

therefore

I hate every false way.

105 Thy word is a lamp

unto my feet,

and a light

unto my path.”   Psalm 119:103-105

Oh, that we can learn to feast on The Word/Words of God and discern our choices according to it!  And when we feast on God’s Word, we must learn, develop and practice good observation skills. There are a few things that will help each of us hone these skills.  Firstly, we must observe the text with integrity, by letting the word say what it says, and by being willing to order “our steps” by it!

But they have not all obeyed

the gospel.

For Esaias saith,

Lord, who hath believed our report?

17 So then faith

cometh by hearing,

and hearing

by the word of God.

18 But I say,

Have they not heard?

Yes verily,

their sound went

into all the earth,

and their words

unto the ends of the world.”    Romans 10:16-18

It is God’s Word that brings the “gospel” to us, and it is hearing the truth of God’s ways and laws that bring us to see our own sin.  And until we see our sin, we will see no need for a Savior—Jesus!  That is the truth of God’s Word, and without it we have no hope!  But when we seek to know God’s truth, He will always lead us to the cross.

In whom ye also trusted,

after that ye heard

the word of truth,

the gospel of your salvation:

in whom also after that ye believed,

ye were sealed

with that holy Spirit of promise,”    Ephesians 1:13

As we study and observe the text, we must honor its context by asking the 5 W’s and the H; by asking, who said it, why, when, and to whom;  always seeking to know what it truly says, that we may be able to interpret what it means.  To do this accurately, we must understand that scripture isn’t a regular book—it is a Spirit-written message from God to His own!  To understand it fully, we have to depend on the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us into truth.

But as it is written,

Eye hath not seen,

nor ear heard,

neither have entered into the heart of man,

the things which God hath prepared

for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them

unto us

by his Spirit:

for the Spirit searcheth all things,

yea, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man,

save the spirit of man which is in him?

even so the things of God knoweth no man,

but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received,

not the spirit of the world,

but the spirit

which is of God;

that we might know

the things that are freely given

to us

of God.

13 Which things also we speak,

not in the words

which man’s wisdom teacheth,

but which the Holy Ghost teacheth;

comparing spiritual things

with spiritual.

14 But the natural man

receiveth not the things

of the Spirit of God:

for they are foolishness

unto him:

neither can he know them,

because they are spiritually discerned.

15 But he that is spiritual

judgeth all things,

yet he himself is judged of no man.

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord,

that he may instruct him?

But we have the mind of Christ.”     1 Corinthians 2:9-16

Just as we rely upon the Spirit of God to bring us to salvation, we must rely upon Him to also bring us to understand and be able to interpret The Word!  For even if we learn to make perfect observations, and accurate interpretations, if we fail to apply it, we have missed the point.

The steps of a good man

are ordered by the LORD:

and he delighteth in his way.

24 Though he fall,

he shall not be utterly cast down:

for the LORD upholdeth him

with his hand.”   Psalm 37:23-24

As we learn to depend upon The Lord in all things, He will lead us into all truth, by the work of His Holy Spirit.  We can lean on Him and depend upon Him to direct our steps as we seek to know God’s truth!

Nevertheless I tell you the truth;

It is expedient for you

that I go away:

for if I go not away,

the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart,

I will send him

unto you.

8 And when he is come,

he will reprove the world of sin,

and of righteousness,

and of judgment:

9 Of sin,

because they believe not on me;

10 Of righteousness,

because I go to my Father,

and ye see me no more;

11 Of judgment,

because the prince of this world

is judged.

12 I have yet many things to say unto you,

but ye cannot bear them now.

13 Howbeit when he,

the Spirit of truth,

is come,

he will guide you into all truth:

for he shall not speak

of himself;

but whatsoever

he shall hear,

that shall he speak:

and he will shew you

things to come.

14 He shall glorify me:

for he shall receive of mine,

and shall shew it unto you.

15 All things that the Father hath

are mine:

therefore said I,

that he shall take of mine,

and shall shew it

unto you.”   John 16:7-15

I pray that you will find these things helpful as you pursue God through His Word! May HE bless you as you study!

And in closing, a few words to encourage our hearts in the pursuit of God and His Word:

That we henceforth

be no more children,

tossed to and fro,

and carried about

with every wind of doctrine,

by the sleight of men,

and cunning craftiness,

whereby they lie in wait

to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love,

may grow up into him

in all things,

 which is the head,

even Christ:”   Ephesians 4:14-15

Don’t be deceived by not knowing truth, as Jesus said:

And ye shall know the truth,

and the truth shall make you free.”    John 8:32

By depending on HIS Spirit:

And I will pray the Father,

and he shall give you another Comforter,

that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth;

whom the world cannot receive,

because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:

but ye know him;

for he dwelleth with you,

and shall be in you.”  John 14:16-17 Amen!