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Getting A Grasp Of God’s Word ~And Fleshing It Out ~ I.

Profit Of God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16) All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

KNOWING

THE WORD

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

A. Teaching 1. Wisdom in the basic principles of life concerning God’s will and ways. 2. Shows you the path to walk on.

B. Reproof 1. Reveals errors and violation of life principles. 2. Shows you where you have gotten off the path.

C. Correction 1. Steps in correcting violations by reconstructing your thinking and direction. 2. Shows you how to get back on the path.

D. Training In Righteousness 1. Further guidance in Scripture concerning discipline in Godly living, reaffirming the importance of the steps taken. 2. Shows you how to stay on the path.

II. Purpose Of God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:17) . . . that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

2 Timothy 3:17 . . . that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

A. Adequate (Being) 1. Colossians 2:10 - In Him we have been made complete . . . 2. Ephesians 4:12-16 - Expressed maturity of the Body of Christ.

B. Equipped (Doing) 1. Ephesians 6:10ff - Fully dressed in the armor of God. 2. 2 Timothy 2:15b - Handling accurately the word of truth.

III. Procurement Of God’s Word (1 Peter 2:2) Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.

A. Hearing 1. Least comprehensible; remember 5-10% after 24 hours. 2. Romans 10:17 - Faith comes by hearing . . . the word of God. 3. Mark 4:23,24 - He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

B. Reading 1. Gain overall picture; don’t stay here, press on. 2. Revelation 1:3 - One who reads is blessed . . . 3. 1 Timothy 4:13 - Public reading of the word.

C. Studying 1. 2. 3. 4.

To read in detail and consider attentively, especially with intent on learning. 2 Timothy 2:15 - Study, be diligent, handling accurately the word of truth. Acts 17:11 - Examine Scriptures daily. Ezra 7:10 - Set your heart to study the law . . . to practice it . . . to teach it.

D. Memorizing 1. Learning each verse letter-word-perfect in order to have instant recall. 2. Psalm 119:11 - To keep our way pure, and to keep from sinning. 3. Proverbs 7:1-3 - Treasure God’s word within you.

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E. Meditating 1. To reflect on, or ponder over; rumination, chew cud; to view facets as in a diamond. 2. Psalm 1:2,3 - Meditation brings resources for life, health, wisdom, wealth. 3. Joshua 1:8 - Meditate day and night, prosper in all things.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.


Getting A Grasp Of God’s Word ~ Studying ~ I.

COMMUNICATION Answers the question: Who will teach me? Begin by embracing the Lord in conversation and continue to fellowship with Him throughout your study. Ask Him, as your Father, to open your eyes to wondrous things in His word so that you may:

Z know Him wholly Z learn His ways Z discover His will

His Spirit will guide you each step of the way so that His word will once again become flesh in you; and you will become a dynamic expression of Him! Teach me, O Lord, the way of Thy statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may observe Thy law, and keep it with all my heart. Make me walk in the path of Thy commandments, for I delight in it. Establish Thy word to Thy servant, as that which produces reverence for Thee. Psalm 119:33-35,38. Additionally, you will find some helpful suggestions on developing your relationship with God located on the Communication Chart entitled “Fellowship With God.”

KNOWING

THE WORD

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

John 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

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Romans 8:26 And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

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1 John 2:27 And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

II. OBSERVATION Answers the question: What does this passage say? This aspect of Bible study is the foundation which must be laid in order to accurately interpret and properly apply God’s word. Personal Bible study is designed to transform your life, and as a result, transform your world. What makes one person a better Bible student than another? He can see more, that’s all. The same truth is available to both of them in the text. And yet, learning to do it properly is a process that can’t happen overnight. Therefore, developing a habit of quantity reading, plus, acquiring a variety of observational skills will greatly enhance the ability for one to see and to grasp things more clearly. Many of the observational tools listed have been gleaned from a handful of truly excellent books that expound in great detail how one may extract and embrace the truths of Scripture. Locate the Observation Chart entitled “Twenty Questions” for further detail. One of the best ways to help you observe the truths and concepts within the biblical text (while utilizing the Observation Chart) is to make identifying marks in, around, and over words and phrases. There are a variety of ways to do this. To help you get started, or to expand upon your present system, locate the Bible Marking Chart. There is also an example page included demonstrating how this is done; see the sample page that covers the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Thy law.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.

P III. CORRELATION Answers the question: How does this passage relate to other passages?

Correlation is the task of comparing similar passages of Scripture with others that have undergone the Observation process. Comparisons may be made within the same text, or with other books in the Bible. The idea behind it is like sorting out the many pieces of a puzzle according to their colors and shapes in preparation to place them together to form a larger picture. The more complete the picture the greater the ability it will be for one to interpret with clarity and understanding the actual meaning. So with that in mind, Correlation becomes a very helpful and necessary bridge between Observation and Interpretation. Many false doctrines and misguided applications can and have resulted from leaving this step blank! Further amplification of this concept is given in the Correlation Chart.

IV. INTERPRETATION Answers the question: What does this passage mean?

Hermeneutics is the science and art of Biblical interpretation. It is a science because it is guided by rules within a system; and it is an art because the application of the rules is by skill, and not by mechanical imitation. It seeks to formulate those particular rules which pertain to the special factors connected with the Bible. [BR]

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The word hermeneutics is ultimately derived from Hermes the Greek god who brought the messages of the gods to the mortals, and was the god of science, invention, eloquence, speech, writing, and art. [BR]

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Nehemiah 8:8 And they read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense so they understood the reading.


Getting A Grasp Of God’s Word ~ Studying ~ The word interpretation occurs in both Testaments. The Hebrew word pathar means “to interpret,” and pithron means an interpretation. The word occurs many times in many forms in the New Testament (hermeneia, interpretation; hermeneuo, to interpret; methermeneuomai, to interpret, to translate; dysermeneutos, difficult to interpret; diermeneutes, interpreter; epilusis, interpretation). [BR] While a Biblical text may have numerous practical applications it can have only one proper interpretation, one meaning---ultimately, the meaning it had to the original writer. We must reconstruct his message if we want an accurate understanding. [BR] Basic rules of interpretation and examples are found in the Interpretation Chart.

V. APPLICATION Answers the question: How do I apply this passage to my life? Developing good skills in Observation and Interpretation do not complete the course, they actually prepare you for the final exam which is discovering how these truths work and putting them into practice in everyday living. Application is often the most neglected stage in this whole process of Bible study. The Bible was not written to simply satisfy our curiosity, but rather to transform our lives. Therefore, the ultimate goal of Bible study is not to do something to the Bible, but allow the Bible to do something to you. The Word becoming flesh!

KNOWING

THE WORD

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

James 1:22-25 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.

Guidelines for making God’s Word become flesh are found in the Application Chart.

VI. ORGANIZATION Answers the question: How do I systematically put all this material together? Designing a system to organize your materials right from the beginning will not only help you to preserve your labors, but will actually aid you in becoming the person that God has designed you to be. No doubt you will improve on your approach and, from time to time, make changes to suit your growing needs. One of the simplest ways to begin is by acquiring a three-ring notebook, divider tabs, and notebook or copy paper. The divider tabs could be used to identify a variety of studies: topical, biographical, Bible books, definitions, etc. There could be sections for “studies in progress,” “future ideas for study,” “terms to define,” and so on.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Matthew 28:19,20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Further suggestions on designing a notebook and an example of one are found in the Organization Chart.

VII. MULTIPLICATION Answers the question: How can I help others to grasp God’s word? The idea behind this concept is very simply to “make disciples.” The Lord Jesus gave this command, which is often called The Great Commission, to His first inner-core group of followers.

P What actually is a disciple? Why should a person become a disciple? What does a disciple do? How does someone become a disciple? How does one make disciples?

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Foundational principles and additional resources can be found on the Multiplication Chart entitled “Making Disciples.”


The Books Of The Bible

KNOWING

THE WORD

Old Testament LAW

HISTORY

POETRY

MAJOR PROPHETS

MINOR PROPHETS

Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy

Joshua Judges Ruth 1 Samuel 2 Samuel 1 Kings 2 Kings 1 Chronicles 2 Chronicles Ezra Nehemiah Esther

Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Solomon

Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel

Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi

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New Testament GOSPELS

HISTORY

PAULINE LETTERS

GENERAL LETTERS

PROPHECY

Matthew Mark Luke John

Acts

Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus Philemon

Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John 3 John Jude

Revelation


Getting A Grasp Of God’s Word ~ Studying ~ OBSERVATION CHART

20 The purpose of this Observation Chart is to aid you in “focusing in” on the ( Questions Scripture passage at hand. You are offered twenty questions and probing ideas that will help you to tackle the broader questions of What do I see? and What does this passage say?

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QUESTION

THE APPROACH

EXAMPLE

Your first task is to

The more you read the passage you have chosen to study, the more familiar it will become to you. Get a good overall feel for the text before you get the details. Determines the way you handle the text. Is it historical, poetic, proverbial, biographical, an epistle, prophetic, or a combination. Remember, each verse or chapter must be considered in the context of the whole book, and each book with the whole Bible. Keep aware of the larger picture. Decide on ways to consistently denote words, phrases, topics, lists, references, definitions on your worksheet and in your Bible. Be creative, use visual effects. Words, terms, or phrases that are used two or more times.

Deut 6:6-9 2 Peter 1:12,13,15 Revelation 1:3 Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs, Luke, Romans, Revelation The term vanity in the book of Ecclesiastes

READ & REREAD

2

Identify the type of

3

Are you aware of the

LITERATURE CONTEXT

4

Do you have your own

MARKING SYSTEM

5

Identify things that are

REPETITIOUS

6

Have you applied the

5 W’s & H

7

Learn how to do a

SENTENCE DIAGRAM

8

List and define all the

KEY WORDS

Six fundamental questions to help you interrogate the text are: who, what, when, where, why, and how. By applying some of the principles of this age-old grammar technique you will be “mapping out” a verse, sentence, or paragraph to identify its flow and key parts. A key word is a term that is absolutely crucial to what an author has to say. Identify parts of speech for each key word, and any synonyms or pronouns that relate. Like key words above, a key phrase when removed leaves the passage devoid of meaning.

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PURPOSE

THE WORD

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Psalm 25:4,5 Make me know Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth and teach me, for Thou art the God of my salvation; for Thee I wait all the day. Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

See the Observation Worksheet for 1 Thes 1, and chart. Psalm 136 Matthew 5:21-48 Hebrews 11 Acts 1 Philippians 1 Hebrews 1 See the chart on Sentence Diagraming The word believe in the Gospel of John

Judges 2:11 Psalm 136 KEY PHRASES Mark 4:9 10 Identify and amplify all A word or phrase that covers a broader range of related Family, includes subjects and ideas. marriage, husband, KEY TOPICS wife, children, etc. 11 Does the text reveal any There are nine doctrines that are generally recognized See the list to the within the scope of systematic theology. Keep a record right MAJOR DOCTRINES of the references for individual studies on each one. These would include the main people that the text is Ruth 12 Identify all the built around. They could completely change from Acts MAJOR CHARACTERS chapter to chapter, or within a chapter. Philemon 13 Identify expressions of Words such as then, after this, until, and when, show Matthew 26-28 Acts 2 timing or sequence of events. TIME Revelation 4 A series of words or phrases that may expand on a John - miracles 14 Does the text contain certain topic or point being made. Or, a list of things Galatians 5 - fruit LISTS you draw out of the overall text. Heb 4:12 - the word Always refers to things that are similar or alike. Words Proverbs 4:18,19 15 Can you locate any Matthew 7:24-27 used to signify comparisons are: as, like, and may be COMPARISONS 2 Timothy 1:7 compared to. An evaluation of things that are different or opposite Romans 8:5 Are there things that 16 within the immediate context. They are often noted by Colossians 3:2 CONTRAST 2 Timothy 1:7 the word but. Are 17 there statements of Words such as therefore, for, so that, for this reason, Matthew 28:19 indicate that a conclusion, summary, or result is being Ephesians 2:7 CONCLUSION Hebrews 2:1 stated. These are often the easiest things to see. Genesis 1-11 18 Identify all the John 18-20 IMPORTANT EVENTS Revelation 21 19 Note things dealing with An action, concept, or event that causes another. Key Mark 11:27-12:44 Romans 1:24-32 words used to identify it are therefore, so, then, CAUSE & EFFECT Romans 8:18-30 as a result. 20 Have you determined the A statement that best summarizes the obvious overall Book of Galatians, intent of the book. Law & Grace

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List and define any

KNOWING

Theology The study of God Christology The study of Christ Pneumatology The study of the Holy Spirit Bibliology The study of the Bible Anthropology The study of Man Soteriology The study of Salvation Ecclesiology The study of the Church Angelology The study of Angels Eschatology The study of Prophecy


Getting A Grasp Of God’s Word ~ Studying ~ S ( BIBLE MARKING CHART

The purpose of this Bible Marking Chart is to offer a variety of ways to help you systematically and graphically identify the things God is teaching you. Whatever styles you choose, be consistent throughout your Bible. This list is not exhaustive, so, be creative and personal in your approach.

STYLE

UNDERLINING

THINGS TO IDENTIFY

KNOWING

THE WORD

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

APPLICATION

Lets you identify key statements and phrases while Most underlining would be allowing the individual words to be marked with other done with a solid line. Other ways would include staccato styles. and double underline, both COMMANDS Red / Suggests “stop!” used for special emphasis. PROMISES Green / Suggests “go!” KEY STATEMENTS Blue / General ideas A felt tip pen or medium-size dry marker is recommended. PHRASES HAVING A VERY SPECIAL EMPHASIS Use different colors for each. Since a verse may contain more than one key element to identify, underline only that portion. A command and a promise often are in the same verse. Using a certain color for a key word. This may include Righteousness: righteously, all its various forms, as well as pronouns, that refer to righteous, rightly, right, the same word within the context of the passage. Or, upright, uprightly, uprightness a topic that may include all of its synonyms. Perseverence: endure, overcome, steadfastness, etc. GOD FEAR (OF GOD) BODY JESUS PRAYER SOUL A wider felt tip pen or dry HOLY SPIRIT WISDOM SPIRIT marker is recommended for FAITH HEART WORLD highlighting. Be sure to test GRACE FLESH HOPE for bleed-through on your MERCY DEVIL LOVE Bible pages. The concordance is a good place to check it. BLESS, PRAISE (In the book of Psalms) WISDOM (In the book of Proverbs) You may want to take a 3 x 5 VANITY (In the book of Ecclesiastes) card and make a color chart to BELIEVE (In the Gospel of John) keep in your Bible. ABIDE (In the Epistle of 1 John) WORDS NEEDING DOUBLE UNDERLINING

DIAGRAMS SYMBOLS RECTANGULAR BOXES CIRCLES MINI-CHARTS ARROWS ENLARGED PUNCTUATION NUMBERING

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DEFINING WORDS ALL CAPS

Key words or phrases are identified by applying an object or special design directly on them. Visual effects can be obtained by creating a combination of color and highlights. Objects or special designs that are placed next to a word, phrase, verse, or in the side margin. A simple box surrounding any of the following ideas: key phrases; key words (not included on the highlight list); terms of conclusion; cause & effect; warnings; time elements; synonymous words in immediate text. Personal pronouns; repeating conjunctions such as “and”, “but”; repeating prepositions; the word “all.” Rectangular boxes usually placed in the margins that contain lists of information that need emphasis. Used to point from one word or phrase to another in the actual text. This would include things with similar ideas; comparisons; contrasts; or simply pointing to the margin for a definition, list, chart, or reference. Parentheses or brackets may be used to make note of a larger part of the text. Additionally, enlarged quotes, exclamation or question marks give added visibility. Individual parts of a list within the text; or a collection of words, phrases, or ideas, that you have compiled. A word or phrase written above the printed text in order to give a definition or amplification. This would include Hebrew or Greek words, or their English transliteration. Apply this style to chapter or paragraph headings. Key events or personalities may be noted in the margin.

GOD, or all forms of deity. REGENERATION, & synonyms including: saved, born again, new birth, new creation, etc.

GOD

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HIGHLIGHTING

LAW REPENT

x

LOVE 9 SIN

A H 8 3 J L > one another / together > Time - Deut 6:20 > Warning - Deut 8:11 > Synonyms for word - Ps 119 Circles help small, important, repeating words to stand out, as in . . . Philippians 4:8 (mind dwelling) James 3:17 (wisdom/above) See Observation Worksheet on 1 Thessalonians chapter one.

[{ }( )“!?”] 1 2

3 -4-

Use a fine point pen. Colors could identify the difference from a definition, synonym,or Hebrew/Greek words. See Observation Worksheet on 1 Thessalonians chapter one.

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1 Thessalonians 1 2 3

6

Le ad ers

Di sc ipl

es

De cis So ion lid s

4 5

7

Re pr od uc t io

n

8

Co mm itm

en t

9

10

Pe rse cu tio n

1 2

Pe rse ve ran ce

3 4

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5

1:1 - 2:5

CHAPTER 1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our Ezra 7:10,11 Eph 1:3-5 John 8:31,32 Rom 8:28-30 God and Father; Rom 11:33 2 Thes 2:13,14 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you, for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the John 1:12 1 Thes 2:13 word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, James 1:21 so that you became an example to all believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is, Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come. CHAPTER 2 For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a

KNOWING

THE WORD ALWAYS GIVING THANKS A. Making mention in prayer B. Bearing in mind, constantly C. Knowing His choice of you

THREE-FOLD MINISTRY 1. Work - Faith 2. Labor - Love 3. Steadfastness - Hope

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1 Cor 13:13 The greatest of these is Love!

LEADERSHIP / DISCIPLESHIP 1. Prayer (2) 2. Proclamation (5) 3. Pattern (6) 4. Promotion (7,8) 5. Perception (9)

HOW THE GOSPEL IS DISPENSED 1. Word 2. Power 3. In the Holy Spirit 4. Full conviction 5. By example

IMITATORS

Greek = mimetes To mimic, not merely by talking, but to follow an example. Deut 18:9 1 Thes 2:14 1 Cor 4:16; 11:1 Heb 6:12; 13:7 Eph 5:1 3 John 1:11

THE THESSALONIAN RESPONSE 1. Received the word (6) 2. Experienced joy in the Holy Spirit (6) 3. Placed faith in God (8) 4. Turned to God from idols (9) 5. Served God (9) 6. Became imitators (6) 7. Spread the Gospel (8) 8. Became examples to others (7) 9. Faith extended beyond present locality (8) 10. Proclaimed truth in full (8) 11. Waiting for Jesus to return (10)

HOW TRUTH TURNS TO ERROR 1. Essence 2. Emphasis 3. Extreme 4. Error

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> In its pure, full & complete form > Focuses on a part of the truth > Questionable applications > Wrong conclusions

BECOMING A TEACHER OF ERROR 1. Walks > In counsel of wicked 2. Stands > In path of sinners 3. Sits > In seat of scoffers!

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Psalm 1:1

PAUL’S PERSONAL EXAMPLE Acts 17:17,18 2 Cor 11:21-33

Phi 1:12-14, 21-26 1 Thes 2:5-11

THE DYNAMICS OF TRUTH 1. Faith > Breeds peace 2. Hope > Breeds joy 3. Love > Breeds grace

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Internal External Eternal

THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD 1. He is approachable (3) 2. He loves us (4) 3. He chose us (4) 4. He gives joy (6) 5. He is alive (9) 6. He is true (9) 7. He promised His Son to return for us (10) 8. He delivers us from the wrath to come (10)

BOLDNESS IN GOD 1. Not in vain (2:1) 2. Suffered (2:2) 3. Mistreated (2:2) 4. Amid much opposition (2:2)

APPROVED CONDUCT


Getting A Grasp Of God’s Word ~ Studying ~ And the INTERPRETATION CHART meaning Hermeneutics is the technical term for the science and art of Biblical interpretation. There are two generally agreed upon divisions of hermeneutics: is . . . general and special. General hermeneutics refers to those rules which

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pertain to the interpretation of the entire Bible. Special hermeneutics refers to those rules which are developed for special parts of Scripture.

GENERAL RULES

Discern the kind of literature that This rule will clarify whether you need to use the book’s author has employed. just the General Rules or to employ additional rules for the Special nature of the text.

2

Know the content of the passage The thoroughness of your preliminary work in Observation & Correlation will determine the you are studying well. quality & preciseness of your interpretation.

3

Pay attention to the historical and That is, to the factors that led to the writing of cultural background of the text. the passage, the influences they had on the text, and what happened as a result of the message.

4

Look for the author’s intended meaning of the passage.

Don’t twist verses to support a meaning that is not clearly taught. Ascribing a meaning to a text that the author did not intend is assuming an authority equivalent to God Himself.

5

Remember that context always rules.

Context refers to that which goes before and that which follows after. When you interpret anything---a word, a verse, a teaching---it must always be considered in the light of: 1) the surrounding verses and chapters; 2) the book in which it is found; 3) the entire Word of God.

6

Always seek the full counsel of the Word of God.

This is where Correlation becomes so vital. Once you have gathered a body of passages concerning the subject at hand you will be able to get closer to the true meaning as you compare Scripture with Scripture. The Bible is the best commentary on itself!

7

Remember that Scripture will never contradict Scripture.

Although we have about forty different human authors, the sixty-six books of the Bible are God-breathed and ultimately the result of one primary Author, the Holy Spirit, Who coordinated the entire message. His Book is integrated. It hangs together. If there appears to be a contradiction then your interpretation of at least one passage is incomplete or wrong.

8

Do not base your doctrine on an obscure passage of Scripture.

An obscure passage is one in which the meaning is not easily understood. Because these passages are difficult to understand even when proper principles of interpretation are used, they should not be used as a basis for establishing doctrine.

9

Interpret Scripture literally.

The Bible is not a book of word mazes or mystical jargon, as if God has secretly hidden the meaning of life and living. Therefore, your first-hand look at the Word of God should be simply at face value. What is its normal sense? Look for the clear teaching of Scripture, but also be aware of figures of speech and interpret them accordingly.

10 Check your conclusions by using reliable, secondary sources for comparisons.

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AMPLIFICATION

1

Do not ever forget the order of study and research. Your first task is to thoroughly search the Scriptures, giving God’s Word the rightful place it deserves. Then, utilize secondary sources such as well-respected commentaries that contribute information more from an analytical standpoint verses a devotional content. Some resource tools that you should have are listed on the Bible Study Tools chart.

EXAMPLE Most common styles of literature found in the Scriptures:

Gen 6:1-4 Matt 27:52,53 1 Cor 15:29 Jude 1:9

Concordance Bible Dictionary Hebrew Word Study Greek Word Study Topical Bible Bible Encyclopedia Commentaries Bible Handbooks Webster’s Dictionary

KNOWING

THE WORD

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Nehemiah 8:8 And they read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading. 2 Peter 1:20,21 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Allegory Apocalypse Biographical Exposition Narrative Parables Poetry Prophecy Proverbs Symbols Types Wisdom Literature


Getting A Grasp Of God’s Word ~ Studying ~ How to . . .

APPLICATION CHART

Flesh it ( out! Getting a grasp of God’s Word is the thorough process of observation, correlation, and interpretation. Application, therefore, naturally follows as a return on your investment. It is, or should be, the expected fruit of all your labors. Once you know what a passage says and have discovered its meaning, you have a responsibility to live it; that is, to flesh it out! God’s Word was not given and preserved for us over the centuries to simply satisfy our curiosities; it was written to transform our lives. “The ultimate goal of Bible study, then, is not to do something to the Bible, but to allow the Bible to do something to you.” Bible study without application produces dead doctrine. On the other hand, when God’s Word is applied to our lives, it produces three major results: first, we are richly blessed as our lives are transformed in holiness; second, God is most certainly pleased as His awesome glory is amazingly expressed through us; third, and most importantly, we grow in intimacy with Him! Consequently, our changed lives will make noteworthy impressions upon others as they discover that we truly have “been with Jesus!”

How To Apply God’s Word 1. Begin by asking the Lord by the power of His Holy Spirit to give you insight into His Holy Word in order to: determine its true meaning, identify practical ways for personal application, have the courage to obey the truth immediately. 2. Be sure that you have observed the text thoroughly in its present context, and in light of the Bible as a whole. To interpret a text out of context borders on pretext (a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs). [Webster] 3. Make certain to follow basic rules of interpretation; a literal interpretation is usually best unless the text demands otherwise. Remember that there is a wide gap — language, culture, circumstances — between us and the biblical Christians. Therefore, careful attention to the differences and similarities must be noted before constructing an appropriate principle that can be applied in our own situation. The rule of thumb is: There is only one correct interpretation, but there may be many applications. 4. Ask yourself questions that will stimulate your mind as to possible applications: 1) Is there an example for me to follow? 2) Is there a sin to forsake? 3) Is there a promise to claim? 4) Is there a prayer to repeat? 5) Is there a command to obey? 6) Is there a condition to meet? (If...then) 7) Is there a verse to memorize? 8) Is there an error to avoid? 9) Is there a challenge to face? 10) Is there a new discovery about God to embrace?

5. Avoid generalities. Be specific by putting your finger on the heart of the matter. Example: in 2 Timothy 2:15, don’t conclude with “I need to be a better Christian,” or, “I need to read my Bible more.” But rather, “I’m going to take 15 minutes each day and read through the Gospels recording all the commands of Jesus in order to obey them.” 6. Be personal, and write out your application when appropriate. Note that this is not about “we” or “our,” “them” or “they.” It’s about “I,” “me,” “my,” and “mine.”

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7. Make a Personal Accountability Log so that you can check up on yourself. Sometimes your application may be as simple as repaying a friend for a small loan, or returning a long-overdue book. It may be setting the record straight with someone by going to them and seeking their forgiveness. Or, it may be a certain habit God wants you to break that will take considerable time. The Lord may lead you to do a long-range project involving His Kingdom. Consequently, the longer an application takes the more difficult it is to check up on the progress. But even this in itself is a great way to apply the Scripture as found in 1 Timothy 4:15,16: Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

KNOWING

THE WORD

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

John 1:1,2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Acts 4:13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

2 Peter 1:3,4 Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

James 1:22-25 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

John 14:21 He who has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Psalm 119:9,11 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word. Thy word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.


Getting A Grasp Of God’s Word ~ Memorizing ~ How to . . . Treasure God’s Word

SCRIPTURE MEMORY CHART In the Book Of Proverbs we are given this exhortation: “My son, keep my words, and treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” [Pr 7:1-3]

( You may be thinking, “I can’t memorize Scripture, I’ve always had a poor memory.” The notion that some of us have just been born with a good memory, and others a poor one is just not true. You rely upon your memory every day for a variety of things. Memory is simply like a muscle. The more we exercise it the stronger we become in its use. And, even though our arch enemy is against us in developing any skill of memorizing Scripture, the Holy Spirit is on our side and will provide all we need to internalize the Word of God! The following are some suggested guidelines in developing your skills in memorizing Scripture.

1. Choose a time when your mind is free from outside distractions and you are able to concentrate. 2. Begin with prayer, thanking God for His Word and claiming His resources. 3. Select a verse or section of Scripture in an area that you have a need or a particular interest. This will give added motivation. 4. Read the Scripture over a few times silently and out loud. Get the “feel” of God’s Word upon your lips. 5. Familiarize yourself with its context and setting in your Bible. 6. If it is a large section of Scripture divide it into paragraphs or smaller sections, and each verse into smaller phrases. Example: 1 Corinthians 13 (chapter on love) can be divided into four sections: verses 1-3; 4-8a; 8b-10; and 11-13 7. Memorize by building phrase upon phrase, verse upon verse, section upon section, until completed: Example: 1) Phrase upon phrase (1 Cor 13:1): If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels But do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2) Verse upon verse: Memorize vs 1, then vs 2 Quote 1 & 2 together Memorize vs 3 Quote vss 2 & 3 together Quote vss 1,2, & 3 together 3) Section upon section: Memorize section 1, then section 2 Quote sections 1 & 2 together Memorize section 3 Quote sections 2 & 3 together, then 1,2, & 3 together Memorize section 4 Quote sections 3 & 4 together, then 1,2,3, & 4 together 8. Memorize letter-word-perfect. The more precise you are in learning, the strong the impression will be in your mind, and the quicker the recall. 9. It is also helpful to write out the Scripture. 10. Be sure to memorize the Scriptural reference of the verse and practice quoting it at the beginning and the end. 11. Make mental and prayerful notes of missed words and difficult phrases. 12. Over memorize it! You cannot know it too well. It should become such a part of you that you can say it without thinking.

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13. Review! Review! Review! Review the Scripture immediately, and frequently throughout the first couple of days after learning. Periodically review all of the verses that you have memorized, especially those that do not come immediately to mind. 14. Make it a habit. Keep at it and your memory muscle will continually get stronger.

KNOWING

THE WORD

THE BIBLE S SAY Z

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.


Getting A Grasp Of God's Word