I Thank God Always, for allowing me the opportunity to share His Word, and His Ways, to Man. For recently I was blessed to have had the privilige to conduct "Personal Work" for Him, in the country of South Africa. Which I am in the midst of winding down, as I prepare this "Food For Thought"!
For I have had the privilge of working with all age groups, in there country. I had recieved numerous request from all of them and too, received many a fine personal and special, and heart warming, touching, emails from them. For many had asked me, "Mr Jim, How do we study God's Word, the Bible?" That question from them just pricked my heart!
But to be honest, at that moment, I could not help but to hear my Big Brothers's Words ringing (loudly) thru my ears, and something I'll never forget, and will always be grateful to Him, for that. For he said, in a kind loving gentle caring, (Loud) manner, and yes too, of course some of his well seasoned, (salt and pepper) type of his favorite metaphors that only he can sprinkle on a point he's attempting to stress or make known.
However; I havent gotten His permission to use them here, So now I Thank God, I dont have too! For He said, in the "Edited Editon" ; "Jim, how many times do I have to Tell You, Read The Book"! (Just Loved How He Said That). For my friends I once again Thanked God, for the wisdom, of not responding to the South Africans question with that answer.(Sorry Big Brother, Couldnt Quote You)
Thus I prepared a lesson for them, there in South Africa, as a result of there willingness to learn what God would have them to do, in order to become a New Testament Christian and be saved, and yes too, Pleasing to Him. So now too my friends, I feel inclined to share it with you!
How To Study The Bible:
My Friends, God speaks to men, in the Bible. It is a book of divine instruction. In it alone man's greatest questions are answered: "Who Am I?" "Why am I here?" "Where am I going?" For no other book reveals the truth about God, explains the origin of man, diagnoses the problem of sin, and shows the only way of salvation unto eternal life.
Man's eternal destiny depends, upon his Obedience to God and His Words. "And this is life Eternal, that they should know thee, the only true God, and him whom thou didst, send, even Jesus Christ". (John 17:3). "Not every one that said unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven".(Matt 7:21). "Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of Man." (Eccl. 12:13)
My friends, no-one, can OBEY, that which he does not understand nor perceive what he has not considered. In order for man to know God's will he must study His Word. The importance of Bible Study can not be emphasized enough, and I would like to encourage you, my friend, to begin to do just that. For Remember always my Friend, when you choose to Study God's Word(Bible), you are literally spending time with Him. Yes, One on One, Just You and Him! What better company can you choose than being with Him?
A great many who read the Bible my friends do not study it. They open it at random, hastily read a chapter, usually with little thought, and then do not look at it again for weeks. It is not suprising to hear such persons complain, "I cant get anything out of the Bible". (Daaa)!
If this precious book is ever to be understood, rules and principles used in the study of other books must be observed, while studying it. The following a basic rules if applied, will enable anyone, to include Me the (Slow Learner) to better understand the Word of God.
Accept The Bible
As The Word Of God
My friends, this is not to say that an infidel cannot know anything revealed in God's Word. This he must do to be save. (John 8:32, 24;20:31). Yet one who regards the Bible as a book of myths and inaccuracies is not likely to make a thorough investigation of its teaching. He may read it out of mere curiosity or to find fault, but hardly with a design to understand.
The greater one's faith the more diligent will be his search for understanding of this divine message. When he accepts it "as it is in truth, the word of God" (1 Thess: 2:13, he will be able to see it more clearly.
Expect To Understand The Bible
"Attitude is Everything"
Many regard the Bible as a sealed book, beyond the comprehension of an average person. (Wrong)!!!! They suppose that one must have a special gift from God, before he can unravel, its "dark sayings" (NOT)!!! Usually the "Clergy" reserve for themselves this right to interpret the scriptures for others. (example of the arrogance of Foolish Man). In this way they they destroy confidence in the Bible and place it, in themselves.
The Bible is a revelation from God. Since it is a revelation it is designed to be understood. If it is unintelligible then,it is no revelation at all. The Bible was given to men through men, in human language, By God. The same familiar words were employed as were used to communicate with one another in other matters. Since they understood words spoken or written by "uninspired" men, then surely they could understand the same words when used by "Inspired" men! (Daaa)!
God's commandments have always been expressed in words that men could understand. Adam and Eve knew that they were not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They were aware of the penalty for disobedience. (Gen. 2:17; 3:3). Noah understood and did all that God commanded him concerning the ark. (Gen: 6:22). Likewise, Abraham, Moses, David, and others understood fully the Word of God.
Jesus preached in the synagogues, the temple, in the market places, by the sea and on a mountain; and the common people heard him gladly. (Mark 12:37). There was no one to interpret His words for the masses.
Paul's letter were addressed to "all the saints" at a particular place. (Rom 1:7; Eph 1:1, Phil. 1:1, Col: 1:2). The epistle to Thessalonica was to "Be read unto all the brethren" (1 Thess: 5:27). He charged the Chruch of Christ at Colossae: "And when this epistle hath been read amoung you, cause that it be read also in the Chruch of Christ of Laodiceans; and that ye also read the epistle from Laodicea (Col 4:16). . The fact that these letters were both written and read to all the brethren shows that they were intended to be understood by all. (Dont tell the Catholics that though!)
Some think that the Bible itself teaches that the scriptures can not be understood. Paul does refer to the many blessings of the Gospel of Christ, prior to their being revealed, as a mystery. "How that by revelation was made known unto me, the mystery, as I wrote before in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ; which in other generations was not make known unto the sons of Men".. (Eph 3: 3-5). He then added: "Unto me... was this grace given to preach unto the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men SEE what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages, hath been hid in God"(vs. 8, 9) That which was a mystery has now been revealed and men can see it. The Bible nowhere suggest that what has been reveal, cannot be understood: (No-Where)! My friends, we are plainly told to "understand the will of the Lord" (Eph 5:17) .. (Dont tell the Catholics that, ok?)
Love The Truth
Paul wrote : "That some were perishing because they received Not the Love of the Truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thess 2:10). If one is to be saved he must Love the Truth.
That which one loves, he seeks and, if he can, obtains. If he hungers and thirsts after righteousness he shall be filled" (Matt: 5:6) If her preferes error to truth that is what he will pursue and find. "And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a like; that they might be judged who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thess. 2:11, 12).
One who love the Truth will accept it no matter where it is found or how much it differs from what he and those about him have believed. To Him nothing is more important than Truth (cf. Prov 23:23). He had rather be right than consistent. He desires the approval of God above the plaudits of men. He is ready to "Let God be true, but every man a liar" (Romans 3:4).
In Part II of How to Study The Bible:
I Will Be Discussing:
Desire to Do God's Will
Have An Open Mind
Study for the Right Motive
In Part III of How to Study The Bible:
I Will Be Discussing:
Regard the Divisions of the Bible
Consider the Context
In My Final "Food For Thoughts" (Conclusion)
I Will Be Discussing:
Accept All That is Given On Each Subject.
Accept Only What Is Given On Each Subject
Take The Bible For What It Says. (Dont Add To His Word Nor Take From It)
Use Common Sense
Grow In Understanding.
Stay Tune My Friends,