Sunday, November 24, 2013

“Study” Part 2

Temple Baptist Church - 11-24-2013
2 Timothy 2:15


A.  Last week, we looked at the command, commendation, and benefits of Bible study.  This week, I want to give a quick overview as to who can study and how to study.

B.  There are several things that you need and also need to realize before you begin to study God’s Word.

1.  First of all, you need to realize that this is a supernatural Book.  This Book is a God made Book; this Book contains the mind of a thrice holy God; this Book is a living Book; this Book will feed you, guide you, warn you, admonish you, comfort you, reprove you, correct you, exhort you, and fill your heart and mind with the will and way of God.

2.  Secondly, you need to make sure that you have the right Bible!  There is only one that is correct.  Things that are different are not the same.  You need the Authorized King James Bible.  The question may be asked by some, “What is the big deal about only one Bible?”  If every word that God inspires is important, and it is, then you do not want verses left out, words left out, words changed, etc.  Start with the right Bible and you will end with the right message.

3.  Thirdly, you need some good tools to work with.  I am not saying that you cannot study your Bible by itself because you can but good men have provided us with good tools.  You can chop wood with an axe or you can use a chain saw.  You can plow with a mule or you can use a John Deere Tractor. 

a)  You need a good concordance.  This allows you to quickly find verses and subject matter.  I prefer Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. 

b)  You need a good dictionary.  Though our English language is evolving, the wording of the King James Bible is not archaic!  It is English at the height of its beauty.  I use a Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.  It is also available online for free.

c)  There are several good bible programs available online or for download that are free.  I use Esword.  It has many different aspects that make bible study both efficient and accurate.  It has

d)  A good Bible Atlas.  It is important that we be able to perceive the geography and topography of the land as it brings to life the stories of the Bible.

e)  Commentaries should be used both sparingly and LAST!  They are men’s thoughts and commentaries on the Bible, not God’s  You are studying to find out what God says and thinks, not what man says about what God says and thinks.

C.  M. R. DeHaan set forth some good rules for Bible Study that I want to use.  I will not use all of his rules but most of them.

1.  RULE #1 IS THE RULE OF REGENERATION - You need to know that you are saved!  The natural or unsaved man cannot understand the things of God.  The Bible says that they are spiritually discerned!  An unsaved person may be able to quote Scripture but they will never fully understand what they quote until they are saved and have the Author of the Bible, the Holy Spirit, living in their hearts.

1 Corinthians 2:9-16  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 1:18-19  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  (19)  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

2.  RULE #2 IS THE RULE OF AUTHORITY (OR DIVINE AUTHORSHIP) - Unless we believe that this Book is infallible, inerrant Word of God, it is useless for us to try to study it.  We must get to the point in our Christian life that the Bible is the final authority on every subject.  In fact the Bible claims itself claims authority.       

2 Timothy 3:16-17  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.

1 Peter 1:23-25  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  (24)  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:  (25)  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

2 Peter 1:19-21  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:  (20)  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  (21)  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

3.  RULE #3 IS THE RULE OF SELECTIVE READING – The Bible should be our textbook concerning the interpretation or application of itself.  Many people ask what Bible study helps should they have or need in order to understand the Bible better.  One preacher stated Bible commentaries are like sheep; they all go astray.  Let me give you a few items that you can get and are very inexpensive in themselves.  Really they are an investment in your Christian life.  Once again:

1.  A King James Bible.  A study Bible is fine but it is to be remembered that the notes and cross references are the work of fallible, sinful man.  I like a Bible with no notes in it.  One preacher said that commentaries are like sheep: they all go astray!

2. A CONCORDANCE - An exhaustible is the best but if affordability is a consideration then abridged is helpful.  There are three excellent ones that are the most commonly used: Strong’s; Young’s and Cruden’s.  We used to say, “Cruden’s for the Crude, Young’s for the Young, and Strong’s for the Strong.”  I recommend Strong’s.

3.  A GOOD BIBLE DICTIONARY OR AN OLD WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY - Some books are good to have but not necessary.  But you should be careful what you read or who you read.  There is a lot of “Christian” authors who distort the truths of God’s Word.  A good book for you to read is a book by C. I. Scofield called “Rightly Dividing The Word Of Truth.”  Oliver Greene has many great commentaries.  One preacher made this observation:  “Isn’t it amazing that the Lord knows more about the Bible than Matthew Henry.”

4.  RULE #4 IS THE RULE OF LITERAL INTERPRETATION - This Bible is full of literal things and should be interpreted literally unless common sense indicates that this is figurative or not to be taken literally.

D.  Now, how to study your Bible. 

1.  Study your Bible prayerfully.  Ask the Lord to open the Scriptures as you open your heart and mind to the truth enfolded within its pages.  Wisdom and understand are the principle things.

Psalms 119:130  The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Proverbs 4:7  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

2.  Study your Bible systematically.  So many people just open their Bible to whatever page it happens to open to and read there.  Scripture must be interpreted with Scripture!  If you change one verse in this Bible, you must change it all because it is intricately tied together.

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

Isaiah 28:13  But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

3.  Study your Bible contextually.  You can make the Bible say almost anything you want it to say by basing doctrine on one verse.  

2 Peter 1:20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

a.  D.A. Carson has been quoted as saying, "A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text." By "proof text," Carson means the abuse of a single verse or phrase taken out of context to "prove" a particular view.

b.  The word "text" is derived from the Latin word, which means to ―weave.  The context is that which accompanies the text. The Word of God is a perfect unit. The scriptures cannot be broken; they all stand together in perfect unity.

c.  Every text has its immediate context in the passage from which it comes, its broader context in the book to which it belongs, and its ultimate context in the Bible as a whole; and it needs to be rightly related to each of these contexts if its character, scope and significance is to be adequately understood.

d.  One caution concerning context, watch out for verse and chapter divisions, you may miss the context.

4.  Study your Bible verbally.  There are no unnecessary words in the Bible.  God wastes no words and, therefore, every word is of the utmost importance. 

Matthew 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

John 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

5.  Study your Bible progressively.  One of the principles that I use most in Bible study is that of First Mention.  In the first mention of any subject, God will reveal His truth concerning that subject and never vary from it.  Throughout the rest of the Bible, that particular truth will be progressively enlightened until the whole truth is revealed.

Psalms 36:9  For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

Proverbs 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

6.  Study your Bible prophetically.  The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed while the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.  In the Old, we find types, anti-types, and shadows of the New.  Learn to find Christ in every part and God’s perfect will for your life.  Paul revealed this truth to the Corinthian believers.

1 Corinthians 13:12  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

7.  Study your Bible and make personal application. 

Hebrews 4:12-13  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  (13)  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

James 1:22-25  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  (23)  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  (24)  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  (25)  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

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