Summary: Bible Research is a condensed Bible College Course in how to study the Bible. This second session answers the question: How do I study the Bible?
BIBLE RESEARCH #2 - HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE:
SESSION #3 – THE BIBLE STUDY PROCESS
Note: EFFECTIVE Bible study requires a METHOD.
Quote: “You don’t teach a kid to swim by tossing him in the deep end of a pool and saying, OK, swim!” (Howard Hendricks)
I. THE LIVING BY THE BOOK METHOD:
What is a METHOD? “A strategy, a plan of attack that will
yield maximum results for your investment of time and effort.”
A. THE BENEFITS TO THIS PROCESS:
1. It is a simple, proven process. It’s easy, and it works! Who can use it?
a. Anyone from new Christians to seasoned ministers of the Gospel!
2. It will give you a valuable sense of self-confidence in your ability to handle Scripture.
a. This will benefit you as you seek to please God in your Christian life
b. This will help you to teach the Word of God accurately to others
3. The joy of personal discovery.
a. There is little joy that compares to that of personal discovery (story)
4. A deeper personal relationship with the Author of the Book!
a. The ultimate benefit – falling deeper in love with God
b. God wants to speak directly to us – He does this through His Word.
B. THE COSTS OF THIS PROCESS:
1. EFFORT – Scripture does not yield its fruit to the lazy
“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And find out knowledge and discretion…I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.” (Prov. 8:12,17).
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13).
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (Matthew 7:6).
2. OPENNESS TO GOD – Be Humble, Submit, and Draw Near:
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:6-8).
3. OPENNESS TO CHANGE – Why was the Bible written?
a. Not to BE STUDIED
b. But rather to CHANGE LIVES
THE THREE–STEP PROCESS FOR EFFECTIVE BIBLE STUDY:
1. OBSERVATION - ask the question: “What do I see?”
2. INTERPRETATION - ask the question: “What does it mean?”
3. APPLICATION: - ask the question: “How does it work?”
SESSION #4 – STEP ONE: OBSERVATION:
MY PERSONAL TIPS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
1. What’s First? PRAY before you begin your reading. (Talk to the Author)
Before I read the Word, I often pray: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, would give to me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened.” (Ephesians 1:17-18).
2. Where to start? Begin reading in the BOOK OF GENESIS.
Genesis is the Book of Beginnings, so it makes sense to start there. Read through the history of the Creation of the Universe, the fall of man, the Flood, and the history of the patriarchs of Israel. From there, turn to the New Testament and read through the Gospel of Mark. It is the simple, fast-paced narrative of the life and teachings of Jesus. Once you’re done reading this book, read through Psalms and Proverbs, then go through the rest of the New Testament, and the Old Testament!
3. Record your observations – TAKE NOTES on what you’re reading.
Journaling is such an important part of Bible study. Taking notes helps keep your mind active in the learning process, and forces you to think about what you read while you read. Three different methods of observation to begin with:
A The “Detective” Approach – asks the 5 “W” Questions:
1. WHO? - Who are the people in this Bible story?
- What is said about the person? What does the person say?
2. WHAT? - What is happening in this text? What are the events?
- What happens to the characters?
3. WHEN? - When did the events take place?
- When was the writer writing?
4. WHERE? - Where is the story taking place? (gives you the location)
- Where are the people coming from, or going?
5. WHY? - Why is this story or verse included in the Bible?
- Why is a question that digs for meaning.
B The “Disciple” Approach – asks four Questions about Doctrine:
WHAT DOES THIS SCRIPTURE TEACH ME ABOUT:
1. WHO GOD IS? What do I learn about the nature of God?
2. WHO AM I? What do I learn about the nature of man?