Summary: God calls us to master the biblical text and also be mastered by it.
The Bible is 100% accurate:
• The life of the body is in its blood... (Leviticus 17:11).
• He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth... (Isaiah 40:22).
• ...he suspends the earth over nothing (Job 26:7).
• Video: Stars
• ...as countless as the stars of the sky (Jeremiah 33:22).
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word (Psalm 119:16).
All Scripture is God-breathed... (2 Timothy 3:16).
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
We spend a lot of time on things that are going to pass away.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11).
STUDYING THE TEXT
1. MASTER the text.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV).
Illustration: A “worker” needs a blueprint.
How to study the Bible:
a. Choose a BOOK of the Bible.
b. Start with PRAYER.
c. Read the ENTIRE book.
d. Slow down and read the book VERSE-BY-VERSE.
e. Ask three questions:
(1) What does this passage SAY?
(2) What does this passage MEAN?
(3) How does this passage APPLY to me?
f. Gaps to bridge:
(1) LANGUAGE gap
(2) CULTURE gap
(3) GEOGRAPHY gap
(4) HISTORY gap
How to Study Your Bible by John MacArthur is a good booklet on this topic. (You can read the entire booklet here.)
Illustration: A “worker” needs good tools.
Tools for studying the text:
• Choose a Bible – NKJV (the old KJV is probably not the best option for a new believer; the KJV used today—1769—is actually an update of the original 1611 edition), NIV.
• Study extra materials – NIV Study Bible (also in KJV and NASB), Life Application Study Bible, The MacArthur Study Bible.
• Go to the web – www.biblegateway.com, www.gty.org/resources.
2. Be MASTERED by the text.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean” (Matthew 23:27).
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but down not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does (James 1:22-25).
“All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). The words of the Bible are the very words of God. To disobey the Bible is to disobey God.
“Mastering the text” means seeking God’s answers to my questions. Being “mastered by the text” means me answering God’s questions.
PASTOR: The grass withers and the flowers fall,
EVERYONE: But the word of our God stands forever.
PASTOR: All Scripture is God-breathed
EVERYONE: And is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.