Summary: Every person builds a foundation and every person experiences storms. Discover how to build on the right foundation with the Inductive Bible Study Method and prepare yourself for the storms of life.
Now, guys - I think one of the great things that men want to understand but don't know how to do is how to read their Bible effectively so that they can pull principles from it that they use in everyday life. I know this to be true because this is one of my great challenges, as I begin my journey with Jesus Christ. Is just understanding God's incredible word. Now, we know that God's word is divinely inspired - but sometimes we have a hard time extracting truth from it, and understanding what God is trying to teach us there.
Today, I want to walk you through the Inductive Bible Study method. Now, people have used this down through the ages to help them to dig out God's truth, and if you want to understand how I prepare when I'm communicating - well, this is what I do. The inductive method is essentially the scientific method applied to studying the Bible itself. It's a three-pronged process - that is going to help you to dig out the profound truths of God's word, and figure out how it applies to your everyday life.
So let me walk you through the three steps of Inductive Bible Study method. The first step is this, observation. Observation. I think that this is the step that we all take for granted. So what I do, is I find a section of scripture - usually a paragraph or two. And I begin to read it -and I read it over and over and over and over again, observing what is going on in the text. I'm looking at words; specifically, I'm looking for repeated words. As well as specific terms used to describe people, places, or things in the text.
I'm also looking for - number two - characters, and their roles and actions within the text. Three, I'm looking at grammar. And even though I'm not the greatest with grammar - I'm looking to identify the subject, and the verb, and the object of each sentence. And even though maybe you're not an English major, you'll notice these pieces of grammar in the text. You're going to see what verbs really represent the text, or take center stage there. You're looking for the use of contrast and comparisons that are maybe repeated, over and over again. And you're going to look at them as they're used to make some central point in the story.
Fourth, you're going to be looking for structure, examine how sentences and paragraphs kind of come together. Paying special attention to the transitions and the connection phrases. Like the word “therefore." Where therefore is a keyword, which means to point back to what went before it. And you're just noticing words like that that are giving you little clues. Five, the genre is very important. You need to discern what kind of genre the text is. Whether it's poetry or prose, maybe it's a letter or prophetic literature. Or maybe it's a narrative, but you're looking at different forms of what this text is. Next, you're looking at mood. You're just noticing the tone of the text - by paying attention to like, the actions and emotions, and/or some of the challenges in the text.
And gentleman, this is the way that we exhaust it. Now, when I'm setting in one of my Resolute cohorts, I'm looking for men to spend a lot of time here. Maybe even 75% of their time. Usually what we do is we bypass this considerable step of observation. Observation is key to getting all of your questions answered, and what we typically do when we read the text, is we look at the text, and we ask questions too quickly. We jump right into interpretation or into the application. And gentlemen, don't do that. All the questions that you want to be answered can be found in you making very, very good observations from the text.
Next, we're going to jump to interpretation. And in the interpretation stage, we're looking to find the author's intended meaning to the original audience. Did you hear me in that? That means that we're looking for what the author was trying to say to the original audience of people, not what the author's trying to tell us, but what the author's trying to tell them. So what you want to do here is you want to think kind of in reporter-style from about questions that are going to help make direct observations from the text itself. Questions like, who, what, where, when, how, why - of those people in those times. Now, what's going to help you out very much here is a study Bible or something that is going to give you a brief overview of the history of that text and what's going on in that time, that will significantly help you to understand maybe what the apostle Paul, in the Book of Romans, was trying to say to the Roman people, rather than jumping to what Paul might be trying to tell us, today.