Purpose of the session
To equip students with keys to aid Bible study, and to impart a joy for personal study of the Scriptures.
A Love For Truth
The desire to study God’s Word is under girded with a sincere love for the truth. If we genuinely want to know someone, we will listen attentively to what they say. Our God has spoken in his Word.
We are not merely commanded to love God with all our heart, but also with our mind. Our entire being is caught up in this glorious pursuit!
This will not be a sterile session outlining formal forms of study, although we will give some frameworks that may help the student, but rather a dynamic exploration of the wonder of Bible Study.
With David our heart cries out:
“Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.” (Psalm 119:18 NKJV)
In relation to the Scriptures, we are not in some official acquaintance, marked by formality and polite conduct, but rather we are in a passionate and enduring love affair with the truth! We are married to Him who is the Truth. (Romans 7:4).
Just as the Shulamite in Song of Solomon eagerly sought her Shepherd lover, so we unashamedly pursue the knowledge of God.
The root of study is zeal - a heart's cry not a head full of knowledge.
Study means: To examine, consider, dig, inquire, research, scrutinise. To apply the mind in order to acquire knowledge or skill.
The word is derived from the Latin, ‘Studium’, which means “zeal” (strong, feeling, passion, eagerness, enthusiasm). Our zeal provokes us to seek God in His Word. A casual observer of the Word will receive little from God. It is the one who honours and reverences, and who acts upon the Word that God blesses.
If Christ is perfectly one with the Bible, then it follows that the relationship of the believer to the Bible must be the same as his relationship to Christ. To this fact the Scriptures bear testimony in many places…
Your attitude toward God’s Word is your attitude toward God Himself. You do not love God more than you love His Word. You do not obey God more than you obey His Word. You do not honour God more than you honour His Word. You do not have more room in your heart and life for God than you have for His Word.
Foundations For Christian Living
There is where men lack. All lack of faith is due to not feeding on God’s Word. You need it every day. How can you enter into the life of faith. Feed on the living Christ of whom the Word is full. As you get taken up with the glorious fact and the wondrous presence of the living Christ, the faith of God will spring up within you. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17.
Faith That Prevails
An Effective Approach To Bible Study...
a. Child like (expectant)
If we approach our studies and prayer times as mere obligations required of Christian Believers, duties of the religiously inclined, we will miss the innocent joy and excitement of real discovery. Few things are so sad as a marriage that has entered a stage of boredom, where neither partner is excited by the presence of and revelation of the inner self of the other. So too, over-familiarity with the scripture can crystallise into a “know-it-all, read it, seen it, done it, got-the-T-shirt” kind of attitude. Scriptures that once ignited our imagination with possibilities are now consigned to the internal filing system of doctrinal knowledge. Gone is the child like anticipation of unearthing fresh treasure. Gone the reckless willingness to believe at face value what is written on the living page, and jump headlong out of the boat of comfortable Christianity into the infinite world of our Father!
Wherever you are in your walk with God, I encourage you to re-discover God’s love letter to His people – Open it with fresh eyes and a hungry heart!
David’s son, Solomon, caught his dad’s passion and expressed it for you and I in the second chapter of Proverbs:
“MY SON, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you, Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it]; Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures, Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God. For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:1-6 AMP)
“… to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2 KJV)
God will always honour those who honour Him. We must approach His Word, not with the critical mind of certain of the ‘bible experts’ in some seminaries, not merely as great piece of literature, but as it is in truth, the very Word of Almighty God.
When we recognise that these words are from a dimension outside of time and space – that they are truly the recorded utterances of the Lord of the Universe, that the Bible is the “oracle”, or “speaking place”, of God, our attitude toward it will be marked with humility.
Eugene Peterson’s modern paraphrase of Proverbs 1:7, which earlier translators rendered, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”, says it so well:
“Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.” (Proverbs 1:7 MESSAGE)
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that God rewards the diligent. As we discipline ourselves in the study of the scriptures, it becomes our delight! Too often, people are faddish in their daily disciplines. We try something, and when it does not yield almost immediate results, conclude that it does not work. God, however, has not reserved wisdom for the casual enquirer, but for the diligent searcher after truth. There may be lots of dirt to dig before we find the gold, but who in the end is richer? The soiled and sweaty labourer carrying his prize, or the comfortable sloth watching him work?
"Whom will he teach knowledge?
And whom will he make to understand the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just drawn from the breasts?
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little. ” (Isaiah 28:9-10 NKJV)
We do not want to build a prefab, but a strong solid spiritual house. This is done day by day, here a little, there a little, until all is complete.
“And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you —and more [besides] will be given to you who hear. For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away [by force],” (Mark 4:24-25 AMP)