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Ephesians 4:11-15 – “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
-The evangelist equips you to evangelize through testimonies, modeling, imparting their anointing, coaching and pushing you to do it!
-The teacher equips you to engage God in His Word through teachings, testimonies, modeling, imparting a spirit of revelation, talking about it, coaching you through it, and pushing you to do it!! Their job is to make the Word feel more accessible to everyone so you have the confidence to engage God in the Word on your own!!
I. Approaching the Word with the Proper Perspective
- A. Zoomed out perspective of the Bible: The Word is a book of remembrance and testimonies of His interactions with His family, the Family that is destined to lead the world to salvation and redemption!!
- B. OT – Follows the story of ONE family, Israel, who is chosen for the Seed, God’s promise for revelation, salvation, and deliverance to come through!!
- -Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”
- C. NT – Follows the story of the fruit of The Seed!! Still going on right now!!
- D. Psalm 103:7 – “He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel…” We can look at His deeds, or choose to ask the Spirit to reveal to us His WAYS, which leads us to His nature and character….who He IS.
II. Keys to Successful Bible Study:
- A. Revelation of the Spirit – Need the Spirit to breathe revelation on your Bible!!! Show me Your ways Lord!!!
- B. Walk WITH OTHERS through the Word!! – Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another. Ecc. 4:12 – And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. I have, BY FAR, learned the most through discussing the Word with friends.
III. Types of Bible study:
- A. Devotional/allegorical – totally legit. Spirit drops something on you like Zephaniah 3:17 –
“The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult (or dance) over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
- B. Topical study – study a topic, theme, motif throughout the whole Bible. Study grace throughout Scripture, study the fear of the Lord throughout Scripture, etc. Nave’s Topical Bible is a great resource for this type of study. http://www.naves-topical-bible.com/
- C. Expository studying – Expository studying typically focuses on one book and then dig into individual chapters. What did the author intend this to mean to the original reader? What did it mean to the people originally reading it?
- Need to know a few things:
a. Who wrote it?
b. Why did the author write it?
c. Who did he write it to?
d. When was it written? What are the main cultural and historical factors we need to take into consideration to understand the author’s original meaning?
e. If there is a problem, what was the problem present in that particular
- Let’s use Zephaniah as an example:
- Zephaniah was a prophet during the time of King Josiah and was written most likely before the reforms that King Josiah brought to Judah.
- It seems it was written before the Assyrians ravaged the land and brought the ten tribes of Israel into captivity. This happens BEFORE the Babylonian exile, when Judah is taken away to Babylon.
- Major theme is the “day of the Lord” where God delivers His people and judges evil peoples.
- Another major theme is speaking of future hope for the people of Judah, especially regarding a final redemption.
IV. Some tools for Bible study: Soooo many amazing tools out there!!
- A. Bible app – Biblegateway is an amazing app; comes with embedded audio Bible.
- B. A physical or digital journal
- C. Study Bible – read the intro to each book of the Bible to get help answering some of the questions listed above.
- D. Chronology of Biblical Books – figure out where they are in historical timeline! http://www.basicsofthebible.org/files/BibleStructureAndTimeline.pdf
- E Bible Study Tip #1: Try to sit and read the whole book in one sitting first, without referencing any other books, study materials, or any other person’s teachings! See what the Spirit reveals to you before referencing anything else!! Give Him a chance to speak to you and don’t second guess yourself because the Spirit is the ultimate Teacher!!
- F. Bible Study Tip #2: As you are reading, write down questions that come up!
- G. Find answers to your questions with the following resources!!
- Biblical encyclopedias – Want to know the Biblical/historical significance of a lamp, lampstand, locusts, or some guy named Lo-Ammi in Scripture? Use an online Biblical encyclopedia! http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/
- Lexicons for word studies – Want to study a particular word in Scripture and maybe explore what it meant in the original language or how it is used in other places in the Bible?! Then you want a Lexicon!! http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/
- Commentaries – Still stumped? Look at this amazing, very reputable New Testament commentary called the IVP New Testament Commentary series which is free!! It gives reputable scholars’ thoughts on all New Testament passages https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/ivp-nt/toc/ Old Testament passages: http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/jamieson-fausset-brown/ The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/teb/ REMEMBER: Commentaries are points of reference and guidance. Not all conclusions drawn by scholars are correct. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you!
- Guides to using some of these websites: https://freedailybiblestudy.com/5-of-the-best-free-bible-study-tools/
V. Results of those Who Studied the Word in Scripture:
- A. David studied the Word after one of his men was struck down by God’s presence because they did not handle the ark of the covenant correctly. He went and studied God’s Word and was able to return to the correct ways that God previously taught His people to handle His presence!!
- B. Josiah looked in the Word and his response to the Word turned the whole nation because he returned to knowing the ways of the Lord and saw that the peoples ways were far from Him!!
- C. Daniel was reading Jeremiah and saw the prophetic Scriptures saying Israel would be in captivity to Babylon for 70 years and after reading this, he was moved to intercede for his nation to be released! His prayers were most likely what prompted the leader of that nation to release them back to their homeland!!!
- D. Paul – well studied, wrote most of the New Testament.
- E. Jesus – The Word who became flesh!! Defeated the enemy! Knew the Torah!! Knew completely who He was and why He was on the earth!!
You are on a journey with the Lord! You are called to WALK with others on this journey!!