Welcome to the Seeking Christ
The Hows & Whys of Studying the Bible
Page

Are you seeking Christ in His Word?

"We have attempted to know God through the lives of men.  We need to know God through the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ."  G. Albert Darst

"Let your intellect be exercised concerning the Lord Jesus.  Meditate upon what you read: stop not at the surface;
dive into the depths."  Charles Spurgeon

Contents:  1) The How & Why of Studying the Bible    2) How Readest Thou?

THE HOW & WHY OF STUDYING THE BIBLE

The Source of the Word
"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were MOVED BY THE HOLY GHOST"
(2 Pet. 1:21)."ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION (out breathed) OF GOD, and is profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof (conviction), for correction (return to right path), for instruction in righteousness (keeping on the right path): that the man of God may be perfect (mature), thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

We study the Word because it is from God and, therefore, is profitable.

Who The Word Is
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth"
(Jn. 1:1, 14).

We study the Word because it is a written revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Ability of God’s Word
"For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart"
(Heb. 4:12).

We study the Word because of its ability to discern our hearts.

What The Word Produces
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rms. 10:17).

We study the Word because it builds and confirms our trust in God.

What We Are To Allow The Word To Accomplish
"And let THE WORD of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom..."
(Col 3:16)

We study the Word because of its ability to change our lives.

How We Appropriate The Word To Ourselves
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth"
(2 Tim. 2:15).

We study the Word for approval, for purpose, and for the Truth, of God.

How We Are To Utilize The Word
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path"
(Ps. 119:105).

We study the Word for direction and stability for our life.

How We Are To Apply The Word
"But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves"
(Ja. 1:22).

We study the Word to be "Doers," not just "Hearers".

What We Are To Do With The Word
"Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine"
(2 Tim. 4:2)

We are to study the Word to evangelize the lost, and to edify the saved.

 Who Is Our Example?
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps"
(1 Pet. 2:21).
"For I [Christ] have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you" (Jn. 13:15).

We are to study the Word to find the example of Christ.

What Is God’s Purpose For Our Lives?
"For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son..."
(Rms. 8:29).
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5).
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"
(Phil. 4:7).

We are to study the Word to be conformed to Christ,
to have the mind of Christ,
and to live in the peace of Christ
.

So the ultimate purpose of Bible study is to
learn to seek Christ,
learn Who Christ is,
learn what Christ said,
learn Christ's demands on our lives,
and then to put that knowledge into practice
to be conformed to Christ.

How do you approach the Bible?

Do you simply perform the act of "reading" it, as a duty, without much thought to its content or application?
Or do you read as directed by Paul through the Holy Spirit in 1 Tim. 4:13, "give attention to reading"? There "reading" means to "know accurately; to know by reading, and then simply, to read, learn by reading."
Or do you "study to show yourself approved (2 Tim. 2:15)?" "Study" means, "to speed, make haste, (as manifested in diligence, earnestness, zeal)."

"Reading" may or may not have a purposed behind it. "Study" is a deeper exercise that involves a plan of study, a purpose in study, a benefit from study, and a blessing in working out in life what you have studied.

Fawcett said, "The general design of this divine book is, to establish the soul in believing the testimony which God has given concerning His Son Jesus Christ, to direct it in doing His will, and to comfort it in all the sufferings and afflictions attendant on the present state."

Since the Word of God is actually the Logos incarnate in the Lord Jesus Christ, to have or gain the mind of Christ is to read and study the Bible. To read your Bible is to know the mind of Christ upon any subject of which it speaks. To study the Bible is to gain the mind of Christ! Purposeful study of God's Word should "change our vile minds" (repentance), making us, slowly but surely, more "conformed to the image of His Son."

HOW OUR LORD OPENED THE SCRIPTURES TO HIS DISCIPLES
Luke 24:25-36

v25. He reminded them/us that they/we have an intellectual problem ("fools"), a heart problem ("slow of heart"), and a spiritual problem ("believe") when it comes to God's Word, because it is the enemy of their/our sin-nature. (Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:16)

v26. He revealed that the "history" in the Bible is "His-story."

v27. Jesus Christ taught these disciples by a four step method:

1. Begin: "Beginning at Moses," i.e. the Book of Genesis, and ending at "all the prophets," i.e. the Book of Malachi (all they had).

2. Consider Every Word: ("expounding" = "to interpret fully, to thoroughly explain").

3. Consider Every Portion: "in all the scriptures."

4. Look For Christ and the Things That Concern Him: "the things concerning Himself."

The Result of Christ's Method

v29. They constrained Him (they wanted more).

v30. They fellowshipped with Him (there was sweet communion).

v31. Their [spiritual] eyes were opened, and for the first time, "they knew Him." (Hosea 4:6; Phil. 3:10)

v32. They spoke to one another about their encounter with Him.
Their hearts (inner man) were knit into one heart (unity).
Their heart burned within them (a spiritual fire).
They heard from God ("He talked with us").
They received direction from God ("by the way").
They received illumination from God ("He opened to us the scriptures").

The Changes Made by Christ's Method

v33. They rose up the same hour (they got going about the Father's business). They returned to their first love/spiritual roots ("Jerusalem"). They sought to be assembled with other believers ("found the eleven").

v34. They testified to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

v35. They testified of what Jesus Christ had done in their own lives.

v36 They experienced the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

HOW TO STUDY GOD'S WORD FOR YOURSELF

I. Read the passage marking every mention of the Persons of the Godhead (You can buy an erasable yellow pen at office supply stores)

Eph. 5:1-2 "Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children: and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks."

II. Consider what can be learned about God from this passage (look for the action words (verbs), or descriptive words (nouns)).

1. The reality of God ( "God" = Father, Son, Holy Spirit (Trinity))

2. The reality of Christ ("Christ" = Messiah)

3. Christ loved us ("Love" = self-sacrificing)

4. Christ gave Himself for us (our substitute)

5. Christ gave Himself as an offering to God (freely given)

6. Christ gave Himself as a sacrifice to God (shedding of blood)

7. Christ gave Himself as a sweet-smelling savour to God (well-pleasing)

III. Meditate (think about, ponder) what these revelations of the Lord mean to you.

1. He can make us followers of God (Christ has given us a purpose to walk in)

2. He has made us dear ("beloved") to God (Christ has given us a relationship to walk in)

3. He can make us to walk in love (Christ has given us an attitude to walk in)

4. We are loved by Christ (Christ has given us an assurance to walk in)

5. He gave Himself for us (Christ has given us an example to walk in)

6. He became our offering (Christ has given us a reason to walk in)

7. He became our sacrifice (Christ has given us a satisfaction to walk in)

8. He made us a sweet savour to God  (Christ has given us a spiritual benefit to walk in)

IV. Determine the demands made upon you by the Lord (commands, promises, action to be taken)

1. Be a follower of God

2. Realize our relationship to God (dear = beloved)

3. Walk in love (self-sacrificing), according to Christ's example

4. Remember His offering and sacrifice for us

"But" = Contrast

V. How can I fulfill the demands of God?

1. Put away

a. fornication (sexual sins)

b. all uncleanness (impurities)

c. all covetousness (wanting another's things)

d. filthiness (ugliness, obscenity)

e. foolish talking (waste of time)

f. jesting (dishonest, time wasting wit)

"But" = Contrast

2. Give thanks

VI. Determine to put this prescription for life to work

1. Think about how it can be done in your life

2. Act on the best method to get it done in your life

3. Make a habit of this action of life

4. It will then become part of your character of life

 FOR A DAILY "PICK-ME UP"

Pick a regular time
Pick a regular place
Pick up a pad and pen
Pick a Book of the Bible
Pick a place to begin
Pick your heart with prayer
Pick out the Persons of God
Pick out the actions/descriptions of God
Pick your intellect for a blessing
Pick out the demands/promises from God
Pick your intellect for obedience
Pick a way to put God's prescription to work
Pick yourself up--and do it!!

How Readest Thou?

It is one thing to read the Bible through,
Another thing to read to learn and do.
Some read it with design to learn to read,
But to the subject pay but little heed.

Some read it as their duty once a week,
But no instruction from the Bible seek;
While others read it with but little care,
With no regard to how they read, nor where.

Some read to bring themselves into repute,
by showing others how they can dispute;
While others read because their neighbors do,
To see how long 'twill take to read it through.

Some read it for the wonders that are there,--
How David killed a lion and a bear;
While others read it with uncommon care,
Hoping to find some contradictions there.

Some read as it it did not speak to them,
But to the people at Jerusalem.
One reads with father's specs upon his head,
And sees the thing just as his father said.

Some read to prove a preadopted creed,
Hence understand but little that they read;
For every passage in the book they bend
To make it suit that all-important end.

Some people read, as I have often thought,
To teach the book instead of being taught;
And some there are who read it out of spite.
I fear there are but few who read it right.

But read it prayerfully, and you will see,
Although men contradict, God's words agree;
For what the early Bible prophets wrote,
We find that Christ and His apostles quote.

So trust no creed that trembles to recall
What has been penned by one and verified by all.
 

Christ's Method of Teaching
From Curiosities of the Bible

"Never man spake like this man."  (John 7:46)

The characteristics of His methods are:
1. He spoke with the authority of the divine Majesty, and the assurance of absolute and positive truth.
2.



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