Know and Learn the Bible:
Observation (What does it say and what do I see?)
Why Study the Bible? Bible study is essential to growth- from tomb to womb (salvation to glorification); ills. eating Bible.
1 Pet. 1:23, 2:2 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; .. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—
Maturity - we begin with the premise that God is, He can be known, and that He has something to say to us. That something can transform our lives and lead us to do all God wants us to do (Deut. 6; 2 Tim. 3:15-17). In other words, the scripture is all-sufficient, authoritative, necessary and clear.
A very wise 19th century pastor Charles Simeon said that the goal of studying, hearing and preaching scripture was to: “ humble the sinner; exalt the savior and promote holiness.” That’s pretty comprehensive.
Myth # 1 – The Bible is too hard to understand and I’m no theologian. 1st, everyone is a theologian. 2nd, the scriptures are clear or simple enough for even a child to understand the gospel and be saved. Any literate person can know its basic message. If you can read a text, an email, a blog or newspaper, you can read the Bible.
Myth # 2 – The Bible is boring. Such a statement probably comes most from non-Christians and those who have never read the Bible in its entirety (i.e. the flood, Exodus, Joseph, Samson, David, Christ, Rev.). The Bible is God’s story. It is mostly an issue of taste and preference and a matter of the heart.
How do we Begin? When in NY I also didn’t appreciate the city until I saw the big picture from the Empire State Building.
How can we go from the text to them/then? Broadly, through prayer, through meditation, and through study. 1st, we pray and ask the HS to illuminate the text so we rightly understand it; we meditate on the text, expecting that God will reward this deep thinking with greater understanding. We study the text through the steps we’re looking at today of: observation (reading, searching for the big picture and find clues), interpretation (cross-references, word studies, sentence diagraming? commentaries and other resources), application (asking questions, finding the implications of it), and finally explanation (teaching and preaching), we do all of this begin with the journey or exegesis (investigation) of what the text meant to the original recipients (them/then).
The Five 5 W’s
Case study - John 3:16
Who? Jesus and Nicodemus (Pharisee, “ruler of the Jews”)
What? The curious Pharisee wants to know something (how to get in the kingdom).
When? An evening conversation after the wedding at Cana, after other signs, miracles, wonders, teaching (temple tables)
Where? Near Jerusalem, outside the walls of the city at the Mount of Olives.
Why? The kingdom, new-birth/salvation
Sherlock Holmes was fond of pointing out: “You see but you do not observe.” What was the title of our message last Sunday at CCC (The Road to God)? How many stop lights do pass on the way to work? School?
How to find clues – Read carefully, thoughtfully and repetitively
Note: things that are emphasized; repeated (Heb. 11- “faith”, patterns see Psa. 119); related; Alike and unlike.
Context is King – historic overview How to Study a Section:
- Read the paragraph or chapter or section (unit of thought) several times.
- Evaluate each paragraph in light of other paragraphs.
- Try to state the main point or theme or big idea.
- Note the 5 W’s.
Case Study - (PP - Sermon Prep and Exegetical Worksheet for The Highway of Holiness: “The Promise of Holiness” Isa. 35:8-10/ Context and Immediate context).
So my sub-points or arguments or propositional statements (assertions) to support the big idea were: The Hope of Holiness (v. 8); The Peace of Holiness (v. 9) and The Joy of Holiness (v. 10).
When you observe the Bible- reading much and reading often, you can survey a book and begin to organize the word in such a way as to grab the big picture. If you take the 25,000 ft. puzzle box look at Genesis, you that is really is the book of origins- 1sts, which is what you find in the 1st 11 chapters covering a few thousand years. The rest of the book (12-50) four generations are covered through the covenants.
You can break down Paul’s letters or epistles into sections of thought, Romans, the 1st 11chapters are theological or indicative and the last 5 are application- indicative. Eph. the same way (1-3 then 4-6).
Phil. 4:13- What does that mean? Is the promise that good?