Keys to Studying & Understanding the Bible

 

The Bible is the most misunderstood book of all time.  When understood correctly: The Bible has the answers to all we need.  So how do we effective study and understand it?

Philosophy and Science have tried to no avail to answer the deeper questions of life:

What is man? What is the difference between man and animals?What happens to us when we die?

Another system: False Religion has tried but come up way short because they too have been misled.

True religion is the only system that has access to these questions and many more subjects and that can help us with our spiritual AND physical life.

1.      Prayer

This is a must and may be the most important

God can help and guide and open your mind and reveal His Word and the correct understanding of it to you.

Psalm 119:33  Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.

Psalm 119:34  Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Psalm 119:35  Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.

Psalm 119:36  Incline [turn; cause it to yield] my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness.

Psalm 119:37  Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way.

Psalm 119:38  Establish Your word to Your servant [Only God can do this and He will, but you have to ask], Who is devoted to fearing You.

Psalm 119:39  Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your judgments are good.

Psalm 119:40  Behold, I long for Your precepts [is this our attitude; do we have a burning desire to know the way of God]; Revive me in Your righteousness.

We cannot do it without Him or His Help

1 Corinthians 2:9  But as it is written: “EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

1 Corinthians 2:10  But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:11  For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

Do not underestimate the power and need for this

John  14:26  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Many in the church in the end time will not be on the same page

            The Bible speaks about their being 2 different groups at the end (sheep / goats; wheat / tares; Philadelphian / Laodicean)

                        10 virgins – 5 wise 5 foolish – both were virgins (in the church) but some did not understand what the Bible was requiring of them

With God’s help:

2. Know that You CAN understand


Don’t sell yourself short

Don’t be put off by others who SEEM to know more and have degrees behind their name

You dont need to be the “intelligent” of the world to understand the Bible.  You do need God’s Holy Spirit working in and with you

1 Corinthians 1:26  For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

1 Corinthians 1:27  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

1 Corinthians 1:28  and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,

1 Corinthians 1:29  that no flesh should glory in His presence.

1 Corinthians 1:25  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

This is all that we need for governing our lives in a way that will lead to salvation but it is still only a glimpse of knowledge of God

1 Corinthians 1:31  that, as it is written, “HE WHO GLORIES, LET HIM GLORY IN THE LORD.”

 This puts us in a: Right Frame of Mind

Humble, willing to be taught, willing to accept correction

It is not within man to guide himself [look around; science, philosphy and false religion don’t have the answers]; man’s ways lead to death

Isaiah 66:1  Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?

Isaiah 66:2  For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the LORD. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.

So whatever you read and study:

Take it Personally

These are things important to YOU

Meant for you; Put your name in there;

Realize God did it for you; even if you were the only one He would have had to do it for you


3. Bible Never Contradicts Itself

God does not lie [Hebrews 6:18]

God does not change [Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8];

His Word is Truth [John 17:17]

It can’t!  If it has one thing wrong then the scripture is broken – John 10:35  If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),

Translations by biased men or those without the HS may do this.

Hard to translate from say Greek to English [italics], and even if it was highly accurate our English language changes and there are other factors

Romans 3:3  For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?

Romans 3:4  Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is

Use several and interpret in light of what you do know and can/have proven

Men have introduced things spurious insertion of 1 John 5:7-8; Marin Luther adding a word in Romans 3:28; translating the word for Passover as Easter Acts 12:4 KJV not NKJV

You can Bet your life on it

4. Establish a Framework

Prove all things and hold fast

1 Thessalonians 5:21  Test all things; hold fast what is good.

Ex: Law Romans 1-4 Once you know this then you will be able to evaluate other more difficult scriptures [even Peter said some of things Paul said were difficult to u/s] or scriptures that appear contradictory

Be careful about establishing “new” doctrine

 Don’t rely completely on others

Pick your guides very carefully

Does what they say measure up to Bible

What DOES the Bible Say?

ie some say that the 10 Commandments not in effect
Read it carefully before taking other peoples, commentaries, organizations, word for it


Let the Bible Interpret the Bible

2 Peter 1:19  And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;

2 Peter 1:20  knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,

[Not from sci., phil., other religion., or an individual within the COG on his own]

2 Peter 1:21  for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
EX: What is the mark of the beast? RFID, tattoo, number written on the forehead? Ideas and guesses of men – none of which are true

Isaiah 28:9  “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?

Isaiah 28:10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.”

Get All the Scriptures you can on a Subject

Start with easy to understand scriptures first [using the framework]


Leave the difficult for last and interpret in light of what you are sure of

Check the Context

What comes before and after

Critical thinking – commit to understanding as much about the context as possible

WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN WHY HOW to WHOM

What is it NOT saying?

Be aware of Literary Devices

Bible uses symbols, parables, personification, etc and even visions.

EXAMPLE; Peter and his vision clean and unclean where it later explains what was really meant by the vision.  You would have to use the context to know.

Define difficult words

Redemption  Sanctification  Propitiation  Reconciliation Justification  [made righteous]

Obviously define them correctly using the principles that we are learning here

Use these to build a framework and then use the framework to build upon itself gaining a better understanding as you go


5. Do it daily! …and at any time

Acts 17:10  Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.

Acts 17:11  These were more fair-minded [eugene: well born; other translations-noble; born on the right side of the tracks as we might say today; they acted like they knew the right way to be; in other words they were more receptive] than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

Acts 17:2  Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, [OT; No NT at this time]

Acts 17:3  explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”

Read whole Bible

Mark your bible

Come up with a system

Colors wide margin, scripture chains

Make your bible a more useful tool to you

6. Be ready to give an answer

Passive vs Active learning (Study like your preparing for a test…because you are)
Reason we take notes
Helps us remember at the time
For us to go back and study (this doesn’t replace the Bible)

1 Peter 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1 Peter 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

Pretend like this is a test!

Review

Church notes, your own studies, other bible studies

The way the brain works: recall 3 times is a trigger for long term storage

Discuss

This is one way to make church time effective

This is one of the reasons we fellowship

Isaiah 58:13  “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,

Isaiah 58:14  Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;

7. Put into action what you learn

Use it or lose it

Malachi 3:10  Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.

Acts 5:32  And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

This is being God like; it is putting on His character; it is acting like Him

Reinforces what you are learning

Increases your ability to learn

Psalm 111:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever. 

Conclusion

We are to make this our first priority: Matthew 6:33

If we want to do this, If we want learn what God asks of us, if we want to know God so that we can become like him, then we must study His Word, and [Isaiah 55:6]  Seek Him while He may be found that we may have a better understanding of this most misunderstood book of books.