What is real Bible study

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Tim 2:15

While many people posses a Bible, how many really study it. Someone says, I don’t need to do that, I go to church and listen to the minister/priest/ rabbi up front, he will tell me what it means. This is the reasoning of many of people, but is this the correct frame of mind? Paul spoke of the Bereans saying Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. These people listened TO PAUL, but went and searched the scriptures to see for themselves, if what he was saying was correct. This is how we find out, we must not trust man alone instead we must study for ourselves. And then, Paul says II Tim 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Then, after searching the scriptures, I Thess 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. The word prove, ( Gr dokimazō ) means to approve of or examine all things, then hold fast to that which is good.

Reading the Bible is good, but better to study what it says to understand it, and assimilate it into our lives. In order to do that we must look at the passages in the context of where we find it. It is easy to take scripture out of its context to prove a point.

For example;

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that you be not judged.”Let’s take a closer look at the entire conversation that Jesus is having here with His disciples. After Jesus says “Judge not, that you be not judged” He goes on to say “For with the same judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Jesus is not telling the listeners to not judge, but to judge others after you have repented of your own faults and sins. It’s like a hypocrite whose having an adulterous affair judging someone who just told a lie. The hypocrite is right that telling a lie is sin but how can he or she judge someone else while they are committing adultery!? It would be ridiculous. Notice that Jesus is saying that the person should first judge themselves to make sure that they’re not committing the same or a worse sin. Only when they take the speck out of their own eye do they have any right to correct a brother or sister. Clearly Jesus is saying “take it out” of your own eye first and get your own house in order. The word “judge” in its context is more like condemn and we are not to condemn others but if a person in the church is openly sinning, then that person must be put out of the church so you must make a judgment on this. Judging sin in the church is a command when the sin hurts the church (1 Cor 5, which talks about judging sin in the local body of Christ in Corinth. Matt 18:15-20 about what to do with a sinning brother.

Have we done this with scripture? It happens, but we can learn by studying the scriptures in context, going through each book chapter by chapter, verse by verse. This is by far the best way to study your Bible. I know many churches have readings from the gospels only, while that is good, there is so much more.

Luke who wrote the Gospel of Luke, also wrote the book of Acts. In Luke he begins by saying: Luk 1:1-3 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

And Acts 1:1-2 (referring to the gospel of Luke) he says; The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: Notice he is writing to the same person, Theophilus! The first time declaring the Gospel, the second time he says the Gospel was all that Jesus BEGAN BOTH TO DO AND TEACH. Jesus didn’t finish teaching the disciples all they needed to know. In John 16:12 Jesus said to them I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Then he told them; Jhn 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. What things to come?

In writing to the Thessalonians Paul said; I Thess 4:15-17 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Paul by the Holy Spirit, is for the first time telling them of the rapture of the church, something they did not hear of before from Jesus. All through the epistles we find more truth of what the gospel was all about, and Paul wrote most of it. Where did he get his information? From Peter? From John? From James? No!, he got it from Christ himself by direct revelation. How do I know that? Listen to Paul say; (first who gave him his apostleship) Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) Paul was called to be a minister of the gospel, but NOT BY MEN, nor by THEIR CHOICE. No one came to him and laid hands on him to ordain him and then proceed to instruct him in teaching the gospel, nor to make him an apostle.

Then he adds Gal 1:15-18 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

Notice this he was alone in Arabia WITH CHRIST, for three years, as the disciples were with Christ during his three year ministry. Then Paul tell us Gal 1:11-12 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Paul has told us by what authority he became an apostle, now he will tell us where he received the gospel he preached. This is going to be important for those in that day as well as in our day. First his gospel was NOT after men, or literally not according to man. That which Paul preached, taught, and wrote in his epistles was NOT according to man. Not according to Peter, not according to John, not according to Gabriel or Michael the arch angel, nor any other, He received it by REVELATION directly from Christ himself. That which he preached came DIRECTLY from the Lord himself. Mark well: NOTHING Paul taught, preached, or wrote, of New Testament doctrine came to him apart from Christ. Let men get their “Religious doctrine” from seminaries or councils, or from he who is infallible, or from some angel, Paul got his from Jesus Christ. Am I being redundant? YES! WHY? Let there be no mistake when you hear the critics say they have new or better information, or Paul didn’t quite get it all, or missed something. That means Jesus missed something or forgot to tell HIS APOSTLE Paul. But, someone says men have received visions, dreamed dreams! Listen to what God told Jeremiah The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Jer 23:28 The written New Testament is the FINAL MESSAGE from God. Nothing needs to be added. There are no apostles today as were the 12. For they saw the risen Christ, their names are written in the 12 foundations of the new Jerusalem. Through them we have the New Testament as God has preserved it for us.

It is for this reason we want to study the WHOLE Bible; book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse so we miss nothing. Here on this blog we have many studies; books and topical, and we encourage you to look at as many as you like.

If God says something once we believe it is important, if he says it twice, it must be something we really need to look at, if 3 times we must for sure pay attention, if 4 times, there is no question we must study it thoroughly. In the book of Habakkuk we find this verse; Hab 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. We find this again in Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

And again we see it in Gal 3:11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

And finally in Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. Why three times in the New Testament?

If we notice WHERE we find this verse, that is, what book it is found in, we may get a clue of what God is saying. So in order to do that, a study of the book will help us understand why it is found there. The theme of the book of Romans is justification by faith, so the emphasis in Romans is THE JUST those who have been justified by faith in Christ alone. The doctrinal position of justification apart from works, by faith only. The theme of the book of Galatians is, how the just SHALL LIVE, their faith is put into action. We no longer look to our works to keep us saved, nor is our justification based on our ongoing works nor what we DO, it is solely on faith and nothing else. The theme of Hebrews is found in Chapter 11 where we read of all the actions of the patriarchs, all they did completely BY FAITH. So when we put the three together we have; THE JUST in Romans, SHALL LIVE in Galatians, BY FAITH in Hebrews. Now we have the basics, but there is so much more.

Through our study we will discover what Jesus meant when he said, If you love me keep my commandments. So what are they? We know we are to love one another, but what else? We will find it in the epistles, in fact what did Paul tell the Thessalonians, and Colossians ? I Thess 5:27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. And to the Colossians he said, Col 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. It would seem Paul thought it would be profitable for these epistles be read to all those in the church when they gathered together, are we dong this today? And if these epistles, what about all the others also? If we call ourselves disciples of Christ should we not do as he said; Jhn 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; Here is what the early church did, Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. What was the apostles doctrine at that time? Christ and him crucified, forgiveness of sins. At that time Paul had not written any epistles, nor had any of the other apostles as yet. We now have what they wrote, so is it not at this time, the apostles doctrine? It is indeed and it is up to us to study to show ourselves approved unto God.

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