Study the Word with confidence

This is copied from Logos, but well worth sharing.

Here are some verses to increase your confidence in Bible study:

  1. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
  2. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16–17)
  3. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
    (Rom. 10:17)
  4. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10–11)


The 3 Rs

Not Reading, ‘Ritin’ and ‘Rithmetic. This post is about the 3 Rs for understanding and living Scripture.

1. Reading
You have to read Scripture. The more you read, the more you’ll know and remember. This is the starting point. “You must know what the Bible says before you can know what it means.” Allen B. Wolfe (founder of Balancing the Sword)

2. Reflection
Ask yourself how Scripture applies to your life. What are the implications of the verse/passage for you? Your family?  Work? Ministry? What you would do/say to be biblical in your approach and response?

3. Relationships
A vital part of living biblically is, well, living it out. One can read and reflect, but the moment you come in contact with a grumpy waiter, a manager with a sour attitude, a spouse who’s had a bad day, a crying child, or with your own bleak outlook on life – how does your theology hold up? How do your Reading and Reflection impact real life? Can you go beyond the mental and intellectual aspects or study, memorization and theology (Orthodoxy), and move into practicing it (Orthopraxy)?

The Christian life is more than mental; the goal is to be like Jesus. Jesus did not simply read, study and memorize (though He was obviously well-studied); He lived it out. You need to know what Scripture says, then work  toward living it out. And living it out doesn’t take place in the mind; it takes place in relationships of any and every kind.

You may find it helpful to think through situations first: what would I say or do in such-and-such situation? It’s not hard to think up  situations: I stub my toe – what should I say? Someone complains over the phone: how do I respond? There’s a wrong/extra payment onmy credit card: how should I approach the CS rep when I call to report it? This thinking provides a blueprint and a script. But then comes the point of testing: what do you actually think and say and do when it happens?

If you find that you’ve failed in the true test, you’ll realize that your heart is not truly changed in that area. What do you do? Keep on going – don’t give up.