“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture:
our understanding of the book widens and deepens with our years.”
– Charles Haddon Spurgeon
This is an introductory course in Bible Study Skills. It will prepare you for the ongoing adventure of Bible study.
I call it an adventure because:
· The Bible promises great fortune. In a global sense the biblical genre is success literature. It teaches principles of success for every area of this life and how to proceed into eternity. Scripture is loaded with “how to” succeed directions and case studies.
· Scripture is a detailed guide to success with God. It's complete with treasure locations, warnings, and instructions for defeating enemies. And there are also guides for the various situations that we may encounter in life.
· The Bible reveals how to arrive at a right relationship with the Lord. It teaches us how to honor that relationship. And Scripture unveils the treasure found in our relationship with God.
“I have benefited greatly, because “rightly dividing the word of truth”
Is now being applied in my daily study of the Holy Scriptures.
I am learning how to do so effectively. Thank you, Pastor Frey.”
If you’re a new Christian, the volume and complexity of Scripture might be discouraging. The idea of reading the whole thing might seem intimidating. And how do you study something like that?
And even if you’ve been a Christian for a while, you may have abandoned the idea of trying to study the Bible long ago. It may have seemed like the more you tried the more difficult it became. So, you go to church and review the pastor’s sermon points and leave it at that.
Or you could be an avid student of Scripture. But somehow you know that there’s more. More to learn, and more to learn about learning. You would like to know how to get more out of your Bible study.
Whatever the case, I’ve designed the Bible Study Skills curriculum for you. And in this introductory course, I will clarify:
· Why you need to take part in this curriculum.
· The value of Bible Study Skills if you want to please your Heavenly Father.
· What you’re missing if you don’t have these skills.
· What you will be able to enjoy and do with these skills.
By the end of this initial course you will be excited about the opportunity to learn Bible study skills. And you’ll look forward to the upcoming courses and classes.
“I've followed Frey's writing for several years via blogs, social media, and audio.
I appreciate his dedication to continually questioning Biblical truths versus modern day practice and endeavoring to bring the church into alignment on nuanced issues. I had the pleasure of visiting his congregation many years ago,
and found it to be genuinely warm, accepting, and authentic.” – Ciara
Bible Study Skills 101 will help you do 4 things:
· You’ll learn how to avoid the most common errors people make when interpreting the Bible.
The Bible is written with the expectation of being understood. God’s intent is not for you to be confused, in doubt, or wrong, about what He is saying to you. Especially, since He holds you responsible for compliance with what He has said.
Today there’s are numerous differences in denominational and personal interpretations of the Bible. So, someone has to be wrong about it. By definition, two or more contradictory ideas cannot all be right.
There’s no quick fix to this dilemma. This is why I’m introducing a curriculum rather that a single course.
When shown, you’ll recognize these common errors easily and wonder why they’re so prevalent. I’ll explain that, and how to fortify yourself against these errors.
· You will know how to get God’s approval of how you interpret the Bible.
When you speak or write to someone you expect them to understand you. If they don’t understand you, you consider that a problem and will try to fix it. You may say it again or rephrase what you said. And there are those rare occasions when we conclude that the problem is with the person we’re speaking too.
I’m convinced that God is like that too. He wants you to understand Him. And understanding Him correctly gets His approval. But notice in the verse below, that the person who gets this approval is called “a worker.”
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15
That doesn’t necessarily mean the work is hard or even unpleasurable. It just means the we need to know how to do the work. And we’ll have to decide if the work is worth doing. If you want the approval of God, it’s available to you.
· You will know what it means to have integrity as a student and minister of the Bible's message.
Integrity is a misunderstood, ignored, and abused principle in our world. In the western world, and I suspect elsewhere, there is little tolerance for integrity. It is just not suitable to our objectives and the constraints in our lives.
This malady has found its way into the church, the pulpit, and the pew. But it is so well justified that few see it. Bible study cannot produce a faithful result without real integrity. There must be more than just a claim of being right. There must be a ready defense of what is right.
“... 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; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” – 1 Peter 3:15-17
If you’re a Christian, the verse above speaks about the quality of your integrity:
o You have sanctified God in your heart.
o You display good Christian conduct.
o You’re ready to give a defense of your Christian expectation and behavior.
o You will even suffer for doing so if that’s what is right according to the Bible.
But are you really clear on what these points of integrity mean? Are you committed to them? Are you prepared to live according to them?
Bible Study Skills 101 clarifies how you can fulfill these points of integrity. This will be a necessary prerequisite to future courses within this curriculum.
Most assume they understand and satisfy the requirements of integrity. But you need to confirm this. According to the passage above, integrity is something we do. In this course we will address this in detail.
· You will have the information you need, to know if the following courses in the curriculum will be of value to you.
As much as I would like it to be, this curriculum is not for everyone. This course of study will not interest most people. So, it is the few that I'm looking for.
“Enter by the narrow gate;
for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction,
and there are many who go in by it.
Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life,
and there are few who find it.” – Matthew 7:13
There are unusual Christians who will enter by the narrow gate and take the difficult way. They are not crowd followers. They are Christ lovers.
Do you really want to fulfill what it means to love God, to love Jesus, and to love people. What you will learn in the Bible Study Skills curriculum will help you do that.
See you at the introduction.