7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
1.) The greatest book in the world;
2.) Best seller year after year;
3.) Curious myths and stories;
4.) Stories of Jesus;
5.) It's religious
1.) Holy & Divine; inspired;
The record and interpretation of God's disclosure of Himself to human beings - "revelation". II Timothy 3:16 - "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
2.) God moved over 60 different people to write over thousands of years what God wanted recorded and revealed.
3.) Jesus Is the Word.
4.) John 1:14 -
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 ¶ There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 ¶ That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 ¶ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Jesus the Living Word - from the beginning: The Bible, the written Word - made alive through the Holy Spirit.
"Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."
5.) Bible Study: just to learn about God? No. To spend time with God Himself, to experience God through what He has done!
II Timothy 3:16 - "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
Hebrews 4:12 - "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
1.) Can you remember God using a specific Scripture to guide you?
2.) What is the best way to use the Bible personally?
3.) Do you use it to guide your decisions?
4.) Is commitment necessary?
5.) Is consistency necessary?
How to Study the Bible
Intro - the purpose of spoken or written language is communication to us, and God uses as clear and direct a way as possible. He doesn't give us riddles or tell us one thing when He means another. All Scripture should be taken first and primarily at face value. This does not deny secondary meanings or implications, symbols or types. God employed all the words and literary devices used by man in order to best communicate with man.
Some things we are told from God's point of view or about heavenly things, and because earthly words had to be used, what we read and can understand cannot approach the reality of the vision (such as what Ezekiel or John experienced). Most of us are very sloppy with the English language and use a great many words imprecisely. As a result, when we read the Bible we take this same sloppiness and imprecision, and get indefinite ideas about what we read. We don't weigh each word carefully and think over its relation to the rest of the words in a passage. We don't reason through what it is not saying which gives clues to limit what it is saying.
Most of us don't know enough about literary devices and the rules which govern their uses to transfer to the Bible. Also, our understanding of the context and the social-cultural background of the Bible is very different in the different ages, plus very changed in our own day. To do our Bible study worthily we need to use our best intelligence and be aware of our own limitations. We may be very thankful that so many have gone before us and given their best efforts in providing help for us in every way to understand the Scriptures. Categories - Translations; Concordances; Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias; Commentaries; Atlases.
They come in 1, 2, 3, 4, or multiple volumes - up to 23. They are verse by verse explanations of Scripture. They include levels of scholarship - details about original languages. About the men who wrote them - years of experience and study.
The types of comments:
Scholarly, regarding original languages, history, etc.
Some are conservative, others are liberal.
Others are argumentative, speculative - not helpful to believers.
You must know your authors - read key passages to find the general attitude. (Interpreters, Speakers, etc.)
The bottom line:
Intelligently use the scholarship and faithful works of others. There is no final authority but the Bible.
This article was written by my father T.O.D. Johnston, who was licensed to preach the Gospel by Paran Baptist Church on May 26, 1979. He has been a student of Scripture since 1972. View more lessons at his Bible Study Lessons page.