Part 1 & Part 2 of “How To Study Your Bible” is available by clicking here.
6. Understand God’s Message by Studying the Bible Appropriately.
Paul told Timothy to “rightly divide the word of truth.” It means to dissect correctly; to cut straight. The implication is that Bible students must study the Bible appropriately in order to achieve correct understanding. Incorrect interpretation as led to doctrinal error and misapplication of Scripture. It’s imperative that God’s people study the Bible appropriately in order to understand the message that God intended to give.
There’s a four step process I recommend for appropriate Bible study:
1. Observe the Context
Who is the writer? To whom is he writing? What is the situation or occasion? When did it occur? Remember: A text without a context is a pretext.
2. Interpret the Passage
Underline key words and phrases and define them within the context of the passage with a Bible dictionary or concordance. Remember the Laws of Hermeneutics: 1) What does the passage say above? 2) What does the passage say below? 3) What was it written for? 4) What is consistently taught in Scripture?
Write down in your own words what you believe the Bible saying.
3. Educate Yourself
This is where you check what other commentaries and scholars have said about the passage. Be sure to always check with your pastor on the appropriate commentators he recommends in your Bible study.
4. Apply the Scripture
All other steps of Bible study will be of little use unless we employ practical application. 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Meditate on the application of the Scripture in your life by asking these questions:
A. Is there a command to obey?
B. Is there an example to follow?
C. Is there a promise to claim?
D. Is there a sin to avoid?
E. Is there a warning to heed?
F. Is there a lesson to learn?
G. Is there a new truth to carry?
7. Take Seriously Your Time with the Lord in His Word.
How do we take seriously our time with the Lord?
1. Get still and quiet.
2. Get into the Word.
3. Meditate on the Word.
4. Record what God has given you.
6. Share what you have learned with others.
7. Obey what God tells you.
Remember 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God.”