The Path of ObedienceLuke 6:46-49Theme: Profession and practice.This week’s lessons teach us how to both study and live God’s Word.
LessonIf you have been called by Christ and therefore sincerely want to hear his voice as he speaks to you through the Bible, you should do the following:
First, you should study the Bible daily (Acts 17:11). We can study the Bible more than once each day, of course, and there may be some days when legitimate concerns consume the time we would normally spend studying. But we should discipline our lives to include a normal, daily period of Bible study, just as we would discipline ourselves to have regular periods for sleep, brushing our teeth, meals, and so on. In fact, the comparison with regular meals is a good one, for these are necessary if the body is to be healthy and if good work is to be done. On occasion we may miss a meal, but normally we should not. In the same way, we must feed regularly on God’s Word if we are to become and remain spiritually strong.
What happens if we neglect such daily Bible reading? We grow indifferent to God and lax in spiritual things. We throw ourselves open to temptation and the sin which easily follows.
The regular time we set aside for Bible study may be long – for those who are mature in faith and who have time for such study, perhaps an hour or two, or even more. It may be shorter – for those who are new in faith or who lead tight schedules, perhaps only ten or fifteen minutes. Whatever the length of time, it should be fixed and at a set period of the day.
The Bible should be studied systematically (Josh. 1:7-8). Some people read the Bible at random, dipping here or there. This may be characteristic of the way they do most things in life, but it is a mistake in Bible study. It leads to a lack of proportion and depth which is often characteristic of American Christians. A far better system is a regular, disciplined study of certain books of the Bible or even of the Bible as a whole.
New Christians should begin with one of the Gospels, perhaps the Gospel of John or Mark. After that they should study Acts, Ephesians, Galatians, Romans or an Old Testament book like Genesis. It is always valuable to meditate on the Psalms.
Certain procedures should be followed during study. First, the particular book itself should be read through carefully as many as four or five times, perhaps one of these times aloud. Each time something new will strike you.
Second, divide the book into its chief sections, just as we divide modern books into chapters (not necessarily the same chapters as in our Bibles), subsections, and paragraphs. At this stage the object should be to see which verses belong together, what subjects are covered, and what the sequence of subjects is.
Third, these sections should be related to one another: Which are the main sections or subjects? Which are introductory? Which make applications? At this stage one should be developing an outline of the book and should be able to answer such questions as: What does this book say? To whom was it written? Why was it written?
Fourth, proceed to a detailed study of the sections. What is the main subject of each? What is said in it? Why is it said? To whom? What are the conclusions that follow from it? It is helpful in this study to watch the small connecting words like but, because, then, and, since and therefore.
How is the study of God’s Word like eating meals?
What does Acts 17:11 teach us about studying the Bible?
What happens if we neglect Bible study?
According to Joshua 1:7-8, what is the best way to study the Bible?
ApplicationUsing the principles Dr. Boice laid out in today’s lesson, begin a systematic study of a particular book of the Bible you have never thoroughly studied before.