"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

HTML

BOOKMARK AND SHARE

Bookmark and Share

DISCIPLESHIP - 102: SESSIONS 1 & 2

DISCIPLESHIP - 102: SESSIONS  1 & 2



SESSION ONE: EXAMINING THE BIBLE’S FRAMEWORK
A Brief Tour of the Bible –

Before we get into the methods of Bible study, lets lay down some ground work so that we may become more familiar with the Holy Book on a general level.

The Bible was written over a period of over 1500 years and consists of 66 books: 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament, written by 40 different authors.
Some of these authors wrote only one book, like Levi Matthias, who gave us the Gospel according to MATTHEW; and James the half-brother of Jesus that wrote the Epistle of JAMES.
Luke wrote two books: The Gospel according to LUKE and the Book of ACTS.
John gave us a total of five books: The Gospel according to JOHN, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Epistles of JOHN and the book of REVELATION. Moses also wrote five books: GENESIS, EXODUS, LEVITICUS, NUMBERS and DEUTERONOMY.
Paul the apostle gave us a total of thirteen epistles, or fourteen if you include the book of HEBREWS.

How many books did Peter give us?

The Bible is divided into two primary sections: The Old Testament (First Covenant) and The New Testament (Second Covenant). The Old is based on the Law and the sacrifices offered in the Temple (previously the Tabernacle). The New Testament is based on Christ Who is the fulfillment of the Law as well as The Sacrificial Lamb of God.

Homework: Read HEBREWS 8th Chapter.

ALL of the Bible, which is the Inspired Word of God (2 TIM 3:16), is centered around the Person of Jesus Christ, Who is the Incarnate Word of God (JOHN 1:1-5, 14). What the Bible reveals to us is the entire plan of God from start to finish – from the first chapters of GENESIS to the final verses of REVELATION – it is the plan of redemption, restored communion and creation, and the glorification of Christ.

This is known as prophecy and the very focus of prophecy is Jesus: He Himself is the full prophetic revelation of God the Father’s plan regarding humanity in general, as well as Israel, the church and creation (REV 19:9-11; especially vs. 10).

This is why we study the Bible – it’s not just to learn a lot of spiritual lessons, and biblical history; it’s not just about learning doctrine and living according to that doctrine. We study the Bible because it is God’s revelation of Jesus Christ, and we want to know Him more and more! Think of the Bible as less of a text book and more of a love letter, written in blood, on a wooden cross erected in Jerusalem 2000 years ago!

DISCERNING The DISPENSATIONS – HOW To SEE The BIBLE

Now let’s consider something called: Dispensationalism. Don’t let that BIG word scare you, we will take this one step at a time. What is dispensationalism?
GOT QUESTIONS (www.gotquestions.org) has a good answer! For the full article, go here .

Answer: “Dispensationalism is a method of interpreting history that divides God’s work and purposes toward mankind into different periods of time. Usually, there are seven major dispensations identified in all of the Bible, although some theologians believe there are nine. . .”

>          “The first dispensation is called the 
Dispensation of Innocence (GEN 1:28-30 and GEN 2:15-17). This dispensation covered the period of time where Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. In this dispensation, God's commands were to (1) replenish the earth with children, (2) subdue the earth, (3) have dominion over the animals, (4) care for the garden, and (5) abstain from eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God warned of the punishment of physical and spiritual death for disobedience. This dispensation was short-lived and was brought to an end by Adam and Eve’s disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit and their expulsion from the garden.

>          “The second dispensation is called the 
Dispensation of Conscience, and it lasted about 1,656 years from the time of Adam and Eve’s eviction from the garden until the flood (GEN 3:8–8:22). This dispensation demonstrates what mankind will do if left to his own will and conscience, which have been tainted by the inherited sin nature. The five major aspects of this dispensation are 1) a curse on the serpent, 2) a change in womanhood and childbearing, 3) a curse on nature, 4) the imposing of difficult work on mankind to produce food, and 5) the promise of Christ as the seed who will bruise the serpent's head (Satan).

>          “The third dispensation is the Dispensation of 
Human Government, which began in GEN 8. God had destroyed life on Earth with a flood, saving just one family to restart the human race. God made the following promises and commands to Noah and his family:


1. God will not curse the Earth again.
2. Noah and family are to replenish the Earth with people.
3. They shall have dominion over the animal creation.
4. They are now allowed to eat meat.
5. The law of capital punishment is established.
6. There never will be another global flood.
7. The sign of God's promise will be the rainbow.

“Noah’s descendants did not scatter and fill the earth as God had commanded, thus failing in their responsibility in this dispensation. About 325 years after the flood, the earth’s inhabitants began building a tower, the tower of Babel, a great monument to their solidarity and pride (
GEN 11:7-9). God brought the construction to a halt, creating different languages and enforcing His command to fill the earth. The result was the rise of different nations and cultures. From that point on, human governments have been a reality. 

>          “The fourth dispensation, called the Dispensation of Promise, started with the call of Abraham, continued through the lives of the patriarchs, and ended with the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, a period of about 430 years. During this dispensation God developed a great nation that He had chosen as His people (GEN 12:1EXOD 19:25).
“The basic promise during the Dispensation of Promise was the ABRAHAMIC COVENANT. Here are some of the key points of that unconditional covenant:

1. From Abraham would come a great nation that God would bless with natural and spiritual prosperity.
2. God would make Abraham’s name great.
3. God would bless those that blessed Abraham’s descendants and curse those that cursed them.
4. In Abraham, all the families of the earth will be blessed. This is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and His work of salvation.
5. The sign of this covenant is circumcision.
6. This covenant, which was repeated to Isaac and Jacob, is confined to the Hebrew people and the 12 tribes of Israel.

>          “The fifth dispensation is called the 
Dispensation of Law. It lasted almost 1,500 years, from the time of the Exodus until it was suspended after Jesus Christ’s death. This dispensation will continue during the Millennium, with some modifications. During the Dispensation of Law, God dealt specifically with the Jewish nation through the MOSAIC COVENANT, or the Law, found in EXOD 19–23. The dispensation involved temple worship directed by priests, with further direction spoken through God’s mouthpieces, the prophets.

Once in the land of Canaan, Israel as a nation gradually began to desire a king, like the other nations did, rather than be ruled by Judges and Prophets. The LORD gave the people King Saul, who abused his power as King and was finally rejected. David was his successor and with him, God established a covenant that through his family tree would come the Messiah, and that the kingdom under the Son of David would last forever. This is known as the DAVIDIC COVENANT.

After we look at the remaining dispensations we will have a closer look at the covenants of the Bible.
Eventually, due to the people’s disobedience to the covenant, the tribes of Israel lost the Promised Land and were subjected to bondage in Babylon. Israel as of May of 1948 has been restated to the land in preparation for the prophetic 70th week of Daniel and the Millennial Reign of the Messiah immediately afterwards.

>          “The sixth dispensation, the one in which we now live, is the 
Dispensation of Grace. It began with the New Covenant in Christ’s blood (LUKE 22:20). This “Age of Grace” or “Church Age” occurs between the 69th and 70th week of DANIEL 9:24. It starts with the coming of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and ends with the Rapture of the church (1 THESS 4). This dispensation is worldwide and includes both Jews and the Gentiles. Man’s responsibility during the Dispensation of Grace is to believe in Jesus, the Son of God (JOHN 3:18). In this dispensation, the Holy Spirit indwells believers as the Comforter (JOHN 14:16-26). This dispensation has lasted for over 2,000 years, and no one knows when it will end. We do know that it will end with the Rapture of all born-again believers from the Earth to go to heaven with Christ. Following the Rapture will be the judgments of God lasting for seven years, the 70th week of Daniel.

>          “The seventh dispensation is called the 
Millennial Kingdom of Christ and will last for 1,000 years as Christ Himself rules on earth. This Kingdom will fulfill the prophecy to the Jewish nation [which includes the DAVIDIC COVENANT (2 SAMUEL 7 and PSALM 89)] that Christ will return and be their King. The only people allowed to enter the Kingdom are the born-again believers from the Age of Grace and righteous survivors of the seven years of tribulation. No unsaved person is allowed access into this kingdom. Satan is bound during the 1,000 years. This period ends with the final judgment (REV 20:11-14). The old world is destroyed by fire, and the New Heaven and New Earth of REV 21 and 22 will begin.

This link will bring you to a chart of the Dispensations as recorded in Scripture.

What do all of these dispensations have to do with how to study the Bible? 

In life, in order to assess any situation, you have to have the right perspective; the right perspective will guide you to the facts of the matter, to the truth as it really is.
These dispensations provide the right perspective in all the studies we may conduct in any particular book of the Bible. If you compare what it says in -

DEUT 19:21
And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot
.
 

with what it says in -

MATT 5:38-40
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also
.

It sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? What we must understand was that DEUTERONOMY is within the Dispensation of the Law, and that is the truth of what the Law demands. What it says in MATTHEW concerns during the age of grace and this is the teaching of Christ.

Many apparent contradictions of the Bible disappear when you realize what was said and when – during which dispensation does it take place?
These dispensations also provide the perspective of God’s overall plan for humanity. They’re road maps that help you navigate through the Scriptures to understand where you’re located in the prophetic plans of God’s dispensations. This will be useful to keep a broad view of what the Bible is all about.

Now that we looked at dispensations, let’s examine the covenants of the Bible!

BEING CLEAR ABOUT THE COVENANTS – HOW To SEE The BIBLE
What is a covenant? 

In the general sense, a covenant is simply a binding agreement or compact between two or more parties; in legal terms, it is a formal sealed agreement or contract.
The biblical picture of a covenant involves God's relationship with his people, except that the inequality between the parties (Creator and creatures) is absolute. It is always made clear that the initiative is God's - that He makes covenants with his people and not vice versa. God initiates, confirms and even fulfills (ultimately in Christ, both sides of) the covenant.

The amazing thing about such examples of divine covenant is that they are the gracious means of relationship with God for a people who deserve to be removed from His presence forever, by a God who has no need whatsoever, in and of Himself, for such relationship. Indeed, the heart of covenant, as so often and wonderfully recapitulated by God Himself, is that expression of intimate relationship: "you will be my people, and I will be your God" (JER 30:22).
We briefly looked at three covenants already – the Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic – let’s explore these and others with a little more detail. So, how many covenants are there in the Bible and what do they mean?
GOT QUESTIONS (www.gotquestions.org) has another good answer! For the full article, go here.

What are the covenants in the Bible?

Answer: 
The Bible speaks of seven different covenants, four of which (Abrahamic*, Palestinian*, Mosaic^, Davidic*) God made with the nation of Israel. Of those four, three* are unconditional in nature; that is, regardless of Israel's obedience or disobedience, God still will fulfill these covenants with Israel. One of the covenants, the Mosaic Covenant, is conditional in nature^. That is, this covenant will bring either blessing or cursing depending on Israel's obedience or disobedience. Three of the covenants (Adamic, Noahic, New) are made between God and mankind in general, and are not limited to the nation of Israel.

The 
Adamic Covenant can be thought of in two parts: the EDENIC Covenant (innocence) and the ADAMIC Covenant (grace) (GEN 3:16-19). The Edenic Covenant is found in GEN 1:26-302:16-17. The Edenic Covenant outlined man’s responsibility toward creation and God’s directive regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Adamic Covenant included the curses pronounced against mankind for the sin of Adam and Eve, as well as God’s provision for that sin (GEN 3:15).

The 
Noahic Covenant was an unconditional covenant between God and Noah (specifically) and humanity (generally). After the Flood, God promised humanity that He would never again destroy all life on earth with a Flood (see GEN 9). God gave the rainbow as the sign of the covenant, a promise that the entire earth would never again flood and a reminder that God can and will judge sin (2 PETER 2:5).

Abrahamic Covenant (GEN 12:1-36-713:14-171517:1-1422:15-18). In this covenant, God promised many things to Abraham. He personally promised that He would make Abraham’s name great (GEN 12:2), that Abraham would have numerous physical descendants (GEN 13:16), and that he would be the father of a multitude of nations (GEN 17:4-5). God also made promises regarding a nation called Israel. In fact, the geographical boundaries of the Abrahamic Covenant are laid out on more than one occasion in the book of Genesis (GEN 12:7; 13:14-15; 15:18-21). Another provision in the Abrahamic Covenant is that the families of the world will be blessed through the physical line of Abraham (GEN 12:322:18). This is a reference to the Messiah, who would come from the line of Abraham.

Palestinian Covenant (DEUT 30:1-10). The Palestinian Covenant, or Land Covenant, amplifies the land aspect that was detailed in the Abrahamic Covenant. According to the terms of this covenant, if the people disobeyed, God would cause them to be scattered around the world (DEUT 30:3-4), but He would eventually restore the nation (verse 5). When the nation is restored, then they will obey Him perfectly (verse 8), and God will cause them to prosper (verse 9).

Mosaic Covenant (DEUT 11). The Mosaic Covenant was a conditional covenant that either brought God's direct blessing for obedience or God's direct cursing for disobedience upon the nation of Israel. Part of the Mosaic Covenant was the Ten Commandments (EXOD 20) and the rest of the Law, which contained over 600 commands—roughly 300 positive and 300 negative. The history books of the Old Testament (Joshua–Esther) detail how Israel succeeded at obeying the Law or how Israel failed miserably at obeying the Law. DEUT 11:26-28 details the blessing/cursing subject matter dependent on Israel’s obedience, or not.

Davidic Covenant (2 SAM 7:8-16). The Davidic Covenant amplifies the “seed” aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant. The promises to David in this passage are significant. God promised that David's lineage would last forever and that his kingdom would never pass away permanently (verse 16). Obviously, the Davidic throne has not been in place at all times. There will be a time, however, when someone from the line of David will again sit on the throne and rule as king. This future king is Jesus (LUKE 1:32-33)!

New Covenant (JER 31:31-34). The New Covenant is a covenant made first with the nation of Israel and, ultimately, with all mankind. In the New Covenant, God promises to forgive sin, and there will be a universal knowledge of the Lord. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Law of Moses (MATT 5:17) and create a new covenant between God and His people. Now that we are under the New Covenant, both Jews and Gentiles can be free from the penalty of the Law. We are now given the opportunity to receive salvation as a free gift (EPH 2:8-9).

With a nice, broad overview of what the Bible is composed of, let’s now begin talking about our Discipleship in Christ and the importance of God’s Word.

The IMPORTANCE of DISCIPLINE

Studying the Word of God is much like walking [living by] the Spirit         . It is a steady, day-to-day growth process. The way is uneven and you will encounter various moods as you travel. Some days will be like sunny mountain tops, other days will be more like dark valleys. Some study times will be exciting, others will be drudgery. The important thing is to ignore these moods – and keep walking! Consistency will pay off! This is what it means to be a disciple – to be disciplined in how we approach our study of the Word of God. This is going to take time, commitment, hard work and application just as any study or project – say, in mathematics, biochemistry, learning the piano or how to fly a plane, building a house, physical fitness training.

The GOALS Of This STUDY

Our ultimate goal in understanding the Bible is not interpretation (What does the Bible mean) but application (How does the Bible apply to my life). It’s not about getting head knowledge about the Bible, but about conforming our lives and ministries as close as possible to the image of Jesus Christ. It’s about learning more of God’s will for our lives, rather than simply knowing more of the Bible.
The goal then is to display God’s nature in us to others, by applying His Word of Truth by the Spirit of Truth and Grace Who alone enables us to do so.

The THREE GOALS

1) Direct Your Will – How serious are you about studying God’s Word and growing as a Christian? To be a true disciple of Christ? To know and follow God more and more in your life (JOHN 17:3)?

2) You must “walk in the Spirit” as it states in EPHESIANS 5:18. Remember what we talked about before about yielding to God: it’s a little like paying a visit to the dentist. Unless you yield and open your mouth, the dentist can’t do his work. Likewise, unless we open our hearts to the Spirit, He cannot do His work in us either! The difference between those who yield to the Spirit and those who don’t is that those who don’t yield will end up with a lot of Bible information in their heads, but without transformed lives; while those who yield to the Spirit will not only have transformed lives, but deeper and greater knowledge and understanding of the Word of God.
Walking in the Spirit will mean examining and cleansing our lives of everything that is contrary to God’s will by confession of sin, and obedience to His Word (1 JOHN 1:9; 1 SAM 15:22).

3) You must live in the Word. Unless you spend time reading the Bible regularly, seriously, you cannot grow in your understanding of it no matter how much information you process in the exercises we will perform in this class. Who among your friends do you know the most? It’s the ones that you spend the most time with, right? It’s the same thing with the Bible. Along with the intense study of God’s Word that we will get into, you will also need regular visits, daily, with your ‘friend’ the Bible (PSALM 1:2-3).

The PURPOSE

ROMANS 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God
.

Changing our minds, the way we think, our behavior, our desires and goals from what they were, to that which God intends.

PHIL 3:10
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death

To die to the old self, all that we used to be as unsaved sinners who were against God and His Word. To have the resurrection life in us, and grow in the new self that God is creating in us.

ROMANS 8:29
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren
.


To conform, to yield, to change and transform so that we are, by the spiritual new birth, become like Christ – ultimately (when we see Him face to Face), the very image of Jesus!

This ends Session ONE on DISCIPLESHIP 102. All of the remaining sessions following will deal with how to study the Bible, and is based largely on Josh McDowell's work in his book: GUIDE To UNDERSTANDING Your BIBLE (here is a link to purchase your own copy will be provided in the next section).




SESSION TWO: HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE

(some of the previous materials as well as all sessions afterwards are based on Josh McDowell’s book, GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING YOUR BIBLE).
You can order your own copy of this book from AMAZON for $5.98

For the Bonus Materials that includes all the charts, lists and diagrams necessary for this study, plus examples of these filled out by students, click here.


DIGGING FOR GOLD

Think of this study like you’re a miner, digging for gold:

PSALM 119:162
 I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure
.

The gold is buried deep underground; there is no way you’re going to get it unless you dig for it, and unless you have the right tools for the job, it will be difficult if not impossible. In this study, you will be given all the right tools to dig deep into the Word of God, uncover awesome truths and make exciting discoveries!

You can also think of the idea of being a detective, maybe like Sherlock Holmes, who is out to solve a mystery. You will need keen observation and clear thinking to find the clues in Scripture. In this study, you will be trained in what to look for and how.

PROVERBS 25:2
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter
.

Or what about a car mechanic? He wants to rebuild an engine, but before he can, he has to look the engine over carefully, see how it all fits and works together, before he can start tearing it apart and get to work replacing broken pieces, and have the ability to reassemble it all. We will understand the overall plan and perspective of the Bible once we examine its individual books, chapters, paragraphs and verses, moving from the general to the specific.

ISAIAH 28:10
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little
:

For the purpose of this study, we will look to the Gospel of JOHN, and focus primarily on Chapters Three and Four.

ONE TOOL of the TRADE

We will learn about charting – by examining the Scriptures, we will break them down and create charts so that we can capture the truth buried in the Word. The information we will capture in these charts will then be used as our source of information for preparing the final outlines of the material after its been recorded and organized.

We will create title charts that go from the general overview (chapter titles and paragraph titles), to the specific details that are found in Scripture (key verses, key words and their meanings). These charts will break things down going from chapters, paragraphs, verses, phrases and words as found in Scripture.

THREE MAJOR STEPS of BIBLE STUDY

1) SEE IT – OBSERVATIONAL
2) KNOW IT – INTERPRETATIONAL
3) DO IT -APPLICATIONAL

1) OBSERVE: This step teaches you the principles of observation (like the detective), to ask of a passage, “What do I see here?” The goal is to learn exactly what a passage really says – to see past the surface and discover deeper truths (like the miner) that are buried but often overlooked in a casual reading.

2) INTERPRET: This step teaches the principle of interpretation. Here we ask the question, “What does it mean?” In this step, we want not only to be sure we see all that’s being said, we want to understand it.

3) APPLICATION: In this step, we reach the ultimate goal of Bible study and ask, “How does this apply to me, to my life?” You must know what a passage means and how it applies before you can adopt it into your life. That application to your life is what the whole process is really about – not merely to learn it but to do it!

PRACTICE Makes PERFECT

The processes that we will engage in will be very new to some, or even many of you. And as with anything we attempt for the first time, something new that we’ve never done before, it can be awkward, unfamiliar, uncomfortable at first. You will no doubt find yourself uncertain as to whether you’re doing it right.

Give it time – some of us are a real whiz at math, but can’t draw a stick figure; others can create a wonderful work of art, but can barely do multiplication tables.
Whatever we are familiar and comfortable with, we excel at; but we weren’t always so. Everyone begins somewhere. Everyone has to learn how to tie their shoes for the first time – any of you struggle with this task anymore?

By practice, practice, practice your observational skills and interpretative skills and your ability to organize information will become like second nature! Just like tying your shoes!

MAKING A TITLE CHART

How many of you have gone on the Internet and visited Google Earth? You start out by seeing the entire globe, but then you start to move in and the globe fills the screen, until you then see a curved horizon, and from there you can see, let’s say, North America, then closer still you get, and see the United States, then Arizona, then Tucson, until finally, you can zoom all the way in to see your very own house!

You start out seeing the BIG PICTURE, and then narrow down to see more and more details, until you can eventually read the house address numbers next to your front door!
Making a Title Chart in your study will be “the BIG PICTURE” and using this chart, we will begin to narrow things down until we get to the tiny, little details.

Title charts are useful as chapter outlines and will help you memorize what any chapter in the Bible is about, as well as the general theme of the book.

Many Bibles today will break down all the chapters into paragraphs with their own sub-headings, and you can use these for your title chart, but also consider that by making your own titles, you’re having to think about what a passage in Scripture is really saying, and your own titles will be yours, making them easier to remember.

TITLE CHART PREPARATIONS

As always, before beginning any study of the Word, we must begin in prayer – seeking the counsel, the leading, the instruction of the very Author of the Book we are engaged to study!

STEP – 1: Read The Book
The book that we will use to model this method of Bible Study is the Gospel of JOHN. Before we begin our exploration, we need to get familiar with ‘the lay of the land’ and to do this, we must become familiar with the material contained in this Gospel account by the apostle John.

Therefore we will in our own time at home read through the Gospel of John a minimum of three times, beginning to end. Five times is better, seven times is best! This is ‘The Big Picture’ and your homework assignment this week.

Since any interpretation of any single verse will depend on the context in which that verse is located, it is absolutely VITAL that we have a working knowledge of the book in its entirety. There can be NO SHORT CUTS to this exercise.

If you have ever gone to see a movie, and then bring other friends with you for a second showing, you will probably be surprised at how much you didn’t pick up the first time. The more you observe, the greater amount of details you pick up. The same with Bible study.

G. Campbell Morgan, the great Bible expositor commonly read any book of the Bible he was preparing to teach thirty times even before starting his studies!
In any book of the Bible, there will be a stated purpose for it; in the case of the GOSPEL of JOHN, we find its purpose stated in:

JOHN 20:31
 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name
.

The purpose for the epistle of ROMANS is found in

ROMANS 1:16-17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith
.

In your first reading of any book you are prepared to study, look for its stated purpose – it could be at the beginning of the book (like ROMANS) or near the end (like JOHN) – or somewhere in between.

On your second reading, look for repeated phrases and words; for example, in 1 JOHN we see the phrase repeated “have written unto you” five times (one of those times in a negative sense): 1 JOHN 2:14; 2:21; 2:26 and 1 JOHN 5:13.

On your third reading and subsequent readings afterwards, look for major divisions of the book; each book of the Bible has many different subjects addressed, each in their own section – so every section begins and ends when there is a change of subject. These various subjects will come together and form an overall theme to the book, that is, the purpose for its writing.

For example, 1 and 2 SAMUEL have sections that deal with three different subjects, which in this case, are persons: Samuel, Saul and David. So, 1 and 2 SAMUEL are biographical.

EXODUS has sections that deals with different geographical locations as they pertain to the people of Israel: those locations being Egypt, Mt. Sinai and the wilderness (Sinai peninsula).

The first eleven chapters of GENESIS have sections that deal with historical/chronological events.

STEP – 2: Read About The Book
In any study Bible, you can glean useful information about the book you are studying. Everything from timelines, to introductions, vital statistics including its purpose, the author, the date when the book was written, the historical setting, key verses and places, the various themes of the book as well as maps, charts and diagrams that break down information contained in the book.

If you don’t have a study Bible, you can find good deals for one online (www.christianbooks.com) or you can even go online and do web searches on any book of the Bible you want information on.

BEGINNING The TITLE CHART

After you have read the GOSPEL of JOHN many times and you become familiar with the theme, the sections and their subjects and background of the book, you can begin constructing your first chart.

The following downloadable forms are for you to use in these exercises:Forms and Charts for this course.

Step 1 – CHAPTER TITLES:
How you will title each chapter of the book will depend on what sort of information you are wanting from your study. If you want the basic content of the book, you will give titles that reflect what is presented in the basic content. If you want the theological meaning of the book, then your chapter titles will deal with theological truths and statements.
An example of chapter titles that reflect these two different searches, using JOHN Ch. 11 would be as follows:

Chapter title for content: The resurrection of Lazarus.
Chapter title for theology: Christ’s power over death.

Your chapter title should be short and summarize the basic event(s) and theme(s) of the chapter. It is a handle by which you grab specific chapters that you want from the book – therefore the chapter titles have to be somewhat specific. If they are too general, you won’t be able to identify the chapter you want.

Bibles already have chapter numbers, and most study Bibles will have chapter and subject titles. For your own purposes, create your own subject titles (We will talk about these shortly) and understand that chapter divisions in the Bible aren’t divinely inspired as are the Scriptures themselves and not necessarily always in the best places.

One Bible student gave chapter 4 of JOHN’s GOSPEL the chapter title of “Well, Well” – because in JOHN 4 Jesus met the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, and it was also in that same chapter that Jesus made the nobleman’s sick son well.

Another student, after reading JOHN 9 gave it the title of “The Blind Man Sees More than The Pharisees”

How would you title 1 PETER 5?

What about “The Chief Shepherd and the Roaring Lion”?
“The Elders That Feed The Chief Shepherd’s Flock”?

How would you title ROMANS 12?

How about “The Body of Christ: Sacrificial Transformation”?
Or – “Members In The Body Transformed to Christ-likeness”?

Step 2 – PARAGRAPH TITLES:
Paragraph titles are next, and these will fill the columns beneath the chapter titles (see your chart). These titles need to be short and to the point. These will chop the entire chapter down into memorable bits, easier for you to examine and remember. To see how this process works, we will look at paragraph titles for GALATIANS 1-6 (See chart). Notice the chapter title “Paul’s Autobiography of Early Life”, and how the paragraph titles reflect that theme. Let’s go through each of the six chapter titles and subsequent paragraph titles.

Chapter One has the following Paragraph Titles:
Vs. 1-5: Greeting the church
Vs. 6-10: One true Gospel to preach
Vs. 11-17: Paul’s Commission to preach
Vs. 18-24: Paul’s reputation in Jerusalem

Chapter Two has the following Paragraph Titles:
Vs. 1-10: Approval of Apostles
Vs. 11-12: Paul confronts Peter

Chapter Three has the following Paragraph Titles:
Vs. 1-14: Laws not the way
Vs. 15-22: Jesus and the Law
Vs. 23-29: Oneness in Christ

Chapter Four has the following Paragraph Titles:
Vs. 1-7: Rights of Sonship in Christ
Vs. 8-11: Freemen returning to slavery
Vs. 12-20: Paul’s disappointment
Vs. 21-31: Illustration of Isaac and Ishmael

Chapter Five has the following Paragraph Titles:
Vs. 1: Stay Free!
Vs. 2-12: Legalism excluded
Vs. 13-15: Love is the outcome of freedom
Vs. 16-24: Walk in the Spirit
Vs. 25-26: Humility in the Spirit

Chapter Six has the following Paragraph Titles:
Vs. 1-5: Bear one another’s burdens
Vs. 6-10: Reaping in the Spirit
Vs. 11-16: Boast only in the cross
Vs. 17-18: Summary testimony and closing

Step 3 – KEY WORDS, VERSES and BACKGROUND MATERIAL:

At the bottom of your Title Chart there are columns for the key verses and key words of that chapter. The key verse should be the one that comes closest to defining or summarizing the theme of the chapter. The key word may be one from that verse or one from that verse or one you choose that best captures the theme.

In the Galatians outline we have the following key verses for each chapter:
Chapter 1: vs. 12; Chapter 2: vs. 2; Chapter 3: vs. 13; Chapter 4: vs. 31; Chapter 5: vs. 22; and Chapter 6: vs. 10.

The key word for each of these chapters are as follows:

Ch. 1: Revelation; Ch. 2: Gentiles; Ch. 3: Law; Ch. 4: Free; Ch. 5: Spirit; Ch. 6: Reap.
And again, these are not necessarily the only correct answers – if you can find a key verse or key word that is provable in the context of the Scriptures, then you have found more key words/verses! But the key words and verses should reflect what the chapter is all about.

Key verses and key words are merely an additional extra to help you remember the theme as you process your observation and understanding of the chapters of the book you are studying.

Once completing the Title Chart, it will be helpful to get a little more information about your study. On the back of your chart, or where space is available on the front, you can add:

The author of the book, the date when and where it was written, the key verse for the book, and key word/phrase, the historical and geographical setting, and any other information that you find useful or interesting.
You can find this sort of information in study Bibles, Bible handbooks and dictionaries, Bible encyclopedias, commentaries and also online sources (such as www.biblegateway.com).


Homework assignment:

Use a blank Title chart and write out some Chapter and paragraph titles for the first 4 chapters of JOHN. We will go over these the next time we meet. You may write out key verses and words if you like.

Here ends Sessions ONE and TWO. The next sessions (THREE and FOUR) will be provided on the TTUF Page links soon (10.18.17).
Read more!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
ReferenceTagging.tag();