How To…? Bible Study Basics

Here is a very simple tool to help you study the Bible. All of these elements are used in teaching and studying the Bible effectively. Below the image is a link to download the PDF of this document so that you can reference, share or print this document. Enjoy and I hope and pray that this helps you to more accurately, “rightly divide the Word of Truth” and share what you are learning with others.

-J

Basics to Gaining a Biblical Theology <PDF

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God, Our Sweet Sweet Reward!

“God, show us who You are. Be revealed!”

“I want to see You… high and lifted up!”

“I want more than I have. I want to see You in Your holiness. I want my filth burned away; replaced with Your Spirit and Presence and Life and Word!”

“I just want a glimpse of Your glory…please Father, give this to me but only for a moment and I shall be happy forever.”

“We are not discontent, but we are satisfied only in You, and yet we are hungry for more because we know that only You have more to give.”

Have you ever been here, in this place? In a place of longing that goes beyond human words or understanding? I mean, you have your God and you love your Savior but you are desperate for more? Maybe you really want to see your city reached with the Gospel? So there you are: you know you are saved and you know that God does the saving but you are not satisfied that there are people surrounding you who are lost and headed for hell, so you pray.

I’m not talking about those “Thank You God for these scrambled eggs” type of prayers, I’m talking desperation type of prayers. I’m talking Jacob wrestling with God, “I wont let You go until you bless me!” type of prayers! “God help us! People are dying! We need You to intervene!” “Act oh God! Do not be silent!” I’m talking about revival praying. We-seriously-believe prayers. We-really-need-the-living-God prayers.

I’m here in this place now in my life for many reasons and my greatest want at the moment is to be in, sence, feel, and abide in the presence of God. I’m not satisfied with statuesque christianity: praying for my food (whatever that means), stopping by church once or twice a week (or month for some), doing my “devos”, and on and on, this boring robotic routine can continue habitually into an eventual, hopeful eternity. Becoming a religious person is not on my list of aspirations, I want to experience the presence and power that comes from closeness to my Jesus… my God… the one who loves me and has saved me.

I’m encouraging you and me and a lost world to enter the joy of the Lord! Come and get more of your God. We must seek Him in our prayer closets and worship Him there with all of our beings. There we must find Him and be found by Him. Not in our church buildings, but in our private world. In our heart and mind and in our bedrooms and in our workplaces. This is fellowship with our God. This kind of Christianity cannot be escaped! This is the kind of christian experience that is exciting and romantic! This is when we finally realize that God is our lover and He is pursuing us in our going to sleep and in our waking up. He is wooing us into His presence. This is the excitement about walking with Jesus that once realized, causes us to shut down the computer and phone and television and escape to a private place; alone with our God. We want more and so we go in search for more. We bow on our knees or we lock ourselves inside and there we share our hearts as we gain His heart. We simply talk to Him about all that is in ourselves. Like the marriage bed, nothing is off-limits; we are explored by Him. We sit with His Word and we ask and beg Him to make it come to life in reality and power within our bodies and minds and heart and emotion. We are experiencing transformation when we are experiencing Him.

I love this. That we want more than we could ever handle. No one can look upon the glory of God and yet we hunt after it and drool for it with a burning hearts desire.

Are you being transformed?

Are you desiring your God?

If you say yes, than good. Run harder after Him. He will always satisfy you.

If you say no, then may I remind you that though you do not pursue Him, Your God who loves you is Pursuing you relentlessly. He wants you to experience His light and life and His Joy. He is but an arms-reach away.

“…nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  -Romans 8:39

Prayer Is Power – Thoughts on Prayer

This was taken from a message preached in the fall of 2009...


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True prayer is the act of humility. It declares to your God that you are in need of His counsel.

Prayer is an act of Love; it makes time for God, and places Him in your priority. Intimacy cannot be built without time, effort, and communication. Loving God is making time to become intimate with Him. Prayer is where you go out of your way to show God your heart, to praise or weep before Him. Prayer is where your intimacy is developed. We need to be drawn often to prayer.

Pray about everything.

Pray because your Savior has asked and told you to do so. Prayer is an act of obedience.

Strength is drawn from prayer. Praying is an act of faith and without faith it is impossible to please God.

Please your God in prayer. He loves to hear you talk to Him. He loves to hear you ask of Him.

He is a fulfiller of promises, so pray His Word and you will never fall short of His will in prayer.

Remember, in any relationship, you must communicate to keep things fresh. So keep the lines of communication open with Jesus. Speak to Him and listen to Him.

Pray for strength, He always gives it.

Pray for direction, He knows the way.

Pray for Salvation, that’s why He came, died and rose again.

Pray for the impossible, He is God almighty. He is the God of miracles and impossibilities. Believe Him always.

You must pray in faith. And sometimes you must pray desperately for faith. Men have seen revival and what others thought impossible because they sought their God and asked Him for things others only dared to dream of. Stop dreaming and pray to your God who is reality and power and so near to you.

Prayer is where you gain the heart of God for your life and ministry. It is where you come face to face with love and where you are broken, humbled, changed and filled with His Spirit that is power in you.

You don’t have because you don’t ask. Ask! Ask for everything that you need and don’t have. Don’t be timid or shy. Don’t be faithless. Be willing to be wrong for some things that you ask for. We are praying for His will to be done.

Pray like Jesus.

And remember, you only need a mustard seed of faith in order to petition the face of God. If you feel like you don’t even have a mustard seed of faith, than ignore your feelings and ask anyways.

Pray always about everything.

Don’t be paranoid about everything and every decision you make. If you have an active prayer-life, than don’t be scared to walk by faith. Remember that faith is an action word and He is directing your steps. Pray then walk and most of the time, pray while your walking.

Pray for others; right there on the spot. Show others by praying with them that you believe in a God who hears. It will impart faith to them.

And Pray for you.

Prayer will keep you alive. It is impossible to have an active, fruitful private prayer-life and die spiritually. If you want to live more, than pray more. Prayer is the I.V. from heaven; It will keep your heart beating, your blood pulsing, and your Spirit above the clouds. It is an exercise in the spirit and so you must fight against your flesh. Be constant in prayer. Never give up. Pray

Remember ROMANS 12:1

Why I Love The Word of God – Part 3 (final) – Life Giving Words

 

 

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The Word of God is power to the believer. It is Spiritual. The Word of God is not a burdensome law. It is not legalism or rules. The Word of God is not a religion! It is Safety. It is a glimpse into the very heart of God who rules the Universe! It is for your Heart,  your life and for your Spirit and for eternity.

The Word of God is life giving, life changing, miracle working, alive, true and there is nothing false in it! It is perfect, empowering, encouraging, up-lifting, healing, it speaks to man, guides us, directs us, gives wisdom, judges the thoughts and intents of the heart, it is purity in an imperfect world, it is to be treasured, it is historically accurate, and it is just and right when everything else is wrong!

And do not forget, the Word of God is for you! Treasure your Savior and treasure His promises. Don’t allow satan to keep you from your Bible. Open it up, be familiar with it, read it, write in it, memorize it and not because you have to, but because He loves you. Guard your time with Jesus.

“Why I Love The Word of God” – Part 2 – Profitable Words and Bad Pastors


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Let me share some other biblical reasons on why I love the Word of God and why it is needed in assisting ministry, ministry in general and in our personal lives.

 Because the words of God are profitable.

 We gain from His Word! Ill say it again. We get to gain insight and wisdom and direction, encouragement and many more wonderful things for our life; and they are all delivered to us straight from the God of the Universe and the God of your life. That’s why the word of God is profitable for our whole lives! Because God knows best. He knows all of humanity and creation from the inside out, that is, things inside and outside, physical and emotional, psychological and He is in control of all things near or far, into the galaxies and universe. There is no part over your lives that He is not in the position to touch, or change, or help. He is God and His word is living and full of endless power!

Hebrews 4:12 says of the Word of God, that it “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” We are lost without Gods revealing Himself to man!

But profitable for what? Well, our text says: “for doctrine [that is teaching], for reproof [that is, conviction or testing], for correction [that is, literally to restore to an upright state, to correct your life and character. To make you right.], for instruction in righteousness:” The Greek here for our word instruction is: paideia (pi-da-uh) meaning that the Word of God is everything for your growing up in life for the Lord. You cannot and will not grow or mature in Christ if you are lacking the proper nutrition that comes to your soul only by the word of God, interpreted and given proper application by the Spirit of God. It corrects your mistakes and curbs your passions, it increases virtue. This is Paideia: instruction. And this is all for righteousness. For right living before our God. Living a life that is pleasing Him, for Him, for His glory. Do you understand that the Word of God is essential for your right living for God in Christ? Willing obedience to Gods direction for your life and submission to His instruction will create in you a pure heart, making you a minister filled with personal character. Not just a Christ associated christian but an Christ experienced christian and leader/follower/servant.

But shame on the pastors, leaders and so-called servants of Jesus who are not rightly dividing the Word of God and especially to those who are forsaking the Bible all together!

They are leading their congregations down the wrong paths and have no clue how to live for God. They are simply and biblically bad pastors, ignorant of the power of God.

The Pastor who forsakes the Word of God has forsaken his calling and is no pastor at all but is a wayward; a prodigal, desperately needing to come home. And for those pastors and heretics we desperately pray,“Lord, grab their hearts and set them aright with Your Word that their congregations would be able to worship You in spirit and in truth!” “God, help us as servants of You and as servants to Your bride, not to forsake Your promises but to cling to Your words for our life, ministry, worldview, help, counsel and personal nourishment.” As assistants in ministry, the Word is our guide. We give the bride of Christ the Words of Christ and nothing else. Your opinion doesn’t really matter in the end. Stick to the Word of God.

“Why I Love The Word Of God” – Part 1 – 5 Proofs


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The word Bible comes from the Greek word‘biblos’ meaning‘book.’It is The Book. In the Bible, we have the embodiment of a divine revelation. It is a written work of history centered around one man, Jesus Christ. Now, let me briefly present you with…

5 proofs that present the Bible as the very Word of God:

1. The Character of the Bible:

Written by 40 some authors over a period of about 1600 years and yet the Bible is one book. It has one doctrinal system, one moral standard, one plan of salvation, and one program of the ages. The Bible is in harmony with itself. It does not contradict itself but compliments itself.

2. The Indestructibility of the Bible:

Henry Clarence Thiessen says this about the indestructibility of the Bible: “When we recall that only a very small percentage of books survive more than a quarter of a century, that a much smaller percentage last for a century, and that only a very small number live a thousand years, we at once realize that the Bible is a unique book.”

When looking at the history of the Bibles indestructibility, we must also look at the circumstances through which the Bible has survived. The Bible has been the most adored and praised book as well as the object of more persecution and opposition than any other book in History. For example, Before Constantine, Rome, at one point, thought that they had exterminated the Christian religion. Diocletian, by a royal edict in 303 A.D. demanded that every copy of the Bible be destroyed by fire. He killed so many Christians and destroyed so many bibles, sending Christians into hiding, that he actually thought that he had put an end to the bible. He inscribed a medal that said,“the Christian religion is destroyed and the worship of the gods restored.”A few years later Constantine came to the throne, making Christianity the state religion. This is one event among many examples throughout history. Many of which are still being written among our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world today, in Asia, the middle east, and elsewhere.

But know this, that God is still preserving His Word. We have hundreds of manuscript copies of the Bible that predate the birth of Christ. These including detailed prophesies about Jesus Christ, his life, death, and resurrection. Among such manuscripts lies one of the greatest discoveries in modern times: We know them as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Here’s what happened and how God preserved His Word:

In 1947, a young boy wandered into a cave in Qumran (north and west of the dead Sea in Israel). He was looking for some lost sheep, belonging to his father, but instead of finding sheep, the boy stumbled upon ancient coins and a series of pots filled with ancient scrolls; the old testament scriptures. These findings of Isaiah’s writings alone dated back to 100 B.C. The scrolls had been hidden in these caves 2000 years ago and amazingly, they represented every book of the old testament minus the book of Esther. Amazing!


God is able to watch over and preserve His word from corruption. This is a true to life miracle but not surprising, as Our God is a God of miracles!

3. The Influence of the Bible.

Throughout history, the Bible has influenced Arts, literature, architecture, and music. The Bible has influenced the laws of the nations as well as influencing great social reforms and is constantly debated over, defended, or scrutinized in our courthouses to this day.

Thiessen says: “Where is there a book in all the world that even remotely compares with it in its beneficent influence upon mankind?” He called the bible:“…The revelation of God to needy humanity.”

4. Fulfilled Prophesy.

As we read earlier from 2 Peter, that men who were “… moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” There is no other viable explanation for the supernatural knowledge witnessed through Bible prophesy given through man, written here in the Bible. In it, we see many impressive and detailed prophesies concerning the nation of Israel. Prophesies concerning the gentile nations were fulfilled. Prophesy declares to us that God has revealed in his word to us that he is all knowing. He does not simply give us a record book of past events, but confidently declares to us things to come; future events; Bible prophesy; divine Revelation.

5. The claims of the Bible itself.

The Bible claims to be the only infallible revelation on earth in written form given to man. That in it contains the only plan for the eternal salvation of man.

The Old Testament itself claims to be the Word of God, with its some 3,800 statement like: “thus says the Lord, now the Lord spoke, He was commanded to write in a book what the Lord had told him, The Lord Said, The Word which came to…, The Word of the Lord came expressly to…etc”

The New Testament writers declared the message of God. Paul makes statements in 1 Corinthians (14:37), 1 Thessalonians (2:13), and Galatians (1:8) declaring that the things he wrote were the commandments of God, that what he preached we were to receive as the very word of God, and that the salvation of men depended upon faith in the very doctrines which Paul taught. John taught in 1 John (5:10) that his testimony was Gods testimony. Peter taught that the commands of God were spoken through the holy prophets and through the apostles (2 Peter 3:2). And Christ revealed that if you have heard or seen Him than you have heard and seen God (1 John 1:2, John 14:9).

All of this, and we have not even scratched the surface of Archeological discoveries supported by the Bible and in favor of the bibles accuracy. No other religious text compares. We don’t have time to talk about the Bibles Scientific accuracy including it’s references to the Sun, the shape of the earth, the suspension of the earth, and the stars. We could talk about the countless martyrs for Christ, including the willingness of Jesus’ disciples to suffer, but for the sake of time, these 5 points will have to do.

– Bloody God – and – Undeserved Grace-

1 Peter 2:24,25

 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

How lost we must have been, that to God Himself, it seemed necessary to clothe himself in His own creation that we might be bought back; redeemed. Purchased by Gods blood! God bled. He subjected Himself to pain. “For you were straying like sheep…” I love the gentleness of Gods mercy displayed here in this verse. He equates us, His children to sheep. Gentle and frail. Unable to fend for themselves in the face of their adversaries; ours being sin and its eternal reward. Scattered we were, unable to defend, vindicate, or rescue ourselves. All we could do is run lost in vain. We were in need of a Shepherd. One who would sacrifice His time, energies, sleep, sweat, blood, and I must say, even His life to protect that which belonges to His Master: you and me. And a shepherd we have. We got the best. The Master Himself became our Shepherd. No one cares more about His sheep than the Master. The sheep are His posession and prize. They are of great value in His eyes. But must i say, they are dumb and ever so needy. They would perish without His care. Certain death is inevitable without the Shepherds care.

We are His sheep and we had gone astray, and death had become inevitable. We are those spoken of here: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” And what a horrific way! The end of our way is death, and that eternal. We are those about whom God has spoken: “[There is] none who does good, No, not one.” “They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” “There is none righteous, no, not one.” If this is us, than “God! Who can stand before you!?” Who can dwell in your presence!?” “Who will You welcome into your glory!?” and as if heaven stands still awaiting His perfection-answer…. God Speaks in His great justice: “There are none… no… Not ONE!”
We are the none, the no-ones. And to the no-ones God in His great mercy and grace has sent to us Someone; namely, Jesus Christ. And just as was spoken of us, to this one it is spoken: “and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” This is the one who will be ushered into the throne room of God. This is the one who will sit on the throne of God forever, judging grace-saved-sinners as perfected and holy by His blood. This is the one who has taken the punishment that was for man because God became man that man might come near to God. So near that God would dwell in man. Making man His temple. And just as the sacrifice (Jesus Christ) was raised to the throne in Gods presence, so must we, in Christ, become raised with Him, sharing in His risen glory. This is possible only through God’s grace. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” Receive His healing afresh today and become drowned in His awesome grace, “For you were straying like sheep, but now returned to the shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Amen