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Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Shocking Truth about the Bible

Earlier this week I mentioned that I was the guest speaker at a DMin class at ORU.  I pushed hard on the need to equip people in the church to study the Bible independently.  By independent I mean that they have the ability to take a passage without the aid of commentaries, study guides, introductions, etc.  Just the Bible and a blank sheet of paper and are able to dig deep into that passage.  I got some push back.
Do you need to know background material in order to study the Bible?  Thoughts at DTTB.
One of the men said that we certainly had to give some people enough guidelines in terms of teaching about the book so that they would be able to understand it.  I had just handed out the verse analysis study I have used with men for the past 40 years.  I shared with him that was not my experience.

My first month in the Air Force I was invited to a Bible study.  We were doing the Navs Studies in Christian Living Book 4.  Took about 5 weeks.  It is a fill in the blank Bible study.  Most of my blanks still are in that book.  I was not a believer.  I was bored to tears.  At the end of the 5 weeks the 1st Lieutenant leading the study suggested that we move onto book 5.  I raised my hand and asked if there was anything else that we could do.  He handed out three half sized sheets of paper, the verse analysis study.  He told us to take the three sheets and use the 8 steps on 2 Timothy 2:2.  A couple of days later I opened up a Bible, looked a the three pages and started.  Three hours later I finished.  Blown away.  I did not know you could do that with one verse of the Bible and it was obvious that I had just scratched the surface.  About three weeks later I trusted Christ.

No one instructed me on the context of 2 Timothy.  No one told me what the issues were in the church Timothy served.  No one told me anything about Paul or Timothy.  He just handed me the three sheets and gave me a verse on which to use the study.  That is when John 16:13 kicked in.  The Holy Spirit inspired men to write the Bible.  Jesus told us that when He left the Spirit would come and lead us into truth.  The Bible is the only book I read that the author is committed, able, and present to help me understand His work.

The truth is we just need to set the table and get out of the way.  We need to let the Holy Spirit lead people in the Word.  All we need to do is give them some minimal guidance on how to be looking.  The Spirit will do the rest.

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