Session 1: Beginning your walk through Scripture
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11
Psalm 119; Hebrews 4:12; John 17:17
Welcome to the journey of a lifetime and a way to know the Way, the true Truths of God, His most precious Word, what He has to say to you. This will be a two year study through the Bible.
Our purpose is Bible study by a cursory walk through the main streams of God's Word, the Bible. Our purpose is to gain a deeper understanding of the themes, main thoughts, calls, commands, and applications to know God, to know Christ and to know how to live for His glory. We will cover a basic, honest, inductive Bible study 'look in' without preconceived bias or personal agendas, so we can better examine the Bible and what God has to say. We will follow our Lord and first seek to answer these questions: How do I glorify Him, what does He want me to learn, and how shall I live my life? We will also have notes, outlines and, of course, prayer.
Why is this important? In these times, the average person is becoming more opposed to the Gospel and the precepts of God's Word. At the same time, the average Christian does not know the Word of God very well or at all. Thus, we have a society that does not understand Christianity and hates Christianity; we have Christians who are ignorant in, who, and what they are. It gets worse. Many believers today get their information from sloppy pastors, false teachers, presumptions, and feelings--not directly from God's True truths. There are others of us who are just too busy. We rarely take the time to read through the Bible; we do not know the basics of faith, and we find that we do not know the answers to questions of import--Who is God? Who are we? What does God have for me? What is my purpose?
Thus, it is the endeavor of this Bible study to do a cursory walk through the main streams of God's Word the Bible, to gain a deeper understanding of the themes, main thoughts, calls, commands and applications to know Christ and live for His glory.
Our program. In the first year, we will have a general overview about the Bible and a survey through the Old Testament. We will also have an overview of each book and its main themes and characters, learning about our Lord's Majesty, Holiness, His Law, precepts, His story, calls, and commands and the relationship between the New Testament and us-today.
Key thought: The New Testament comes alive and makes more sense when we understand the Old Testament!
During the second year, we will take a voyage through the New Testament learning about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His story, His Word, calls, commands and the love that passes all understanding. And we will have an overview of each book and its main themes and teachings.
Key thought, the New Testament helps us come alive and our live makes more sense when we study and apply His Word!
Why this study? Research organizations like Barna and the Schaeffer Institute have found that most Christians do not know the Word of God. Some are new to the faith and have not taken the time while others tend to get their information from sloppy pastors, false teachers, presumptions, TV, and feelings--not directly from God's True truths. Because of this, the Church is moving further and further away from the true Truths of Scripture and replacing the precepts of God with the sinful and fable ways of humanity. A lack of Bible reading, teaching, knowledge, and application of discipleship is becoming an ever-increasing problem with Christianity in America in general. We can be part of the solution, dive in and allow God to transform and renew us deeply while we build a better church for His Glory.
For added motivation, we need to know that the Bible is, indeed, the most important work of communication ever conceived and must be known and applied by those whose faith and trust is in the Lord. Only then can you be confident of your relationship with Christ; you can also communicate this faith more effectively to those you encounter. This is not an overnight event. It is a life-long journey that must be embarked upon by Christians, so we can know Christ and His precepts with conviction and share the love and grace of the Lord with passion and confidence so that others can know and grow in Christ!
As Christians, we are the beacons of light to His Glory. People come to us to know Who God Is. They do this by watching your lives rather than listening to your words. Is your faith real? Loved out? Effectual? Do you have something special that others must have? Building an effectual Christian faith happens when we immerse ourselves in the wonders of God and His precepts. It happens when we follow His commands and heed His Word. It happens when we take all that we know about our Lord and really LIVE HIM. Communing with Jesus in prayer, being and learning and growing and doing-this is effectual faith. The first step in this faith building and discipleship is taken when we are reading, studying, knowing and growing in the Bible.
Let's look at two key words from John 17:17.
God Word is Truth! The positioning statement of the Bible! This great declaration in John 17:17 is referring to the authority of Scripture that is God's written Word; then, it was the Old Testament. Now, He was speaking for and to the Disciples who would write the New Testament under the auspices and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In context, this statement refers to God's Holiness and that we acknowledge Him as sovereign and righteous. We are to know that His Holy decrees and principles are infallible, knowable; His Word benefits us in the here and now, as well as what we take into eternity. Jesus is the embodiment of Truth; He is the Supreme Being whose precepts we are to emulate. He is the Truth. (Psalm 119, all, especially v. 142; 151; Luke 8:11-21; 11:28; John 1:17; 14:15; 17:17; Acts 4:31; 6:7; 8:14-25; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16)
Believe in me. The prime reason why we have the Bible! Jesus makes this statement many times in the Gospel of John; it is a statement and, sometimes, a prayer for all Christians through all time, that we know Him and make Him known by spreading the Gospel! It is God's role and work that are empowering and saving; we merely respond. Our faith is a response, not a work; we realize Christ because He is revealed to us. All the blessings and wonder that we have and can have are in Christ, and He gives us the faith that we turn into more faith by our commitment and obedience (John 3:30; 12:44; 16:9; 17:20; Rom. 6:12; Gal. 2:20-21; Eph. 2:8-9; 5:15-17; Phil. 3:1-21; Col. 1: 3-6, 10-12, 15-29).
We get into the Bible for Transformation! We have the incredible opportunity to meet with God to know Him. For this to happen; we open the Bible and read its words with anticipation and wonder as we commune with the Creator King of the universe who wants us to know Him. The relationship building doesn't stop with heeding the simple glorious message of the Gospel; we must continue on, delving into God's Word. It is through this intentional learning that we capture His principles, letting us ponder His Truth and begin to apply ourselves to Him, conforming to His Word. Literally in John 6, we are called to 'feed' on Christ; we are to consume His work and principles both for living now and for eternity. This helps us have real meaning and a purposeful life by building our new life (2 Tim. 2:15).
So know this, when we study the Bible, we are meeting with Our Lord is so important; it is how we are to grow in Christ! It is how we build our faith and spiritual formation in order to be our best for His Glory. To do this, we must think beyond ourselves, beyond our past hurts, beyond past experiences and move from perception to concrete, living in the present. If we remain in our material thinking, only seeing what affects us personally or what hinders us or not seeing above and beyond where we are, we will remain in the world of selfishness and absurdity; life will not make sense, and we are left with only stress, despair, anxiety, and boredom. All this will be attributed to our alienation from God and/or our refusal to put our faith into a real able practice when we do know Him. When we 'feed' on our Lord, we will live an abundant and fulfilling life; only then, we can cross the obstacles and overcome life's ills and sin (John 6:52-71; 14:17;16:1-15; Rom. 5:4-5; 7:21-25; 8:14, Gal. 4:6; 2 Cor. 3:18).
We, at Into Thy Word, are geared toward challenging you to learn how to better understand and study the Bible! We seek to teach people to use logic, induction, reasoning, being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit along with good inductive and deductive principles by examining the particulars, facts, and essence of a text first before making any conclusions. Thus, we can lead a mature, meaningful, fruitful, character driven life for Christ's glory!
Key Takeaway: The Bible has the solutions to life's problems; reassurances are in the pages of this Book. The answers to my questions--Who am I and what am I here for-are plainly clear when we are in Christ and embark in His Word because we have a God who is, indeed, in control! We have a purpose that is to glorify Him and enjoy our relationship with Him, Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior! We have a destiny, we are in His hands, and we can survive and thrive no matter what life throws are way.
Questions to Ponder
Read Psalm 119
1. What are your hopes and expectations for this Bible Study?
2. What are some of your favorite verses from Psalm 119? What do you think are the major themes? What does God want us to know and take to heart?
3. What applications can you come away with from Psalm 119? Has anything surprised you?
4. Did you know that the solutions to life's problems are in the pages of the Bible? How does this reassurance you?
5. What excuses do some Christians make for not studying the Bible? How does this affect their life and church?
6. Have you considered that the main way to the Truths of God is from His most precious Word? How does this help you heed what He has to say to you?
7. Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of the themes, main thoughts, calls, commands, and applications to know God? How will this help you to know our Christ and how to live for His glory?
8. Do you have a reverence to true Truth versus truth that is just personal or subjective or relative?
9. Have you noticed that the Church is moving further and further away from the true Truths of Scripture? What are some of the things that we are replacing the precepts of God? What would this do to you and your church? What can you do about it?
10. What does Christ need to do to intervene into your deepest recesses to first save you, then mold, shape, and use you for your betterment and His glory? What will you life look like if you let Him do this even more?
If we are claiming Christ as Lord, we need to be learning and living the life--not just talking about it!
© 2012 R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org