Digging Deep In God's Word PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Jules Ngangmeni   
Tuesday, 05 April 2011 06:31

DIGGING DEEP IN GOD’S WORD

It is our desire to study God’s Word in order to understand His will for us and live by His principles. We will always be careful to consider the text in its context, praying for His guidance and leadership, for His explanation and adaptation of the Word so that we can apply it to our lives. We will make sure that we transform our study into prayer requests that will shape our dedication to our Lord. As we always say in GBEEC (Groupe Biblique des Elevès et Etudiants du Cameroun (A Christian movement)), we can also use these five directions of the prayer:

· Look up: worship and Adore God;

· Look back: Thank God for what He has done for you;

· Look deep in yourself: Pray for you and your needs, remember to confess your sins;

· Look around you: Pray for your family and for your friends;

· Look far away: Pray for the City, the Country and the World.

I- An introduction to Bible Studies:

“All Scripture is inspires by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do everything of good deed.” 2 Timothy 3.16-17,

“My people are doomed because they lack knowledge” Hosea 4.6.

It is very important to study the Bible in order to learn about the will of God, to be close to God and experience His grace in the deep love He offers to us. We have to put in mind that the study of the Bible is to improve our obedience and our commitment to God (Joshua 1.8). We are to be light and salt of this world that is troubled by evildoings.

It is important to do different types of Bible studies to receive more from them. We can use many methods to study the Bible such as thematic studies and linear studies. I read some years ago and have developed as my methodology the method of 4P: key Point, Parallel texts, Problems in the text and Personal interest. We should ask ourselves these questions:

- What is the key Point or phrase or main idea in the text?

- Is there any Parallel text according to the same subject? We can use a concordance or a Bible with parallel.

- Is there any Problem or difficulty in the text? Go back into its context because text without context is a pretext. Try to find out what the author is saying. Be honest; don’t just look for what you want to hear. The Bible has many strong messages that can change lives!

- Bring the lesson to you Personally.

To examine the context, we have to look deeply in the test and see these three aspects:

1. What kind of book is it drawn from? A biographical book such as one of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life; a long historical book, such as the second Book of Samuel, which tells of the reign of King David; a brief letter to a person (The letters of Paul to Timothy) or to a specific church (The letters of Paul to the Corinthians)?

2. What is the overall purpose/intent of this book? (Do not do lengthy research, but feel free to read the opening and closing paragraphs as well as the section headings and introductions if your Bible has them.)

3. What occurs or is discussed in the passages immediately preceding and following the passage you chose?

You can use the method of color to identify diverse sorts of extracts from your text. For example, you can use:

Ø Red: for everything done by God or by Jesus;    …..

Ø Yellow: commandments and challenge;  ……

Ø Green: promises and position of man in Jesus;  ……

Ø Blue: prayer and calling to God;     ……

Ø Brown: the sin of man, evildoings, the work of the devil… ….

It is also interesting and more benefic to some words or concepts such as – peace – disciple – prayer – justification - sanctification – etc… Read carefully the text and find five facts / truths / observations. Then keep the most important verse, the most important phrase or expression of the text. Write it somewhere in your notebook.

In our Bible studies, we will use mostly the method Observation-Interpretation-Application (O.I.A).  Read the text 2 or 3 times and in different versions of the Bible, then ask and answer questions of Observation, Interpretation, and Application.

v Observation: What does this text say? Here, the goal is to know what is said in the text by asking these seven major questions (when necessary): Who (does) What? When? Where? Why? How? And so what? The answer of Observation questions is always in the text.

v Interpretation: What does this text mean? It is important to find what the text meant to the first receiver (and not yet to ourselves). For this purpose, you can answer these kinds of questions such as what does this expression, this phrase or this word mean to the first receiver. Why did the author write this or that to its receivers and how did they understand it? What are the implications of the text for them?

v Application: What does this text mean to me (us)? Ask yourself what the text could mean to you today. What are the recommendations of God to me personally? With the light of Mark 12.39-40 where the Lord Jesus resumes all the laws, what does this text teach me for my relationship with God, with my neighbor and with myself?

II- The Bible:

The word “Bible” comes from the Greek word biblia, which means “books”. So the Bible is really a collection of many books. These books are divided into two main parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.

1- Old Testament:

The Old Testament tells the history of the people of Israel. This history is based on their faith in the God of Israel and on their religious life as the people of God. The authors of these books wrote about what God has done for them as a people and how they were to worship and obey God in return. The different books of the Old Testament can be placed in different categories:

Ø The Law: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Ø History: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.

Ø Poetry and Wisdom: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Songs of Songs.

Ø Major Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel.

Ø Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

2- New Testament:

The books of the New Testament were written by the followers of Jesus Christ. These followers wanted others to know the Good News about Jesus Christ and the possibility of a “new” life available to them through His death and resurrection. The books of the New Testament can be put in these groups:

Ø The Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Ø Paul’s Letters (Traditionally accepted): Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.

Ø History: Acts.

Ø General Letters: Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2 & 3 John, and Jude.

Ø Prophecy: Revelation.

Rev. Jules Ngangmeni

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 June 2012 03:29
 
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