We should study and test ALL our preachers or teachers, including myself, so we can have confidence in them, or get rid of them, Amen.
The Bible is the only reliable source of information about the principles of studying it. While I do not venerate the King James Version, every study must have an authority and I trust the KJV to be that authority. It is the preacher's or teacher's responsibility to present God's Word not their interpretations, agendas, feelings and ideas. It is your responsibility to test what they say, for you are accountable to rightly divide the word of truth. Keep in mind, it is only by applying God's Word of truth in your life that you can reach your potential in Christ, and face Him unashamed.
This is how you do it!
1st. Step: GET THE FACTS: Search the Scriptures. Studying God's Word requires researching the facts. Consider: 2 Tim. 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." The bottom line is study is hard work.
Studying to rightly divide the Scriptures requires understanding the context. Consider: Acts 17:11 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." As the early church tested the context of what the Apostle Paul was teaching them, should you not test me, and every one else seeking to instruct you all the more. Apostle Paul warns us all: "And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:" Consider Col. 2:4-10
Beware of those who quote the Scriptures but then redefine what is clearly said contextually using human secular terms, and reasoning of illustrations. Which can be turned into the agendas of men, schools, and institutions or conferences.
KEEP IN MIND THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF CONTEXT TO EXAMINE, THAT MUST BE IN HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER, IN ORDER TO KNOW THE TRUTH OF WHAT IS SAID.
1. Observe the setting in time and history. When was it said? and Where was it said? [ Ungers Bible Handbook is handy here.]
2. Check the context of the text spoken of in surrounding verses, chapters, throughout the Bible. That of words on the same subject: [Strong's Exhaustive Concordance (KJV) and Ungers Bible dictionary (JKV) are reliable sources for such research.] that of topic .
3. Observe the context of what was said: Who is speaking? Who is it spoken to? Why was it said? What is the topic / subject? [Naves Topical Bible (KJV) very good for this.]
2nd. STEP REQUIRES CHECKING TO SEE THAT NO PRINCIPLES ARE VIOLATED by their interpretation or application of what was said. Look for the principles presented in the context. These are the moral rules involved in the context of Scriptures and are derived from the attributes of God. Principles are the law, rule or source of operation that tells us what to do.
3rd. STEP: REQUIRES CHECKING TO SEE THAT NO PRECEPTS ARE VIOLATED by their interpretation or application of what was said. Look for the precepts presented in the context. Precepts are the methods of application of the principles involved in the Scriptures. Studying the life of Christ is our best example of how to apply the will of God in our lives.
4th. Step: To see the action and understand it requires MEDITATION on the circumstances presented in the Scriptures. Visualizing the actions presented and observing what God in the Old Testament or Jesus in the New Testament, accepted or rejected. Consider: Joshua 1:8 "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." Meditation on the Word of God reveals the heart and understanding of the will of God for our lives, as well as how to perform it.
5th. Step IS GETTING THE MEAT OUT OF GOD'S WORD which requires CONSIDERING THE IMPLICATIONS of acting on the principles and precepts presented in the Scriptures. Consider: Psalm 1:1-6 "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish."
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING AND THINK ABOUT THE IMPLICATIONS and the responsibilities we have to them.
John 3:36 "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Romans 8:4-5 "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit."
Romans 8:12-14 "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
Galatians 5:16 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. . . .Vs. :25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit"
Galatians 6:8 "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
1 John 2:6 "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."
THE FINAL TEST OF ANY INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION IS: Any interpretation must be in harmony with all other passages on the same subject, and the principles and precepts, expressed or implied.
(A) That all actions expressed or implied by our application must be in harmony with the nature and character of God, as revealed by His attributes and the life of Christ.
(B) That all actions expressed or implied by our application must be in harmony with the known will of God for man as revealed by the Scriptures.
(C) That all actions expressed or implied by our application must be in harmony with those things accepted by Christ.
(D) That all actions expressed or implied by our application must be in harmony with those things that are rejected by Christ.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER!
1. A Text without context is pretext.
2. What matters is not what we think, but what God has said.
3. Always keep in mind there is only one possible interpretation that is true to the Word of God, however there are many possible applications. If any interpretation or application conflicts with the principles and precepts given in God's Word, or the life of Christ, they are in error.
4. Test the Scriptures by the Scriptures not man's opinions and ideas. Beware of those that practice redefining the Scriptures through human secular illustrations to lead you from living the life of Christ.
5. Application is our responsibility. After learning the facts our only two options are to decide to obey or disobey. Consider what Jesus said: "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" [Luke 6:46]
If you study in this manner you will be able to effectively test any teacher or preacher to know whether to let them lead you in following the Lord or not.
May the Lord bless you as you put me, and others, as well as your faith to the test of the Scriptures that you will be able to stand before Him without shame.
Of course all of this is fruitless academics IF we do not trust it, and apply it to our lives. If we individually and corporately as a church body do not demonstrate the life and will of God in our lives and ministries. By the way if parents do not demonstrate that God's Word and will is vital for their lives, through studying the Bible neither will their children.
To learn how to study Press Here
The material in this outline has been compiled from our Bible course "The Family of God Bible Outlines" a Biblicist perspective of discipleship for the family of God. Focused on learning to know the person of God and His will for our lives. All scripture references are from the authority of the KJV of the Bible.
Thank you for visiting our site and taking the time to read and consider what is said here. If it has been a help to you, I would appreciate your comments and any questions you may have, or if I may be of more help to you in reaching your potential in Christ our Lord.
May your decisions bring you the promise Romans 8:28 " And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Your friend in Christ Warren T. Smith
Go to Family of God Bible Outlines Go to The Shepherd & Bishop of Our Souls
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