Just like in church, we start our study with worship!
Begin your Bible study with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the truth of His Word
Those of us who utilize the internet have a device called a modem. This converts the signal sent to our house into one that can be utilized by our computer or by our television. The signal is worthless apart from the converting device. So, too, with the Scriptures. Spiritual truths cannot be grasped by the human mind apart from the divine enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Thus, we must look to the Holy Spirit to make the Scriptures and their meaning clear to us:
Open my eyes so I can truly see the marvelous things in your law! (Psalm 119:18)
“I have spoken these things while staying with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you" (John 14:25-26).
“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come” (John 16:12-13).
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:14-16, NASB).
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:18-20, NASB).
But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).
The Bible is not written “the way we like to hear it.” The Bible will often speak that which we don’t want to hear. Many were those who did not wish to hear what the Old Testament prophets had to say, just as they rejected the words of Jesus and His apostles. But if our interpretation of Scripture is always what we want to hear, we will probably end up with a hearing problem ,therefore a “faith problem”.
When we do disagree (or at least dislike) what we read in the Old Testament, or the New, we should pause to reflect on where our culture stands on this matter. If we are simply reflecting our culture when we disagree with Scripture, then we are on the wrong side.
For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:5-8).
Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God– what is good and well-pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2).
So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn about Christ like this (Ephesians 4:17-20).
The Bible is clear in its attempt to express the importance of combining prayer with the study and reading of Gods word for accurate interpretation from the Holy Spirit. We must resist the temptation to treat the study of Gods word the same way we treat our busy schedules, just trying to “get it done”.
His word is a fountain of life and a wealth of knowledge. When it’s fully comprehended it not only renews the mind but also gives life to the spirit. Spending time studying in prayer under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit is the only way to receive the full benefit and revelation from His words of truth.
- What is first step to apply when reading and studying the Bible?
- What other benefits can you think of that are applicable in applying this step that were not mentioned in this study?
- Let the group share any personal revelation that was realized by completing this study.
- Can you think of any other scriptures that may apply to this study?
- What was the take away message from step one ?
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