Only a few of us have the inclination or curiosity in diving into three years of seminary training as a way to get a greater deal with on the Scriptures. Nevertheless, each believer ought to lengthy to get a greater grip on the Bible. The excellent news is that it doesn’t require a graduate training to take action.
At seminary, I discovered Greek, Hebrew and all method of intimidating topics ending in –etics, however among the issues which have stayed with me most clearly weren’t issues from textbooks, however off-the-cuff feedback from academics who had walked with God far longer than I had. They had been post-it sized truths, simply comprehensible and readily relevant. Years after graduating, these are the issues I nonetheless keep in mind.
1. Learn ‘King’ When You See ‘Christ’
Christ, or Messiah, means “anointed one,” and monks and kings had been anointed. Substituting “King Jesus” for “Christ Jesus” when studying attracts consideration to the truth that Christ was not Jesus’ final title, however in actual fact His title: one in all nice honor and esteem. Making that one change alone breathes new life into studying the New Testomony.
2. Learn ‘You’ In another way
Nearly all of the “you” phrases within the New Testomony are plural you’s relatively than singular you’s. The Southern “y’all” expresses it superbly: the epistles are written to believers corporately, not believers alone. This doesn’t diminish private accountability in any respect, although. If something, it heightens it: we pray collectively, imagine collectively, undergo collectively, elevate the armor of God collectively. All y’all.
3. If You See a ‘Therefore,’ Discover Out What It’s There For
Due to this fact, take observe in bibles the place paragraphs are divided up with headings inserted by editors. If the paragraph begins with “therefore,” you might need to choose up a bit earlier to know the context.
4. Notice That Not All ‘If’ Statements Are The Identical
This was a watershed one for me: not all “ifs” are the identical. Conditional “ifs” usually are not the identical as causal “ifs.” Some IF statements are at all times tied to the THEN one (in the event you stand within the rain, then you’ll get moist). Others have extra danger concerned: the IF assertion is critical, however not ample, to carry concerning the THEN one (in the event you examine for an examination, then you’ll go).
This makes the world of distinction in learning Romans 8: “If you are led by the spirit of God, you are children of God.” I had at all times learn that and been afraid I wasn’t spirit-led sufficient to be thought-about God’s little one. It was a glory-hallelujah second to understand this was the primary kind of if: “If you are led by the Spirit of God (and you ARE!), then you are also always and forever His child.” What a distinction!
5. Acknowledge That Lamenting is OK
Sure, there may be pleasure and peace and hope in Christ. However true believers nonetheless mourn and lament. There may be area within the life of religion for complaining, tears, grit and melancholy. Simply take a look at the Psalms.
6. Notice That Prophecy is Extra Usually FORTH-Telling Than FORE-Telling
So usually, our focus in approaching prophecy is to ask “what did they say about the future?” Nevertheless, usually the prophets weren’t speaking concerning the future (foretelling), they had been explaining and deciphering Israel’s historical past and present predicaments in gentle of their covenantal habits (forth-telling), and had little to do with the long run. Israel could have painfully conscious that that they had simply suffered army defeat by the hands of the Babylonians, but it surely took the prophet’s phrases to elucidate from God’s perspective why this had occurred and what classes they had been to study from their expertise. Poor previous Jeremiah.
7. Change into Aware of the Idioms of Your King
Jesus’ phrases had been so usually exhausting to know: cryptic, in parables, couched in Hebrew idiom. He spoke of eyes being lamps and other people being salt: language usually to this point faraway from my understanding it was temping to skip over the gospels to the far more acquainted epistles.
Nevertheless, if we have now referred to as Jesus “King” and “Lord,” we dare not skip over His phrases simply because they’re exhausting. Commentaries and a little bit Web analysis on the gospels go a good distance in the direction of filling in among the cultural and linguistic blanks. As his followers and servants, it’s our accountability to maintain on in search of understanding.
8. Bear in mind What You Discovered in English Class
The Bible just isn’t an instruction handbook. It’s not a “how-to” e-book for all times. It’s a assortment of 66 books of literature, and to interpret it accurately, you could keep in mind what you discovered in English class about deciphering completely different genres of literature.
Biblical fact is present in poetry, however we should learn it as poetry. It’s present in narrative, however we should learn these as tales. It’s present in proverbs, and we should deal with these as such. Only a fast second to suppose “what book am I reading from? And what type of literature is this?” could make a world of distinction. Reality be instructed, the Bible just isn’t a straightforward learn, however it’s completely definitely worth the effort.
9. Learn to Research. However Additionally, Learn to Refresh Your Coronary heart
Amid the hours of significant Bible examine, I treasured this recommendation. Typically, we learn to review and perceive and wrestle with the reality. However generally, we learn to make our hearts joyful. “Delight yourself in the Lord,” for “your words are sweeter to me than honey.”