Over the last 2 blogs I have written about how to study the Bible (go back and read the previous 2 blogs if you haven’t already). The first step of Bible Study is preparation. The second step is observation. This involves observing the content and the context of the passage. We also need to observe the characters and the culture in the book we are studying. As you read the book of the Bible you are studying over and over, be sure to write down the names of all the individuals and groups of people that you find. Write down any cultural activities in the passage as well. Research each of these so that you have some background to give you some understanding from a historical perspective.
The next step is that of interpretation. This involves several rules and issues:
• Contextual Issue: Know the immediate context of the passage
• Normal Usage Issue: Always take literally unless it is impossible to do so
• Historic Issue: Study the Bible in its historical context
• Grammatical Issue: You cannot understand the Bible theologically unless you first understand it grammatically
• Synthetic Issue: One part of the Bible can not teach something that another part of the Bible contradicts
The final step is that of application. Remember, the main goal of Bible Study is life-change. How will we be different based on what we have learned from God’s Word. To help us in this area, we should put on our spiritual spectacles (SPECS).
S = Are there any Sins to avoid?
P = Are there any Promises to claim?
E = Are there any Examples to follow?
C = Are there any Commands to obey?
S = Are they any Specifics that we learn about God?
By answering these questions, you can easily see specific and practical ways that your life can change by applying the Word of God to your life. And let’s not forget what I believe is the best way to learn, study and apply Scripture…Bible Memorization (Psalm 119:11). Serious students of the Bible are those who put the Bible to memory. This just may be the most valuable spiritual discipline that any Christian can practice.