Torch, Fall 1979

6 books, the next book that will give you a summary of Christian doctrine is the book of Romans. Here you will find great satisfaction in knowing how you were justified, and you will be greatly comforted by the assurance of God's sovereignty and love for you as demonstrated in Christ's death. When you learn from the Gospel of John the great truth of everlasting life and the eternal security of the believer, you will not snatch a verse from Romans 11 out of context and think that a believer can fall from his safe estate.When you understand the theme of Galatians, you will not isolate the concept of falling from grace in chapters one and three and apply it to your salvation. Instead, you will see it as a departure from the teaching of grace. As you grow in knowledge and experience in studying the Bible, you may want to consider how to outline a passage of Scripture. Outlines help organize your thinking and enable you to see if it is reasonable and logical. A method of study that will enable you to accomplish this outline is known as the inductive study method. Three basic questions in this method are: • Observation-what does the passage say? • Interpretation-what does the passage mean? • Application-How does the passage apply to me and what will I do about it? ' Some passages in some books accommodate themselves to this approach much more easily than others. In finding the outline, look for key words such as the verbs (words of action) and then note who is to do the acting and in what direction. For example, in Matt. 5:44 Jesus said to his disciples that they were to love, bless, do good and pray. These are all verbs of action. They were to be done by his disciples. Toward whom? Love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Do good unto them that hate you. Pray for those who persecute you. Here you have key words and also a key idea on how a Christian should treat his enemies. We are also told howwe are to do it. If you think on this passage long enough, you may come under conviction by reacting as follows: I don't even do this for my Christian brothers, let alone my enemies. That is learning, and you will be a better Christian as a result. If you were to study Genesis, chapters 1-3, note every place where God said something and did something. Underscore His evaluation of what He did, and from this, note as many things as you can that tell you things about God. It will be very rewarding. Other factors need to be kept in mind as you study the Bible. You may need to ask questions such as "Who said it?" and "To whom is it said?" These are two very crucial questions when studying the Old Testament. Many things were said by the prophets to Israel that are not meant for the New Testament church. For example, the Old Testament sacrifices required in Leviticus are eliminated for New Testament believers in Hebrews 7 :26- 28 and Hebrews 9: 12. Another question to be considered is "What are the circumstances in which this passage occurs?" For example, when the disciples were told to raise the dead and heal the sick in Matt. 10:5-10, we should keep in mind that Christ did not expect us to do this, nor does He expect us only to minister to one part of the world or to Christians on ly as Matt. 28: 19-20 show. You must also consider the very important question, "Is the language figurative or literal?" My rule of thumb is, "If plain sense makes good sense, seek no other sense." We can easily understand the figurative meaning when Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth" in Matt. 5:13. But when Jesus said, "Ye shall be witnesses unto me" in Acts 1:8, He meant it literally. As you continue in your personal Bible study, your faith will be greatly strengthened. You will learn so much truth that you will want to share it With others, especially your physical and spiritual families. Mr. Parvin is Assistant Professor of Bible at Cedarville College. Before joining the faculty, he was in the pastorate for 24 years.