Bible engagement: An essential discipline for spiritual growth (conclusion)

April 16, 2015

Bible engagement

The Counseling Corner has
been addressing the issue of
the importance of Bible engagement
in response to this
column’s loyal readers who
urged this writer to address
this topic. What is keeping
you from engaging in the regular
study of God’s Word? Is
it busyness, not sure how to
apply it to your life or is it because
you believe the Bible is
outdated, and not relevant to
your life? All of God’s Word
is inspired. While it may not
appear to be relevant to your
life to you at the moment, it
does not mean God’s Word
is not relevant. Each time
you read, ask God to reveal
to you His thoughts, desires
and purpose (Psalm 139:17-
18). In the conclusion of
this series, as you are studying
the Bible, this writer will
present the steps to follow in
your study of God’s Word.
(Source: “How to Study the
Bible” by Grace to You Ministries,
published at: www.gty.
1. Be literal. Seek to understand
Scripture in its literal,
normal, and natural sense.
Although symbolism and figures
of speech appear in the
Bible, they will be obvious
from the context. When you
study apocalyptic passages in
Zechariah, Daniel, Ezekiel,
Isaiah, and Revelation, you
will read about beasts and
images. Those are symbols,
but they convey literal truth.
Interpret the Bible in its normal,
natural sense. Otherwise
you’re taking an unnatural,
abnormal, nonsensical interpretation.
Interpret Scripture
in its literal sense, as you
would any other piece of literature.
2. Know the context. The
Bible must be studied in its
historical context. What did
it mean to whom it was spoken
or written? You must
also study its literary context.
How does the passage or
verse you’re studying relate
to the surrounding text? It
has been well said that a text
apart from context is a pretext.
3. Compare your interpretation
with the totality
of scripture. This vital
principle of interpretation
is what the Reformers called
analogia Scriptura, meaning
that all Scripture fits together.
One part of the Bible
doesn’t teach something that
another part contradicts.
4. Look for principles to
apply. Reread the text and
find out what spiritual principles
there are that apply to
you and fellow believers in
Christ. You can do that only
after you have literally interpreted
your passage, analyzed
its context and compared
your interpretation with the
totality of Scripture.
Beloved, it is this writer’s
prayer this series has been
beneficial, enlightening and
informative. God intends
for His Word to be a lamp to
your feet and a light to your
path. Increasing your priority
on God’s Word allows God
to direct you, teach you how
to walk and show you the
way you should go (Psalm
119:105). You are challenged
to read Gods’ Word regularly.
Begin each time of study with
prayer asking God to show
you those things you need
to confess (Psalm 139:23-24)
which may be hindering your
walk with Him. Then enter
your time of study peacefully
without any distractions that
may hinder you from receiving
the knowledge, wisdom
and revelation that God
has for you. Don’t forget to
spend time in both the Old
and New Testaments in order
to receive and appreciate
the full picture of God’s revelation
to His people.
Next Month: Electronic
Aggression a/k/a CyberBullying
The writer does not assume responsibility
in any way for readers’
efforts to apply or utilize information
or recommendations made in
these articles, as they may not be
necessarily appropriate for every
situation to which they may refer.
If you would like to contact Rev.
Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box
121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.