The Bible How do I read it? INTRODUCTIONSTUDYING GOD’S WORD
Why will I read the Bible differently than any other book? 1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, youaccepted it not as the word of men, but asit actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
GOD IS TALKING. We listen toour parents when we are children. We listen when the president makes a statement. How much more should we listen when Godhimself speaks to us? His Word is worthy of our attention.
John 17:17; Numbers 23:19Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.God is not a man, that he should lie, nora son of man, that he should change hismind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
IT’S GOD’S WORD NOT MAN’SWORD. Newspapers, magazines and novels are all filled with mistakes, false opinions and lies. And they allhave to do only with this life. The Bible is God’s true Word about eternal things.
I will read it differently because inthe Bible God himself is speaking to me; everything he says is true and meaningful.
What value does reading theBible have for unbelievers? Romans 10:17Consequently, faith comes from hearingthe message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
GOD WORKS FAITH THROUGH THE WORD. Doctors use medicine and surgical equipment to bring health to a hurting human heart. The Holy Spirit uses his Word to bring faith into an unbelieving human heart. To receivethe gift of faith unbelievers need to hear the Word.
2 Timothy 3:15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
GIVES THE WISDOM OF SALVATION.The only way you can learn the history of the United States is by reading historybooks, listening to others tell you history, etc. The only way to learn of God’s loveand mercy in Christ is through the Bible. It’s the history of his love and mercy in Christ.
Reading the Bible is valuable forthe unbeliever because throughthat Word of God the Holy Spiritcan work faith in the heart of the unbeliever.
Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.DOING SO INCREASES OUR JOY. Do you have a favorite book? Do you like to read the book over and over? It’s the same withthe Bible. The message is so wonderful that the more we hear it the more joy we will have.
2 Peter 3:17-1817 Therefore, dear friends, since youalready know this, be on your guardso that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge ofour Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
THE WORD STRENGTHENS OUR FAITH. Why do football players work out in the weight room? To get stronger and play better football. We “work out” with God’s Word so that we are strengthened in our faith and enabled more and more to dothose things God wants us to do and avoid doing those things God doesn’t want us to do.
CHRISTIAN VOCABULARYFaith: Trust in Jesus Christ as mySavior.
Reading God’s Word is valuable tothe Christian because it strengthens our faith in Jesus Christ, increases our joy in God’s forgiveness and motivates and empowers us to live better Christian lives.
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFEFAITH Strong Faith Believer AWeak Faith Believer B Unbeliever No Faith UNBELIEF
The point of this chart is to show that, although believer A and B are bothgoing to heaven, we would rather havethe stronger faith of believer A so that we are as far away as possible from slipping into the predicament of the unbeliever.
Evaluate: Someone says to you, ”It doesnot matter if we read the Bible at home or not, as long we go to church once and awhile.”
STUDYING GOD’S WORDWhen I sit down to read and study the Bible what should I do first?
Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.PRAY AND ASK FOR GOD’S BLESSING. We pray before meals, sporting events, bedtime and all kinds of other things. We also need to pray before we study God’sWord so that we get the greatest benefit we can out of that study.
2 Peter 3:16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letterscontain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
PRAY AND ASK FOR UNDERSTANDING. The basicmessage of God’s Word is so clear thateven a little child can understand it. But there are some things in the Bible that are hard to understand. We need topray for God’s help to understand thosethings because they are important too.
I should pray for God to help meunderstand and benefit from what I am reading.
Evaluate the following prayer:Dear Lord God, give me your grace that Imay rightly understand your Word, andmore than that, do it. O most blessed LordJesus Christ, see too it that my search afterknowledge leads me to glorify you alone. Ifnot, let me not know a single letter. Giveonly what I, a poor sinner, need to glorifyyou. Amen.
SOME MORE TIPS TO HELP YOU GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR BIBLE READING Nehemiah 8:7,8 The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah— instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. 8 They read fromthe Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.
1. Use one translation written in clear, understandable English.
Daniel 6:10Now when Daniel learned that the decree hadbeen published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened towardJerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
BIBLE STUDY NEEDS TO BE A HABIT. Think of some things you do out of habit. (brushing your teeth, taking a shower, eating supper at acertain time, etc.). A habit is something you do regularly and automatically. Bible study needs to be the same. Weeat supper regularly to feed our bodies. We also need to feed our souls regularly.
2. Set a regular time for prayer and study; get into a habit.OBJECT LESSON: Popcorn and PingPong Ball
EXAMPLE: Matthew 19:16-23 16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 17 “Why do you ask me aboutwhat is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the maninquired. Jesus replied, ”‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”
EXAMPLE: Matthew 19:16-23 20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered, “Ifyou want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasurein heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad,because he had great wealth. 23 Then Jesus saidto his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Was Jesus telling this man how to getinto heaven? What was he telling him? How do you know?3. Always pay attention to the context.4. Always pay attention to cross references
EXAMPLE: James 2:20 vs. Ephesians2:8,9James 2:20 - You foolish man, do you wantevidence that faith without deeds is useless?Ephesians 2:8-9 - 8 For it is by grace you havebeen saved, through faith—and this not fromyourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not byworks, so that no one can boast.
5. Take a passage literally unless the Bible makes clear that it is figurative. Matthew 13:24Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdomof heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.
Is the kingdom of heaven really a man who sowed seed in his field? No, it’s like him. Look for words like like or as that indicate a figurative meaning (simile).
Psalm 119:105Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.Is your Bible really a lamp or light? No.But in what way is it like a lamp or light? What does a lamp or light do for you when you are lost in the dark? (metaphor)
Matthew 19:24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to gothrough the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” It’s impossible to get a camel through they eye of a needle! Jesus uses an exaggeration (hyperbole) here to make a point. What point does he make?
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Is there anything here to indicate thatthis is figurative language? No. We must take it literally then. How long did it take God to create the world?
CHRISTIAN VOCABULARYContext: The thoughts, words andcircumstances surrounding the passage youare studying.Literal: Means just what it says. says = meansFigurative: Means something beyond whatit says. Has a symbolic meaning. says = means2
6. Meditate on what you read. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, itpenetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Psalm 1:1-3 1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like atree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
When you read the sports page do you sit down and think about the deep meaning that big trade has for your life? No. TheBible isn’t like the newspaper. It does have meaning for your life. Focus on everyword. Pray. Ask questions about what you read.
A VARIATION OF LUTHER’S FOUR STRANDS What is God saying to me here? What makes me sad? What makes me glad? What should I do?
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFEEvaluate: Your friend says to you, “You believe the world was created in six days; I believe it was created in six long periods of time, each lastingmillions of years. Neither of us is really wrong. It’s all just a matter of interpretation.
ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT TIMEREVIEWING THE LESSON1. Review your notes; be sure you understand them. Be prepared for a written or oral quiz. Don’t forget about the vocabulary words!2. Make a flashcard for and memorize Psalm 119:105. Be able to put the passage into your own words.3. Journal Writing: Write a page in your journal about something currently going on in your life.4. Complete Bible Worksheet #3. Tell which passages are law and which are gospel.PREPARING FOR THE NEXT LESSONAsk your parents to help you with the following activity:2. Read Genesis 3:1-19 in your Bible.3. Complete Bible History Worksheet #3.BOOKS OF THE BIBLEMemorize the books of the Old Testament: Genesis - Song of Songs
4 Key Christian Concepts: SIN INTRODUCTIONHave you ever broken or ruined something valuable to another person? (stained, broken, lost) You wish you could go backand change it. If you had a second chance it would not have happened. But there is no second chance—it’s ruined.
What is Sin?Literally sin means - “missing the mark”. Think of an archer that is aiming for thebulls eye, but no matter how hard he tries,he always misses. That is just like us—wetry to do and keep God’s commandments,but no matter how hard we try, we always miss the mark of God’s perfection.
STUDYING GOD’S WORD How did sin enter the world? 1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemythe devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
THE DEVIL, GOD’S ENEMY, SEEKS TO DESTROY PEOPLE AND TAKE THEM TO HELL - The devil won’t come up to people and say, “Hey look out for me, Iwant to take you to hell!” No, instead, he makes all the things that go contrary toGod’s will seem like a lot of fun - while he entangles you all the more in the spider web of hell with him.
John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and youwant to carry out your father’s desire. He wasa murderer from the beginning, not holding tothe truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
THE DEVIL USES LIES TO DO HIS WORK - Along our many highways, there are billboards that advertise allkinds of things to get people to leave the highway. “Last stop” to buy food, gasoline, shopping or gambling. The devil’s billboard is filled with all kinds of lies to get us to leave the highway of God’s truth.
Genesis 3:1-61 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will notsurely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
Genesis 3:1-64 “You will not surely die,” the serpent saidto the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gainingwisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
BY A LIE THE DEVIL DECEIVED EVEAND LED HER AND ADAM INTO SIN -One little lie! That was all it took to leadAdam and Eve to give up the perfection God gave them to enjoy. Before weblame them too much, think of how the devil’s lies lead us to covet, hurt, become angry... The devil does thesame thing to us—we are fools just like Adam and Eve.
Sin entered the world by the devil,God’s enemy, who lied to Adam andEve and deceived them into sinning against God. Who is guilty of sin?
Psalm 51:5Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
SIN IS PASSED ON AT CONCEPTION - A tiger shark kills for food because it is its nature to do so. A newly spawned tigershark is a born killer, even though it has not killed yet. This is its nature to do so. A child is a sinner at birth. A child does notneed to be told how to lie, but does need to be taught to tell the truth. A child is a natural born sinner, it’s his nature.
Genesis 6:5 The LORD saw how great man’swickedness on the earth had become, andthat every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
ALL OUR THOUGHTS ARE EVIL ALL THE TIME - Imagine seeing an elderly personneeding some help when you are in a hurry. You go and help that person and theythank you profusely, but the whole time you are thinking - “Would you hurry up granny, I’ve got more important things to do.” Godknows our thoughts even when our actions look good on the outside.
James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.GOD DOES NOT ALLOW EVEN A SINGLE SIN - What would you say if you got one wrong on a test and therefore failed the test? “That’s not fair!” God is perfect andfair and he expects no less from us. We failcompletely by sinning even once. With God it is all or nothing. What else can a perfect God expect?
Sin is passed on to us atconception and we are guiltyof sin in our thoughts and in our actions.
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFE 1. Agree or disagree and why? God can’t hold me accountable for my sinfulnature because it wasn’t my fault Adam and Eve sinned. 2. Agree or disagree and why? God promised a Savior for the world rather than destroying it and starting over again because he couldn’t stand to see Satan laugh if he himself destroyed what he created.
CHRISTIAN VOCABULARYDevil - (means liar) fallen angel thatrebelled against God and was cast intohell - he can’t defeat God so his goal isto steal people from God into hellSatan - (means enemy) - another namethe Bible gives to the devil.Hell - place that God created for thedevil and all unbelievers. Hell is eternalseparation from God and all that is good.
UNDERSTANDING OUR SINOriginal Sin - The sinfulness that goesback to the first sin of Adam and Evethat is passed down to us from parentsto children. (Otherwise known as“inherited sin”)Actual Sin - The sins in thought, wordand action that we commit on our own.Both types of sin bring upon us God’sanger and punishment.
HYMNOLOGY # 396 - In Adam We Have All Been One STUDYING GOD’S WORD What does sin do to us?
Ephesians 2:1-3 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which youused to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work inthose who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature andfollowing its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
WE ARE BORN SPIRITUALLY DEAD IN OUR SINS - Have you ever seen acorpse lying in a morgue sit up and give itself CPR, mouth-to-mouth or grab theshock paddles and get its heart pumping again? Can’t happen. We are born dead in our sins and everything we do ultimately leads to death.
Romans 5:12Therefore, just as sin entered the world throughone man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— ALONG WITH SIN, DEATH CAME INTOTHE WORLD - The next time you attend afuneral or lose a loved one, remember whyevery person faces death. If we remember that fact, then any jokes about sin and the devil won’t be funny anymore. The devil and sins are nothing to laugh about.
Romans 8:22 We know that the whole creation has beengroaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. ALONG WITH SIN, SUFFERING CAME INTO THE WORLD - When you stub a toe, sprain an ankle, are sick with the flu, break a bone or cry because of pain - then remember why suffering entered this world. Satan brought sin into the world and continues to confuse people with his lies
2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when theysinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; WE DESERVE HELL FOR OUR SINS - Oursins make us like a fly caught in a spider web.The more that we try to get out on our own, themore tangled we become. We cannot escape God’s judgment and our sins sentence us to eternity in hell with the devil and his angels.
Sin makes us spiritually dead,subject to death and suffering and ultimately an eternity in hell with the devil.
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFE Which of these items is a reminder toyou of the fact that the devil ruined God’s creation by leading Adam and Eve into sin? Why or why not? - Thunderstorms and tornadoes - The weeds that grow in lawns and gardens - Watching the sun set in the evening - A bad cold - Watching a hard fought football game -Watching a program on television
SIN DOESN’T ADD UP If you wanted to diagram God’sperspective on things, you could do it in the following way. What Goddemands in His law is that we live a perfect life... a life with NO sin.However, what he sees is a life that is tainted by sin, and falls short of the perfection he demands.
We thank God that he doesn’t leave us in thiscondition and we look forward to our next lesson on God’s GRACE.
ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT TIMEREVIEWING THE LESSON1. Review your notes; be sure you understand them. Be prepared for a written or oral quiz. Don’t forget about the vocabulary words!2. Make a flashcard for and memorize 1 Peter 5:8 and Psalm 51:5 . Be able to put the passage into your own words.3. Journal Writing: Write a page in your journal commenting on the following: Take some time to share some of the negative ways that sin has affected your life and the world around you.PREPARING FOR THE NEXT LESSONAsk your parents to help you with the following activity:1. Read Genesis 4:1-162. Complete the Bible History Worksheet.BOOKS OF THE BIBLEMemorize the books of the Old Testament: Genesis - Jonah