Bite Sized Theology: “Bible Study – How & Why?”

 

Bite Sized Theology: Bible Study - How & Why?In this post we are going to take another bite out of the Doctrine of the Bible or Bibliology. This week we will talk about studying the Bible. 

 

In my last “Bite Sized Theology” post I covered general and special revelation. In earlier posts I talked about why the Bible is The Book, not just a book about God, but a book written by God Himself, and what is meant by The Canon, why we can trust the fact that the 66 books of the Bible are God’s Word.

Today we’re going to talk about Bible study: why it is important, some important principles about Bible study, and how to get started?

 

16 Reasons to Study the Bible:

 

  1. The Scriptures show us the way of salvation (Rom. 1.16; 2 Tim. 3.15; John 3.1-21).
  2. It helps us grow spiritually (2 Pet. 3.18; 1 Pet. 2.2).
  3. It guides and directs our lives (Ps. 119.105).
  4. As we study and meditate on God’s Word, keeping it in our hearts and minds, it cause us to prosper spiritually and experience true success in life (Josh. 1.8; Ps. 1.1-3).
  5. It helps us recognize the difference between truth and error (Acts 17.11).
  6. It prepares us to share the Gospel and the hope we have in Christ (1 Pet. 3.15).
  7. It prepares us for the “one-anothering” (teaching, admonishing, and encouraging) we are called to do in the family of God (Col. 3.16).
  8. It prepares us to teach our children and the next generation (Deut. 6.6-7).
  9. It provides us with hope and encouragement (Rom. 15.4).
  10. It is an important part of the armor of God and protects us from the schemes of the devil (Eph. 6.10-17; Lk. 4.1-13).
  11. When we commit it to our hearts, the Holy Spirit brings it to our minds when we need it, and it helps us stay away from sin (Ps. 119.11).
  12. As we hear it, read it, and come to understand the Word, it grows our faith (Rom. 10.17).
  13. It exposes our hearts (Heb. 12.12-16) so we can see where we need to grow and change.
  14. It enables us to obey the two great commandments: love God and love others (Matt. 22.37-40).
  15. It helps us become more like Christ (1 Tim. 4.7).
  16. It enables us to know God and His Son Jesus Christ (Jn. 17.3).

Continue reading

Bite Sized Theology: “What is Special Revelation?”

 

Bite Sized Theology: What Is Special Revelation? - We’re going to take another bite out of the Doctrine of the Bible or Bibliology. This week we’ll talk about Special Revelation.

 

Two weeks ago I said the Bible is The Book. It is not just a book about God, but a book written by God Himself. Last week we discussed The Canon, why we can trust that the 66 books of the Bible are God’s Word.

Today we’re going to talk briefly about the two ways that God reveals Himself to mankind: General and Special Revelation. Then we’ll focus on Special Revelation as it relates to the Bible.

 

General Revelation

 

General Revelation is just that … it’s general. It’s God’s revelation of Himself to all men at all times. He does so through creation: the wonder and beauty of nature, the magnificence of the universe, and the human body, including the conscience.

General Revelation is spoken of in Psalm 19.1-4:

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world.(NLT)

And in Romans 1.20:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

We are “without excuse.” Creation itself reveals enough to make us accountable before God to believe in Him.

In fact, Romans 1 goes on:

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.

 

Special Revelation

 

Special Revelation is more limited. It includes things such as: angels, prophets, dreams and visions, miracles, the lot, His appearances to various people, and through His written Word, the Bible. But the ultimate revelation of God to mankind was through His Son, Jesus Christ.

God has been involved with and has been speaking to people since Creation. He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the garden (Gen. 3.8), He gave them instructions for living even before the fall (Gen. 2.15-17).

He spoke to Cain and warned him of the lurking danger of sin in his life (Gen. 4.6-7). He spoke to Abraham, Noah, Moses, Paul and many others in both the Old Testament and the New.

He revealed Himself through a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire and through a burning bush. He manifested His presence in a cloud of glory and various other ways.

He spoke repeatedly through prophets, judges, and through the intermediary of the Priesthood. He performed miracles: making bitter water sweet, parting the Red Sea, raising the dead, bringing plagues and famines, and protecting from the same. He defeated armies against all odds, healed lepers, caused the lame to walk, and opened barren wombs.

He revealed present and future events through dreams and visions. He brought messages through angels.

He spoke His Words through the writers of the Bible and preserved His written Word even amidst the rubble of defeat:  Continue reading

Bite Sized Theology: The Canon

 

Bite Sized Theoloy: The Canon

This week we’re going to take another bite out of the Doctrine of the Bible or Bibliology. This week: the Canon.

 

Bite Sized Theology: The Canon

 

Last week I said the Bible is The Book. It is not just a book about God, but a book written by God Himself. Check out last week’s “Bite Sized Theology,” if you missed it.

The Bible is made up of 66 books written by more than 40 different men. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

One big question is “How did those 66 books become recognized as the Bible, also called the Canon of Scriptures?” Good question!

The word canon comes from a Latin word that means “a rule or a measuring rod.” Referring to the Canon, Charles Ryrie in his book Basic Theology says:

“It refers to the list of books that met certain tests or rules and thus were considered authoritative and canonical. But it also means that the collection of canonical books becomes our rule of life.”¹

So what were the tests?

 

The Old Testament:

 

All 39 books of the Old Testament have the authority of a lawgiver, a prophet, or a leader of Israel behind them and all 39 books were accepted without question well before the New Testament period.

In Matthew 5.17 Jesus validated the Old Testament when He said He would fulfill them all:

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

Jesus and the other New Testament writers quoted the Old more than 250 times and there are many cross references within the Old Testament itself.

 

The New Testament:

 

All 27 New Testament books have the authority of an Apostle behind them. The writers themselves witnessed to the validity of their own and each others writings (Col. 4.16; 1 Thess. 2.13, 4.15; 2 Pet. 3.16).

“as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Pet. 3.16).

There was also the test of acceptance. The Church Fathers recognized them as Scripture, as did the Churches themselves.

Various Church Councils took up the issue and by 397 A.D. with the Council of Carthage all 66 books of the Bible were confirmed as the Canon.

It’s important, however, to remember that the books of the Bible are not canonical because certain church councils decided they were. They are canonical because they were authored by God Himself. Groups of learned men merely confirmed by careful study what was already true.

Books by various cult leaders that have been placed along side the Bible are not Scripture and the books that have been added to the Roman Catholic Bible, the Apocrypha, are not part of the Canon. Because the Canon is closed, there are no “so called” lost books and any continuing revelation is not a part of God’s inspired Word.

Over the next few weeks we’ll talk more about the Word of God, why it is inerrant and sufficient, and why we can trust God’s Word as the guiding standard for our lives.

 

Every believer should be a theologian. But theology doesn’t have to be difficult to understand. Each week I’ll be explaining another concept and why it is important to your life and mine.

Why not join me for this series of weekly posts on “Bite-Sized Theology” so you don’t miss any new ones? Sign up here.

¹Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology, p. 119

 


FREE eBOOK:

Prayer for Busy, Imperfect Pray-ers: 5 Strategies to Jumpstart Your Prayer LifeI would love to have you join me on this journey through the Bible. Just sign up for the BIBLE IN A YEAR daily posts so you don’t miss a single one.

Sign up now and receive a copy of “Prayer for Busy, Imperfect Pray-ers: 5 Strategies to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life.”


Handling Emotions Biblically - Emotions are real and part of being human. In fact, God created us as emotional beings. But problems result when we allow our emotions to control our thoughts, words, and actions. When that happens, we can quickly end up in a ditch, spiritually and relationally.

You can also SIGN UP FOR SPECIAL “CHRISTIAN LIVING” posts, including the new series “Handling Emotions Biblically.”

Previous Posts in the “Handling Emotions Biblically” Series

Marriage Made in Heaven?

Previous Posts in the “Marriage: Made in Heaven?” Series


Blended Families + LINKUP - I'll be talking about the common issues and challenges, offering some solutions, and providing resources to help. If you're not a blended family, I'm sure you know someone who is. The first post will start in the next linkup.

Previous Posts in the “Blended Families” Series



I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:

Mondays The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking Musing Mondays
Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Tea & Word Tuesday Talk
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Messy Marriage Coffee for Your Heart Christian Blogger Linkup Women of Intention Mississippi Mom Writer Wednesday Seeking God in All I Do Warriors of the Word Coffee & Conversation
Thursdays Chasing Community Booknificent Thursdays Dare2Hear
Fridays Missional Women Grace & Truth Faith & Friends Fresh Market Friday Dance with Jesus
Sundays Spiritual Sundays

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.

Bite Sized Theology: The Bible, “The” Book

 

Bite Sized Theology: The Bible, "The" Book - This week we're going to take a little bite out of the Doctrine of the Bible or Bibliology.

 

Bite Sized Theology: The Bible, “The” Book

 

This week we’re going to take a little bite out of the Doctrine of the Bible or Bibliology.

The Greek word for Bible is Biblos, but when the early Christians wrote the name on a scroll containing God’s Word, they wrote Ho Biblos: Biblos meaning Book and Ho meaning The.

The Bible is no ordinary book. It is The Book.

2 Timothy 3.16-17 says:

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

It was inspired by God. The literal translations says God breathed it out.

The Bible is not a book about God, it is the very Word of God.

 

Didn’t Men Write the Bible

 

But wait a minute, didn’t men write the Bible? What about Moses, Peter, Paul, John and other biblical authors?

Men penned the Bible. They were His instruments transcribing what was in the mind of God.

I’m a note taker. I take lots of notes … during church services, in classes, and when I’m counseling. I even have a preferred writing instrument, a special pen I like to use when writing. Yet, it would be silly to say that my pen took notes. It was merely the instrument.

2 Peter 1.21 says:

21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The same Greek word was used in Acts 27.15 talking about a ship caught in a powerful storm. It says:

15 and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along (NASB).

The storm was so fierce that the sailors couldn’t sail into it without great danger. They had to allowed the ship to be “driven along” by the wind.  Continue reading

Bite Sized Theology: Why Theology?

 

Bite Sized Theology: Why Theology?I heard someone say once that being a believer + time does not necessarily equal spiritual maturity.  The longer I’ve been a follower of Christ, the more truth I see in that statement.

I believe the writer of Hebrews knew something about that when he wrote:

12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

Having a good understanding of the rich truths in God’s Word (theology) isn’t about knowledge for the sake of having knowledge. Good theology is important because, properly understood and applied, it gives us the wisdom to live the Christian life well (“to recognize the difference between right and wrong” v. 14). As Paul told Timothy:

Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly (1 Tim. 4.7 NLT).

That’s not possible without the right blueprint. Godliness is not determined by our religious activities, but by how much we resemble Christ. If we are going to grow to be like Him, we must know Him, know what life looks like when lived His way, and understand how He deals with His people. We must know and understand basic theology.

While theology is important for every follower of Christ, it doesn’t have to be difficult to understand. I’ll be taking one concept at a time and explaining Bible terms and why they are important to your life and mine.

Why not join me for this series of weekly posts on “Bite-Sized Theology”? Sign up here to receive new posts in this series and other special posts.

quote bubble“Good theology is important because, properly understood and applied, it gives us the wisdom to live the Christian life well.”


FREE eBOOK:

Prayer for Busy, Imperfect Pray-ers: 5 Strategies to Jumpstart Your Prayer LifeI would love to have you join me on this journey through the Bible. Just sign up for the BIBLE IN A YEAR daily posts so you don’t miss a single one.

Sign up now and receive a copy of “Prayer for Busy, Imperfect Pray-ers: 5 Strategies to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life.”


Handling Emotions Biblically - Emotions are real and part of being human. In fact, God created us as emotional beings. But problems result when we allow our emotions to control our thoughts, words, and actions. When that happens, we can quickly end up in a ditch, spiritually and relationally.

You can also SIGN UP FOR SPECIAL “CHRISTIAN LIVING” posts, including the new series “Handling Emotions Biblically.”

Previous Posts in the “Handling Emotions Biblically” Series

Marriage Made in Heaven?

Previous Posts in the “Marriage: Made in Heaven?” Series


Blended Families + LINKUP - I'll be talking about the common issues and challenges, offering some solutions, and providing resources to help. If you're not a blended family, I'm sure you know someone who is. The first post will start in the next linkup.

Previous Posts in the “Blended Families” Series



I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:

Mondays The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking Musing Mondays
Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Tea & Word Tuesday Talk
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Messy Marriage Coffee for Your Heart Christian Blogger Linkup Women of Intention Mississippi Mom Writer Wednesday Seeking God in All I Do Warriors of the Word Coffee & Conversation
Thursdays Chasing Community Booknificent Thursdays Dare2Hear
Fridays Missional Women Grace & Truth Faith & Friends Fresh Market Friday Dance with Jesus
Sundays Spiritual Sundays

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.