Thursday, September 09, 2010

"A Simple Method of Study"

On a Christian forum I was recently asked if I could recommend “a simple method of study. Here is the answer I gave. Some of this is a repetition of what I’ve written elsewhere on this blog:

A simple method of study I would recommend is to read scripture with prayer for understanding.

Avoid grabbing bits of scripture from here and there and trying to make sense of it. Scripture is not an unrelated collection of doctrinal facts that can be applied in isolation. It is an unfolding revelation of God’s relationship with His creation – mankind in particular.

Get a basic knowledge of how scripture fits together and how this revelation flows from Genesis to Revelation. My own understanding increased significantly when I finally understood how the different parts of scripture related to each other.
And a very important point is to not neglect the “Old Testament”. So often the impression is given that it isn’t as important as the “New” – but without the “Old” our understanding of God and His new covenant will be seriously lacking.

This obviously takes time and there’s no quick and easy way. It is often our impatience that leads us to turn to others for answers and makes us susceptible to accepting their word in place of scripture.

I don’t dismiss the importance of teaching from Spirit-led teachers but it’s not always easy to find teachers who ARE led by the Spirit. The majority of teachers we come across are merely passing on what they have learned from their church or seminary and they teach church doctrine instead of God’s word.

A Spirit led teacher does not merely pass on what he has learned from others. A Spirit led teacher is one who has received revelation himself through a personal encounter with the word and the Holy Spirit.

A Spirit led teacher will also GENUINELY encourage us to search the scriptures for ourselves. This is not only a safeguard for us – it also holds the teacher to account and provides a safeguard for him, reducing the chance of him leading us astray.


Philip Robinson said...

Thanks for this.Even if you have said it before, it was well worth repeating! Absolutely spot on and I agree with every word.
"Read scripture with prayer", and don't "neglect the Old Testament". Two very good principles I think. I just heard a preacher on TV talking about Genesis and he said of that book, "Christ is on every page".

Solid Rock or Sinking Sand said...

Very sound advice and loaded with godly wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers. It is so important to allow the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Truth) to assist you when meditating and studying the Word of God. Blessings my brother. Lloyd

Anonymous said...


I think sometimes we forget that the Word is alive. It is living and active and more powerful than a double edged sword. If we neglect to study and read it for ourselves we miss what God may have for us personally as He breathes life into His word. We need teachers and those who are more mature in the Lord but much more than that we need to digest the Word for ourselves and His Spirit to lead us into truth.

BILL HUNT said...

I TOO AGREE. Very good word. Let's exchange sites.

Good to meet you.