“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
(The Apostle Paul, as recorded in Acts 20:24, ESV)
“It is in vain that we are called Christians; that Christ died; that we were born in the day of grace, and baptized with water, if we do not walk according to his law, counsel, admonition, will and command and are not obedient to his word.”
Summarized from Living by the Book by Howard Hendricks and William Hendricks
Three Steps in Bible Study
- Observation: What do I see? Read the text carefully and repeatedly. Look for terms, structure, literary form, and atmosphere.
- Interpretation: What does it mean? Bombard the text with questions and be prepared to work to find answers. As you discover answers, work to integrate your answers into a meaningful whole. Take the passage apart to inspect the little details and then put it back together.
- Application: How does it work? Consider how the text applies to your life before you apply it to the lives of other people. Preach the passage to yourself first.
Sample Questions to Ask
- Who? Who are the people in the text? What is said about them? What do they say?
- What? What is happening? What is the author trying to communicate? What is wrong? What is right? What is emphasized, repeated, related, alike, unlike, or true to life?
- Where? Where is this story happening? Are they traveling to or from somewhere? Where was the author? Where was the audience?
- When? When did these things happen? How does this account fit into the timeline of Biblical history? When did the author write this?
- Why? Why was this passage written? Why does this person do that or say that? Why did the author use this word? Why does this passage follow or precede what it does? There is no end to “Why” questions.
- Wherefore? So what? What difference should the truth of this passage make in my life?
“If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor,
how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”
“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.”
(Psalm 95:1–5, ESV)
We have limited time and resources, so we must give our best to the best.
“When we look back on our life from the perspective of eternity, we are going to see that the power of Satan was so great, that the weakness of our flesh was feeble, and that the hostility of the world was so strong, that every day of our lives—if God had not intervened—we would never have made it through a day.”