What role does prayer play in understanding the Bible?

In April I’ll be teaching an intensive study on “Exegese and Hermeneutics” as a part of a congregation training program in another state. The program focuses on helping the men learn better to preach and teach.

I’d like to do a short segment on prayer. Please respond in the comments, or send me an email, with your thoughts on what role prayer plays in understanding the Bible.

Of course, I don’t expect anyone to tell us that we should pray and then God will give us a revelation. I would like, however, some specific ideas on the topic.

So this is not a gotcha question. I’m looking for some practical perspectives that I can offer these men.

#prayer #Bible-study #exegese #hermeneutics

Bible study outline based on a repeating set of questions

A couple of weeks ago we started studying Ephesians in our adult class. As a challenge, I decided to do something a little different. I came up with a series of repeating questions that can be used throughout the book on a paragraph by paragraph basis.

Here are the questions: Continue reading

#bare-bones-outline, #bible-class-outlines, #bible-study

Who kept secrets in the Bible?

Let’s think about secrets. Gabriel went to Joseph when he was engaged to be married to Mary and told him a secret. Joseph was planning to put Mary away privately so as to not embarrass her due to her being pregnant outside of marriage. The angel Gabriel told Joseph to go ahead and take Mary as his wife as she was pregnant by the Holy Ghost. I am sure Joseph was thrilled to learn Gabriel’s news and he kept the secret. Continue reading

#bible-study, #practical-lessons

Jezebel

Jezebel. We don’t like her, do we? Jezebel was an evil woman. She was downright mean. And, she came to a bad, bad, end. The Lord saw and knew what Jezebel was doing. I guess the final straw was her plans to have Naboth killed so her husband, King Ahab, could have Naboth’s vineyard which just happened to be close or next door to their land. Naboth didn’t want to sell his vineyard because it had been in his family and it meant more to him than anything he could get for it. Jezebel figured out a way to get it for her husband and she had Naboth killed. The Lord spoke, saying, “The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.”

It doesn’t matter how much we love a person, there comes a time when we should NOT LISTEN to their plans. It doesn’t matter how much we, as women, want to fix things for our husbands, there comes a time when we need to not get involved. Naturally, we refer to times when things are evil or go against the will of God.

We serve a mighty God, a loving heavenly Father, who loves us and wants to bless our efforts for good. He can’t do that when we have our mind, thoughts, and actions on evil things. We may not realize punishment in this life for doing things that are wrong but let us be certain our payday will come in eternity.

And then I wonder about King Ahab? Why in the world did he go along with Jezebel’s plans? Did that vineyard mean so much to him that he would agree to kill the owner of it? The Bible says, “There was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord because Jezebel his wife had stirred him up. (1 Kgs. 21). As women, we better not be stirring up our husbands to do evil, and as men, you had better not let your wife, or anyone, stir you up to do evil and you shouldn’t be guilty of it either! That is serious stuff!

Now thankfully, King Ahab was very sad and repented. The Bible says “he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning.” God saw that he had humbled himself and He did not bring the calamity in his days. But, notice, that in the days of his son God said he would bring the calamity on his house (v. 29). God will ultimately see justice served. We can’t live without consequences. God sees all we do. There is indeed an all-seeing eye watching us.

#bible-study

What does the Bible say about the Inspiration of the Scripture?

By: Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).

“For prophecy never came by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).

“But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to men. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12). Continue reading

#bible-study

What does the Bible say about faith and obedience

By Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sin” (John 8:24).

“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” (I Samuel 15:22).

The Lord will take “vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). Continue reading

#bible-study, #faith, #obedience

January 2018 Issue of Christian Worker (Growing Spiritually in the New Year)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Books to Maximize Spiritual Growth (Mike Vestal)
  • Suggestions for Studying the Bible this Year (Cody Westbrook)
  • Six Tools to Improve Your Prayer Life (Andy Baker)
  • How to Excel in Personal Evangelism (Rob Whitacre)
  • Helping Your Children Grow Spiritually (Glen Colley)
  • How to Strengthen Your Marriage This Year (John Moore)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2018 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#bible-study, #christian-worker, #marriage, #personal-evangelism, #prayer, #raising-faithful-children, #reading, #specific-suggestions