January 8, 2017 broadcast
The Seeker of Truth will want to know...
How to Study the Bible part 1 of 2
by George Sinkie
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and welcome to the Berean Break. My name is George A. Sinkie
and I am so glad that you have joined us this morning. On this program
we use the Bible as the standard of truth, so I encourage you to get out
your Bible and follow along. I apologize that sometimes I may go a
little fast but we only have 15 minutes on each of these programs and there
is a lot to cover on some of the topics we look at. As we begin, lets
go to God in prayer:
Great God in heaven. Thank You for
this day in our lives. We thank You for the harvest. We thank
You for the moisture that is in the snow, and also pray for safety as we
are traveling and working out in the weather. As we look at our lesson
today may we use it to grow and mature in our knowledge of You and Your
will. We especially thank You for Jesus and it is in His name we
I am asked questions concerning the religious group to which I belong. The
simplest, and most straightforward answer would be simple to say I am a
member of the simple New Testament church, which is true. But that
may not help the people to understand the truth and know the Lords
will. So we are going to look at lessons over this year that should
help the seeker of truth understand Gods will. If you ever have
questions please send them to me and they will be examined and answered
as best as the Scriptures can answer them.
We are going to start out with a couple of
lessons on The Seeker of Truth Will Want To Know: How to Study
the Bible. This program gets its name from the Bereans spoken
of in the book of Acts. Notice how the Bible describes the Bereans
in Acts 17:11, Now
these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they
received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily,
to see whether these things were so.
Friends, Bible study is important for a number
of reasons. First, it is not possible for a person to have faith apart
from the word of God. Paul wrote in Romans 10:17, So faith comes from hearing, and
hearing by the word of Christ.
We need to study the word of God to hear what
the Lords will is and so we can have the faith that we need to have
to be saved.
Second, Bible study is important because Gods
word is able to save us. James wrote in James 1:21, Therefore putting aside all filthiness
and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted,
which is able to save your souls.
Jesus taught that man is able to be set free
from his sins by the truth, not by error. John records this in John
8:31-32 where Jesus says,
and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John also records where Jesus tells us what
the truth is in John 17:17, where He prays to the Father and says, Sanctify them in the truth; Thy
word is truth.
Third, Bible study is important because the
Bible, not the creeds of men, serves as our authority in matters of religion.
Notice Pauls words to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, All Scripture is inspired by God
and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in
righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every
Sometimes a person may say that he doesnt
read the Bible because the Bible cannot be understood. This is a lie
spread by Satan and taught by some man-made religions to keep their followers
in bondage. It has also been said, The Bible is crystal clear.
Its just so deep you cant see the bottom. The
point is simply this: We may never fully understand all the Bible
teaches. God made it this way so we would not get bored with studying
it, but we can learn all that we need to know to be saved and how to worship
and serve God acceptably. But in order to do this, a person must enter
into his study of the Bible with the right attitude and with a few basic
rules in mind.
First, we ought to develop a love for
the truth. It should be our desire to know what Gods
will is for our lives. Paul speaks of those who are lost because they
did not love the truth. Read with me 2 Thessalonians 2:10, and with all the deception of wickedness
for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth
so as to be saved.
Friends, no matter what others may believe
or say, we ought to love the truth enough to want to know the truth.
Second, we ought to study the Bible with an
open mind. Notice from our earlier reading from Acts 17:11
the Bereans received the word with eagerness. Too often people study
the Bible, not to learn what it teaches concerning a given subject, but
rather to prove what they already believe concerning a given subject.
Third, dont merely read the Bible mindlessly
study it. Surely, Pauls admonition to Timothy
ought to apply to us as well. In 2 Timothy 2:15, the King James Version
says to study while the New American Standard Bible words
it this way, Be
to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be
ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.
A good dictionary will be helpful in your
studies. But remember, modern dictionaries dont provide the
meaning of a word as it was used in the First century, they provide the
modern, accepted usage of a word. For this reason, I suggest you obtain
a good Bible dictionary for your studies [EGW editor: Vines Expository
Dictionary of New Testament Words is an excellent choice]. When you come to a word in the Bible that
you dont understand, take the time to stop and find out what the word
A Bible encyclopedia can also be helpful in
your studies. You might also want to obtain a concordance, which lists
every reference where a particular word is used, as well as a set of Bible
A good quality Bible is essential to a study
of the Bible. Make sure it has a good quality paper as well as print
that can be easily read. Make sure it is a reliable translation of
the Bible. I would suggest the New American Standard, the King James
Version, the American Standard Version, or the New King James Version.
Fourth, when studying a particular subject,
resist the temptation to reach a conclusion concerning that subject until
you have studied all the Bible teaches about that subject. Imagine
a number of people each witnessing the same car accident. One person
tells you the driver who was at fault was driving a red car. Another
person tells you the car had four doors. Still another person tells
you the driver ran a stop sign. Friends, theres no conflict
with what each person saw. But when you put all of their information
together, you know the wreck was caused when a person driving a red, four-door
car ran a stop sign.
Likewise, when we study the Bible, we
ought to gather all the information the Bible provides about a particular
subject. For example, consider the words of John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that
He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish,
but have eternal life.
People often read this one verse and reach
the erroneous conclusion that all a person has to do to be saved from his
sins is believe. But when we read Luke 13:3, where Jesus says, I tell you, no, but unless you repent,
you will all likewise perish,
we learn we must also repent of our sins.
When we read Matthew 10:32-33 we learn that
we must confess Jesus, because Jesus says, Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men,
I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever
shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in
And when we read Mark 16:15-16 we learn we
need to be immersed, which is to be baptized, in order to be saved. Here
Jesus says, in Mark 16:15-16, And
He said to them, Go
into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has
believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved
shall be condemned.
So from John we learn we need we need to believe,
from Luke we learn we need to repent, from Matthew we learn we need to confess,
and from Mark we learn we need to be immersed. None of these alone
will save us, but nor can we leave any of them undone and be saved.
Another good example of this, was in our local
paper some time ago. There was a letter to the editor
and in this letter the man taught a doctrine that the only grounds that
allowed for remarriage was the death of a persons spouse.
It is true that death of a spouse frees a
person to marry again. This is shown in Romans 7:2, where Paul writes,
For the married
woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband
dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
And Paul also addresses this issue in 1 Corinthians
7:39, A wife
is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is
free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
Now if these were the only verses in Gods
word that dealt with remarriage then the man would be right to teach his
But as we are seeing in this point of Good
Bible study methods, we must look at all passages that deal with the topic
we are studying. Consider the new information that we can learn when
we read, Matthew 5:31-32, where Jesus says, And it was said, Whoever sends his wife away,
let him give her a certificate of divorce; but I say to you that everyone
who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit
adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Jesus is also speaking in Matthew 19:9, And I say to you, whoever divorces
his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.
It is Jesus that gives this exception condition
to remarriage being adultery. Not you, not I, not even the man that
wrote to the paper has the right to add or take away exceptions to the Lords
will. What he fails to do is to study all of the passages for what
they teach on the subject.
Earlier in our study today we looked at several
things that were essential to our salvation. We saw that we need to
hear the word and develop faith based on that word. Then based on
that faith we need to repent of our sins. As we study the word, we
will see things in our lives that are not in harmony with the teaching of
God. We need to turn away from these things
that is, we need
to repent of these things. Then people have to be baptized for the
forgiveness of their sins. It is in baptism, but not baptism alone
that we can be saved.
Our time is up for this morning, but I hope
that you can join us next Sunday for more tips on how to study the Bible.
This Berean Break is brought to you, in love,
by the pre-denominational and non-denominational church of Christ that meets
at 1600 East First Avenue in Mitchell SD. You are welcome to
meet with us at 10:00 Sunday mornings for our assembly followed by a time
of Bible Study, also on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 for an additional time
to study Gods Word. If you have a comment or a sincere
Bible question, please phone us at 605-770-5555. We want to remind
you of the non-denominational TV program, KNOW YOUR BIBLE on
KDLT-TV at 9:00 on Sunday mornings. This is George A. Sinkie
for the Lords church, here in Mitchell, good-bye for now. Remember
that we care about you and may God bless you as you do His will.
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