7 Stimulating Scriptural Study Steps

Bible, Psalm, Book, Open, Religion, Holy

Most professing Christians do not take the time to read, much less study their Bibles. That is a sad and sorry state. Christians are supposed to be people of the Word. The most common reason for people not studying the Bible is because they believe it is boring or it is too hard to understand. Some people get overwhelmed with different interpretations of the sacred writings that they do not take the time to read the Word of God for themselves. So as an avid Bible reader and studier here are Seven Stimulating Scripture Study Steps to drive people to study the Bible more.

  1. Get Saved. If you are not drawn to want to understand the Word of God, something is wrong with you. Most likely you do not have the Spirit of God residing in you to draw you to the words of the Father and the Elder brother. Children of the Devil will seek the things of the Devil: worldly lusts, possessions, and entertainment. The child of God will seek the things of God: love for the truth found in the scriptures, the fruit of the Spirit, and love for the brothers and sisters in Christ. If you are drawn to the things of the World, repent of your sin, and trust in the sacrifice of Jesus to save you from your sin. Then you will be sealed with the Holy Spirit who will draw you to the Scriptures and understand them.
  2. Start small. You cannot become a scholar overnight and you will not be able to get a routine of regular Bible reading in a day. You are going to have to figure out how much time you have in your day. I suggest reading the Bible 10 minutes a day starting with the New Testament and then going to the Old. Maybe all you can do in a chapter. But the more you read it, the more you will want to read it. The more you want to read it, the more you will do it. Eventually try to work your way up to an hour. As you grow in your Christian faith, you will replace more of your leisure time with Bible reading/study time.
  3. Read a book at a time. Interpretation is best done in context. So the more you spend time reading in order the book and its context, the more you will understand it. You should be able to know what is in the book by your third reading of it. The more you know what is in the book, the better you will be able to make sense of it in its context. I read the book of Romans 100 times in 3 months before I wrote a book on the first seven verses on it.
  4. Study the Biblical geography. Scripture comes alive when you start seeing where these events took place. The MacArthur Study Bible[1] has several maps that show major cities, countries, landscapes, routs that significant people took in their travels. Rose Book of Bible Charts and Maps[2] is another good resource for maps of Bible.
  5. Study ancient cultures. The Bible was written in history. The more you know about the history of the cultures in ancient biblical times, the more you understand the message the Bible had to its original readers. The Bible Almanac [3] by J.I. Packer is an excellent resource to understand the ancient cultures of the time.
  6. Study the original languages. The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. Translations are good for personal Bible reading but they are not perfect. That is why we need Bible teachers and good commentaries to help us better understand the Bible. The best way to see if the commentaries and Bible teachers are staying true to the Word of God is to know a little about the languages yourself. Todd Friel has and excellent resource on teaching the basic’s on Biblical Greek called It’s Not Greek to Me.[4] It is an excellent source for teaching the average Christian enough Greek to be dangerous to false teachers.
  7. Share the Gospel. Jesus commanded the church to make disciples of all nations teaching them to do all He commanded us (Matthew 28:18). The more you share the gospel, the more questions and attacks on scripture the world and the devil will throw at you. To combat that you will need to study the Bible. The more you study the Bible, the better prepared you will be to answer those questions.

I hope that this has blessed you. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no cursing for pornography. Also feel free to share this post to your friends who need it, or like it. If you want to contact me, you can contact me at josiah.rob.nichols@gmail.com with any question you want. Also please feel free to look at the resource page to look at The Using Hermeneutics Series. the book series is designed to teach you biblical interpretation through demonstration. Lord bless you.

[1] https://www.gty.org/store/bibles/44NKJ20HC/nkjv-macarthur-study-bible-twentiethanniversary-edition

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Rose-Book-Bible-Charts-Lines/dp/1596360224/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=roses+bible+charts&qid=1558323897&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

[3]https://www.amazon.com/Old-Time-Gospel-Hour-Bible-Almanac/dp/B000F6P7X4/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?crid=2EZOGWXSCOS9O&keywords=the+bible+almanac+packer&qid=1558325293&s=gateway&sprefix=The+Bible+Almanac%2Caps%2C220&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

[4]https://wretched.givecloud.co/product/its-not-greek-to-me/its-not-greek-to-me

Superhero Wife

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30 ESV

Image may contain: 3 people, including Cassandra Nichols, people smiling, baby

For many years I looked for a spouse, which is a good thing. Yet, like most young men, I looked for it in the wrong places. I was looking for the super Christian woman. I was looking for someone who looked like Haley Berry and acted like a daughter of God. For many years I was hopeless, until I started rightly reading the Bible.

Proverbs 31 is a passage that looks like the perfect wife. She is beautiful, wealthy, raises her children, is better than gold. She has servants. She is so outstanding that people know her husband in town by so and so’s wife. Yet, I got to tell you, it is not because she does all of these things she is so outstanding. She does all of these things because of our Bible passage. She fears the Lord.

No my wife does not look like Wonder Woman or Haley Berry. She is better. Her beauty comes from studying and explaining the scriptures to our two year old. Her beauty is in how she submits to and respects me. My wife is outstanding in that she prays and reads scripture with me. She is forgiving. She has forgiven me more than I ever deserved for things I wouldn’t have used to forgive others for. She models the gospel and what it means to be a Christian. That makes me want to die for her like Christ died for me.

She is certainly not the perfect woman; but, she is a new creature in Christ Jesus, a daughter of God, a lover of the Word, and an excellent mother. She drives me to be a better Christian. Thankfully this severely imperfect man was blessed with her.

Guys when you are looking for a wife, look for one that the scriptures say should be praised. You will be saddened if you marry someone for their looks. They will drag you down to death and away from the God who gives you life. They also lose their beauty when they get older. Look for a woman:

  1. who loves God
  2. who is redeemed
  3. who studies the Bible
  4. who loves children
  5. who is wise in following the Bible.

If you marry a woman like that, you will do well. Seek righteousness, the preach the gospel, love Jesus, and study the Word. God will give you the superhero wife if you seek His kingdom and His desire for you is to be married.

I hope that this has blessed you. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no cursing for pornography. Also feel free to share this post to your friends who need it, or like it. If you want to contact me, you can contact me at josiah.rob.nichols@gmail.com with any question you want. Also please feel free to look at the resource page to look at The Using Hermeneutics Series. the book series is designed to teach you biblical interpretation through demonstration. Lord bless you.

Salty Speech?

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:5-6 ESV

Language is full of figures of speech, word pictures, and metaphors. I like to think of the Guardians of the Galaxy character Drax the Destroyer. He took everything literally. One character from the show told the main character that figures of speech “went over his head”. Drax responded by saying, “Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast. I would catch it.” You might not be as bad as Drax in picking up metaphors but sometimes figures of speech are “too fast for our reflexes”.

So what does Paul mean by salty speech? He obviously does not mean that we throw salt at people while talking. that would turn a lot of people off to your message. How does salt affect speech? The context of the phrase tells us how to better interpret the figure of speech.

Paul wanted his readers to speak wisely when talking to unbelievers. He also wanted the readers to be able to answer the outsiders well. So salt has something to do with speaking wisely and being able to answer people well.

Understanding the historical context of salt behind this phase is also valuable. Salt was a valuable commodity in the ancient Roman world. So much so that soldiers were paid in salt and covenants were made in salt. [1] Salt was also used to preserve food so that it would not spoil as quickly. People did this until the invention of refrigerators. Salt is also used to make food taste better. The last image is probably what Paul has in mind.

When talking to people outside of the faith, we need to fill our conversations with wisdom, “seasoned with salt”, to better answer questions that are presented to us by outsiders of the Christian faith. Wisdom and truth makes the conversation interesting to unbelievers so that they will present to us opportunities to share the gospel. Paul doesn’t want us to use curse words or “salty language” like sailors.

We use wisdom, apologetics, and other salty topics like a hook so that we can share with the unbeliever that 1. God is good. 2. We are not. 3. God is going to judge the world for its sin. 4. God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to die on a cross, and raise from the dead to pay the penalty for our sin. 5. They need to respond by repenting of their sin and putting their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope that this has blessed you. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no cursing for pornography. Also feel free to share this post to your friends who need it, or like it. If you want to contact me, you can contact me at josiah.rob.nichols@gmail.com with any question you want. Also please feel free to look at the resource page to look at The Using Hermeneutics Series. the book series is designed to teach you biblical interpretation through demonstration. Lord bless you.

  1. https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B170306

SECURITY OF SCRIPTURE

“Which he had promised afore by  his prophets in the holy scriptures” Romans 1:2 KJV

Intro: I want to talk to you today about my heart. All my emotions, thoughts, and conscience are bound to the Word of God. The Words of God revealed in the scriptures are my life blood. Cut that out of my life and I am a dry corpse. Scripture is attacked and has been attacked since the beginning when the serpent said that, “You shall not surely die.” What is most shocking is when the church attacks the scriptures. It boils my blood when a popular Bible teacher says that Christianity is a house of cards when we base it off the Bible. This so-called Bible teacher says that we have to “unhitch the Old Testament from the Christian faith” and “we need to stop saying ‘the Bible tells me so’” because evolution disproves the Bible. That drives me stark raving mad because the gospel is founded on the Old Testament. God says so, Jesus says so, and Paul says so. The gospel of God was promised beforehand From God through the prophets in the Holy Scriptures. If we abandon the OT scriptures, and the scriptures in general, we abandon the faith. You want proof of the gospel, look at the Old Testament Scriptures. You can trust the Bible Because:

Body:

God said so: Prophesies of Jesus

  1. Genesis 3:16
  2. Passover Exodus 12:21-28
  3. Sacrifices in Leviticus
  4. Office of the King
  5. Office of prophet in Deuteronomy 18:15
  6. Psalm 22
  7. Isaiah 53
  8. Over 300 more prophesies in the Bible just one being fulfilled by chance is 1 to 1017 that is a number that is greater than atoms in the universe. It is like taking Texas covered in 2ft of silver dollars marking one with an x, throwing it in the lot, mixing it up and Jesus finding it 1st time blindfolded. Jesus did that over 300 times. That is 10157 that is 10x greater that the number of impossibility.

Jesus Said So

  1. Matthew 5:17-20
  2. Matthew22:29
  3. Jesus used scripture to fight temptation
  4. Jesus used scripture to teach against divorce.
  5. John 10:35 Scripture cannot be broken.
  6. Jesus said that the scriptures pointed to Him. To the Pharisees and on the road to Emmaus Luke 24.

Paul and the other Apostles said So

  1. Romans 1:2 The scriptures come from God through the apostles thus making Holy scripture. God sovereignly used and orchestrated the lives of the prophets to write exactly what he wanted them to infallibly, and without error.
  2. Romans 15:4: Scripture was written for our instruction so that we might have hope. It is useful for daily living.
  3. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Scripture is God breathed and is Sufficient for Holy living.
  4. 2 Peter 1:19-21: Peter said Old Testament scripture was stronger evidence for Jesus being the Lord Christ than his eyewitness testimony for the prophets that wrote it were carried along by the Holy Spirit, not that the New Testament is any less inspired.

Conclusion

Instead of a house of cards, Christianity is a living temple built upon the bedrock of the prophets and the teaching of the apostles, aka the Bible. Christianity without the Bible is a house made on sand. Jesus said, ““Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Build your life on the scriptures.

Prayer:

Dear heavenly Father,

Thank you so much for your word. It is our rock. It reveals you, your character, your plan of salvation, and your wisdom. By it we are made wise unto salvation. We are prepared for eternity. We come to know your Son by it. Whom you sent to be the blood sacrifice that appeases your wrath against our sin. Your scriptures reveal that when He died on the cross and rose from the dead that he paid the penalty for our sin. You say in your Word that if we repent of our sin, and trust in Jesus you give us the right to become your children and give us eternal life. When we repent of our sin and trust in you, you seal us with the Holy Spirit who helps us understand and accept the Scriptures. Help us live according to the direction and promises of your Word. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

God Will Heal Our Land?

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

You hear this verse tons of times at patriotic Christian rallies by pastors or teachers that want God to turn our country away from moral decline. The premise is if we repent from our sins and pray, God will make this country moral or “great again”. Yet if we look at the context of this verse, this promise isn’t for us. We need to use a little hermeneutics to understand the text.

Here is the context:

  1. King Solomon had finished building the Jewish Temple. The temple symbolized God’s presence in Israel.
  2. The priests sacrificed in the temple to dedicate it to God and the LORD accepted their sacrifice by sending fire from heaven.
  3. King Solomon had just prayed for God to bless the temple in 1 Kings 8:12-54.
  4. God appeared to Solomon by night to tell him that He accepted his prayer.
  5. The words “my people” and “their land” refer the the people and nation of Israel.
  6. In the Old Testament God said in Deuteronomy that if his people sinned he would send them into exile. If they repented He would bring them back. This happened after the Babylonian captivity. They repented and then God brought them back into the land.

What are the principles of this passage?

  1. God is faithful to His covenant promises.
  2. God requires repentance and faith to be right with Him.

Did this passage mean that God would heal his people’s land if they repented? Yes, to the nation of Israel. We are not Israel and this is not the Old Testament. We live in the New Testament era. God is faithful to his covenant promises. the New Covenant promise is if we repent of our sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive us of our sin, we will be forgiven of all our sin, God will indwell in us with His Holy Spirit, we will be the new temple of God, and we will have eternal life with Him forever. That is a much better covenant promise we can take to heart. Still if we want God to bless America, let us pray for the lost and share the gospel.

I hope that this has blessed you. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no cursing for pornography. Also feel free to share this post to your friends who need it, or like it. If you want to contact me, you can contact me at josiah.rob.nichols@gmail.com with any question you want. Also please feel free to look at the resource page to look at The Using Hermeneutics Series. the book series is designed to teach you biblical interpretation through demonstration. Lord bless you.

Assumptions & Authorial Intent

Exert from Chapter 1 of When My Ox Gores My Neighbor

Chapter 1: When My Ox Gores My Neighbor: Sinai Thunders

“Secure sinners must hear the thundering of Mount Sinai before we bring them to Mount Zion.” ~George Whitefield

What to Expect

What were you thinking? When you opened this book, you had a lot of expectations on what this book was going to be about. If you are from an agricultural background, you might have thought this book was going to be about oxen. You could be a literal person and might have picked it up and thought this is a book on what to do when an ox gores a neighbor. If you like to reads novels, you might pick up this book and think this is a story of when an ox gored someone’s neighbor and what they did to help their neighbor. If you picked up this book with these expectations, you were wrong. However, for the literal person if you come across a neighbor that has been gored by an ox, call 911. The more studious reader probably read the Title When My Ox Gores My Neighbor:  Using Hermeneutics to travel from Mount Sinai to Mount Zion then read the back to see what this book is all about. The studious reader left his expectations at the door so that he would not be seen as a fool and not be disappointed. This book is about two things. The first is how to study a particular passage in the Bible. The second is how to use what we studied and point it to the gospel.

Backgrounds are not bad. They in part make up who we are. We either started up rich or poor under a certain ethnicity in certain circumstances to different people. We all made choices that brought us to where we are today. If you are like me, those choices were most likely bad choices than good choices. We all have different beliefs that drive us to do different things. When we enter in to the book world, we come across someone completely different from us. They are writing down their thoughts, feelings, and research so that someone can understand the author. Today this world has lost sight of what the author is trying to say. The postmodern media’s message is it is all about the individual, the reader. They say, “I know you are writing this but I want it to mean something completely different.” This type of thinking is called the reader response method. If you decide to read this book this way, it will break my heart. This is not how to pass a test in math. The math textbook says two plus two equals four.  If a student were to read the textbook with the reader response method, they could decide that two plus two equals eight. Do that and you will get a big fat red F on your test. The right way to read any book is authorial intent. Authorial intent is a fancy term for saying read the book the way the writer of the book wanted you to read it.

I hope that this has blessed you. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no cursing for pornography. Also feel free to share this post to your friends who need it, or like it. If you want to contact me, you can contact me at josiah.rob.nichols@gmail.com with any question you want. Also please feel free to look at the resource page to look at The Using Hermeneutics Series. the book series is designed to teach you biblical interpretation through demonstration. Lord bless you.

Sarah Uses Hermeneutics

Girl, English, Dictionary, Study, School

Everyone uses hermeneutics (the art and science of interpreting literature). From husbands reading their wife’s grocery lists to theologians reading John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. To illustrate this let’s look at the story of Sarah. Above here is Sarah. Sarah just got an assignment from her teacher. Her teacher just told her that she has to read a book and find ten words she doesn’t know in the dictionary.

Sarah decided that she was going to read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Obviously she is a good Christian girl. She finds ten words she doesn’t know: “wardrobe”, “shaggy”, “muffler”, “faun”, “myth”, “indeed”, “hoax”, “complicated”, “spiteful”, and “vanishing”. Then she picks up her Compact Oxford English Dictionary and looks up the words. Afterwards, she writes down the words and their meanings on the paper. Then the next day she turns in her paper to the teacher.

Sarah just demonstrated that she knows how to do the process of hermeneutics.

  1. Observe the statement/text. She listened to her teacher. She read the book. She used a dictionary.
  2. Determine the audience. For the assignment she and her classmates were the audience. For the book children were the intended audience. People who want to know what words mean are the intended audience of the dictionary.
  3. Draw out principles. For the assignment the principles were to write down ten words she did not know, and look them up in the dictionary. For the book she pulled out the principles presented in the story. For the dictionary the principles were the meanings of the words.
  4. Determine if principles applied to her. The assignment directly applied to her. The story applied to children in general. The dictionary meanings applied to those words.
  5. Apply principles. She applied the principles of the assignment by doing what her teacher said and turning it in. She applied the principles of the story by recognizing we need to use correct logic and reasoning to see if something is true. She applied the principles of the dictionary be understanding the words she looked up.

She also demonstrated she knows three types of genres in hermeneutics.

  1. homework assignment genre.
  2. Narrative genre.
  3. Dictionary genre.

When someone asks what hermeneutics is and who does it? You can say hermeneutics is the science and art of interpreting literature and you do it everyday. Let us interpret the Bible using the principles that Sarah used on her homework assignment. Let us do what the Teacher says.

I hope that this has blessed you. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no cursing for pornography. Also feel free to share this post to your friends who need it, or like it. If you want to contact me, you can contact me at josiah.rob.nichols@gmail.com with any question you want. Also please feel free to look at the resource page to look at The Using Hermeneutics Series. the book series is designed to teach you biblical interpretation through demonstration. Lord bless you.