Saturday, January 26, 2008

Join us as we study the Word - IBS, Part 1

I am a very simple person. And I am not very detailed. Therefore, I have not had much success in the many inductive processes that exist in books and seminar formats. There are some great programs out there, but it was too much for me to really practically do. I have taken the best out of there and really simplified it, especially in light of my teaching African pastors who have an average of a eighth grade education. So, this is what I have come up with. By stripping away all the steps, I think most people would be able to practically study the word without compromising the work it takes to dig into the scriptures and come away with great, life-changing truths.

It is really as simple as this analogy of a detective.

My good buddy is a detective. The process of inductive study is like being a detective. There are really three steps that need to happen to solve the case.

The first is they need to gather all the facts. No fact is too minor or unnecessary. A good detective doesn’t add anything to the facts. They don’t make up facts. They don’t let previous cases or preconceived notions or things that have learned as a child influence the very base and foundational facts that exist in a case. They let the facts speak.

The second thing one needs to do is then ask the questions with the facts that they acquired and observed. For every observation, a detective has to ask the question: Why is this here? What does it mean? Who was involved? Where did it happen? and How does this fit into the big picture? You cannot ask too many questions. Questions reveal what you do know and what you don’t know.

After a detective has asked all the questions, than he or she will begin to work on answering the questions using what they know of the situation, the context of the current situation, consulting other individuals and people, and then finally asking experts in the situation.

As you answer the questions, the case begins to unfold in some ways, but it also will lead to more questions and seeking more truth. Ultimately, it will lead to a discovery of truth that needs application to reach fulfillment.

It may seem a bit of simple analogy, but in reality, it is exactly what happens in an inductive bible study. There is often very little strategy used when going into reading and studying the Bible. But there is a process that if shorted or ignored will result in at best, doctrinal errors and a loss of joy and changed living. The analogy is not complete in one way, that though the Bible is at times difficult to understand, God has given the Holy Spirit to bring insight into our lives. There is no lying or deceit to deal with, and we know the word of God is true. We can know the truth if we seek it.

So here we go! We will use these verses below as our text!

2 Tim. 3:16-17 (NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, [17] so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Before anything else, spend some time praying for God to help you understand what the passage in the Bible teaches. Pray that you will have a receptive heart and you will respond in obedience to his message.

Collect - What does the passage say?

Collecting deals with discovering the facts that the Holy Spirit communicated through the author. It answers the question, “What does the passage say?” But, before you do proceed in this step, you need to ask five questions, especially when you plan to study a book! It gives context to the story that you are studying.

Who wrote the passage? (i.e. Paul)

To whom was it written? (i.e. Timothy)

Where was it written? (i,e, from prison)

Why was it written? (i.e. to encourage and strengthen his son in the faith)

How was it is written? (i.e. In a letter)

After you answer these questions, then you will observe the passage. Make sure you only write down what the passage says. Examine it thoroughly, writing down WHAT the passage says and ALL that it says.

Collecting is the beginning process. It is the collecting of all that is there, and laying it before you to use to begin to understand what the passage means. It is helpful to write them down in a sentence form that includes a subject and verb. You will see why later… Again, don’t add to it, don’t apply it, don’t try to figure it out!!! Just write down what you see…

2 Tim. 3:16-17 (NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, [17] so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1. There is a scripture

2. There is a God

3. God breathes

4. This scripture is God-Breathed

5. All scripture is God-breathed

6. It is useful for teaching

7. It is useful for rebuking

8. It is useful for correcting

9. It is useful for training in righteousness

10. There is a man of God

11. The man of God is to be equipped

12. The man of God is to be thoroughly equipped

13. The man of God is equipped to do good works

14. All scripture equips us to do the works God has for us

15. Without scripture, we will not be equipped to do the works

The more time you spend observing what the text says, the more facts that you will have that need to be explained. The more that you have that needs to be explained, the better you will be able to understand and communicate the passage. Even if it seems redundant to write There is a God or there is scripture, and all scripture is god-breathed, you must write it down. Every fact, every clue, anything that is said, it is important that write it down. You may ask why and I feel a bit like Mr. Myagi in the Karate Kid. Trust me- wax on, wax off, Paint the fence, side to side:)

Before I tell you the rest, try it yourself…

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1. There is a God

2. God loved

3. God loved the World

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See ya tomorrow! Put any questions you have in the comment page! Thanks!!!

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