Sunday, January 27, 2008

Questions about Inductive Study, Part II

Part II – Inductive Study

My daughter Kamryn is an inquisitive little girl. She asks questions about questions. What are you talking about daddy? Why is the sky blue? What is the meaning of life? What is heaven like? Why are they not here? When she had the concussion a month ago, it was probably the most frustrated I have ever seen her because she couldn’t figure out what was happening. She must of asked me at least 30 times where she was, why she was here and what happened. And that was just me. She defines that famous slogan, “Enquiring minds want to know!” And though it is a little tiring fielding the assortment of questions, I love it. The more questions she asks, the more she will learn. The more she learns, the more that knowledge can affect how she lives her life. Questions reveal what we need to know and what we don’t know so we can know what we need to know and how to do what we don't know. It is true in life as well as in Bible study, that the only stupid question is the one not asked. As you are about to see, we are about to ask more questions that you ever thought possible for two short verses. Some of these questions will seem very basic and elementary. It doesn’t matter, ask ‘em anyway. Others you won’t know and that is o.k. Still others will be answered in the very next question. The more questions the better. But that is why the previous step is so important. If you do not collect every little fact and truth from the scripture, you will be stunted at the question step.

So here is how it works. Back in elementary school, I still remember the sign that gave me all the question starters: Who? What? Where? When? Why? And How? They five w’s and one H are about to bring new life into your Bible study.

So here we go: the first step is collect. Below is a list of all the truths that I collected from this passage!

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

So, we now ask questions:

Regarding #1: There is a scripture

We ask:

a. What is scripture?

b. Who wrote the scripture?

c. Why was scripture written?

d. How was it written?

e. Where was it written?

Now for every question, you don’t need to ask all the w’s and H questions, but, as you can see here, the more you do ask, the more questions come out of it. Now the questions may seem simple: What is scripture? Scripture is God’s word given to us. You can get that later on, or in many other passages in the Bible. You may know the answers, but if you preach, teach or share your faith, you can bet others don’t know really know the answer to these questions. Asking question not only reveals what you know and don’t know, but it also helps you wrestle the questions to an answer… It helps you be prepared as 1 Peter 3:15-16 states: But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have...

2. There is a God

a. Who is God?

b. Why is there a God?

c. How is there a God?

d. Where is God?

When you ask questions like these, you force yourself into the word to find “proof” for your answers? Where will you go to find out who God is? Genesis? Revelations? Colossians? And questions like, “Why is there a God?” will for no other reason, challenge you to think more broadly about things you might take for granted.

3. God breathes

a. How does God breathe?

b. What did God breathe?

c. Why did God breathe?

This might seem a bit random. It is a true complete sentence. God is the subject and breathe is the verb. It is true. It says that God-breathed scripture. It deserves a little bit of attention.

Not only does God breathe the world into existence, ( Ps 33:6 - By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.) but he also gave life to man through his breath (Ge 2:7 - the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.)

God created breathing. Our very ability to breathe is not only sustained by God, but it was originated in Him (Is 57:16 - I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me— the breath of man that I have created.)

God states the obvious when he says that our very existence is because God gives us breath for this moment (Is 42:4-5 - This is what God the Lord says— he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it…)

God’s breath is associated with his power and might to turn bring judgment to sinful generations (Is 11:4, 30:28, 59:19)

Man’s life is compared to a breath (Ps 39:5, Ps 144:4)

And Job says in Job 32:8 - But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.

The breath of God gives the world existence, gives man existence, sustains and keep man alive. The breath of God can create and destroy. And God’s breathing has given us understanding to know His thoughts, His will and his plan for us.

See what one simple question can do! Surely this has opened our eyes to not only the glory of God, but also our utter dependence upon Him. This should also increase our gratitude for this amazing gift He given us.

It is of utter importance that you do not answer the questions until you have asked all the questions. I am just trying to help you realize the value of seemingly pointless questions, like
“Why does God breathe?”

4. This scripture is God-Breathed

a. Why did God breathe the scripture?

b. Who did he breathe his scripture for?

c. When did he do this?

d. Where did he breathe scripture?

e. How did he do this?

I remember distinctly during my ordination getting this question. Though it phrased a bit different, it was very similar. Again, some of these are simple and other will require a bit of work.

Now, by this point you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed or discouraged. It is hard work doing inductive study. It is simple, but it requires time and sweat and a bit of perseverance. But the results are sure worth it! And, again, you don’t have to ask every “W” question to get some deep insights into the word that you would not have come up with with a casual reading. And, the goal isn’t quantity as much as quality of study, so don't feel like you need to conquer the bible in on sitting. Let the questions sit for a while!

Now, I will ask few questions for times sake:

1. All scripture is God-breathed

a. What is all of the scripture? Where do I find the all that is being talked about here?

2. It is useful for teaching

a. What does useful mean? What is teaching? Why is teaching useful?

3. It is useful for rebuking

a. What is rebuking? Why is it useful? How does the word rebuke?

4. It is useful for correcting

a. What is correcting? Why is correcting important?

5. It is useful for training in righteousness

a. What is training? What is righteousness? How is righteousness a training event?

6. There is a man of God

a. How is a man of God? What is a man of God? Why is a man of God? When?

7. The man of God is to be equipped

a. What does equipped mean? How do I become equipped? Why?

8. The man of God is to be thoroughly equipped

a. What is thoroughly equipped? What is not thoroughly equipped? How do I get thoroughly equipped? Why do I need to be thoroughly equipped?

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

a. What are good works? Why do we need to do good works? How does scripture help us do good works?

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

a. Why does God have good works for us to do? Where in scripture does it help us do good works?

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

a. Why does scripture have such a high priority for our good works?

So, now that you have all the questions written out, you now start over and begin to answer the questions! Tune in tomorrow to find out ways to answer the questions!

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