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How to Study the Bible

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
April 22, 2024 12:01 am

How to Study the Bible

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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April 22, 2024 12:01 am

If we seek to be spiritually mature, we must make diligent use of the means God has provided for our growth. Today, R.C. Sproul presents the reading and study of Scripture as the most essential means toward our maturity in Christ.

Get R.C. Sproul's Book and Teaching Series 'Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow' for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/3301/five-things-every-christian-needs-to-grow

Meet Today's Teacher:

R.C. Sproul (1939-2017) was known for his ability to winsomely and clearly communicate deep, practical truths from God's Word. He was founder of Ligonier Ministries, first minister of preaching and teaching at Saint Andrew's Chapel, first president of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine.

Meet the Host:

Nathan W. Bingham is vice president of ministry engagement for Ligonier Ministries, executive producer and host of Renewing Your Mind, host of the Ask Ligonier podcast, and a graduate of Presbyterian Theological College in Melbourne, Australia. Nathan joined Ligonier in 2012 and lives in Central Florida with his wife and four children.

Don't forget to make RenewingYourMind.org your home for daily in-depth Bible study and Christian resources.

Renewing Your Mind is a donor-supported outreach of Ligonier Ministries. Explore all of our podcasts: https://www.ligonier.org/podcasts

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The Scriptures have been breathed out by God. The supreme source for the content of Scripture is not some late first century or second century redactor or editor or some person who's spinning out yarns and myths from his own perspective, but the apostolic claim is that the source of Scripture is God Himself, that God breathes it out. The Bible isn't a book of advice or the collected writings of wisdom from successful people in history. It's the very Word of God.

It's objectively true, and we need to heed its message and instruction. Yet studying the Bible isn't always easy, especially for a new Christian. And today on Renewing Your Mind, R.C. Sproul will explain both why we should study Scripture and his advice on which books to read first and in what order.

Welcome to a new week of Renewing Your Mind, and until Friday, R.C. Sproul will be helping us in areas where all Christians need to grow, beginning today with the study of the Bible. And all week, you can request this ten-part series, the study guide, and Dr. Sproul's book, Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow, when you give a donation of any amount at renewingyourmind.org.

Here's Dr. Sproul to begin this practical series with his tips on studying God's Word. Today we're going to start a new series of ten messages that take us back to the most basic foundational matters of the Christian life. We are told in Scriptures that God calls us to be the craftsmanship of Jesus and that we are to be involved in those things by which we are nurtured to come to the fullness of conformity to the image of Christ. And so the five major concerns that we're going to be looking at in this series are these, how to study the Bible, how to pray, how to be involved in worship properly, how to get involved in service, and how we can become good stewards of the resources and gifts that God has provided for us. We look at these five things, and we can include all of them under the general topic of what we call in theology the means of grace. These are by no means all of the means of grace, but what is meant by that phrase, the means of grace, are those things, those activities, those gifts that God gives to His people that are designed to assist them and to help them grow spiritually. And so if we are to grow up into spiritual maturity, we need to make diligent use of those facilitating means that God has given to us to the end that we become adults in our faith. Now, as I said, this series is designed specifically for new Christians, but not exclusively because there are many Christians who have been Christians for years and who have struggled in these areas.

I mean, we recently had a seminar in my church trying to instruct people on how to pray, and one of the things that came out of that seminar was an overwhelming consensus among people who have been Christians for many, many years that they didn't know how to pray. They felt guilty because their prayer lives were not more advanced and more disciplined than they had been, and so they were looking for ways in which they could learn to progress in that area of their Christian life. And I have found that to be true also with the Christian concern for Bible study. So today we're going to begin with the first of these five means of grace, and that is to do with how we study the Bible.

And to start, I want to look first of all at what the Bible says about the importance of Bible study. So I'll direct your attention initially to Paul's second letter to Timothy to the third chapter. Now, it's important for us to understand the context in which the apostle writes the admonition that we're going to read in a few moments, that Paul is at the very end of his life. He stands accused by the Roman government.

He is under a death sentence, and he is awaiting his imminent execution. And so his final advice to his disciple Timothy is contained in this second letter to him. And so as we read it, we observe that what Paul is instructing his disciple Timothy to do by extension has enormous relevance for us. Now, he says in chapter 3 in verse 12, Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, but evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Now, that's the immediate context in which he gives the following exhortation. He's talking about how facing persecution is the lot of every Christian and the Christian community. And Paul, in the midst of this violent persecution under the emperor Nero, is saying to Timothy, Hey, things are going to get worse and worse, and people are going to come along who are imposters, who will seek to defraud you, to lead you into falsehood, who will deceive the people of God, and they themselves are deceived. And so this problem of deceiving people by distorting the truth of God is one that presents itself as a major problem in every generation and for every Christian community. And the apostle following after Jesus is profoundly concerned that Christian people be solidly rooted and grounded in the truth so that they may not be deceived and led astray by false teaching. I'll just say in passing that just recently there was this major television program and network television dealing with the nature of the quest for the historical Jesus put on by members of the Jesus Seminar. And when I read the results that are published by the Jesus Seminar people where they gather together and they debate among themselves what is authentic in the New Testament, what can justly be attributed to Jesus, and what is an accretion that is added on by some later editor or redactor or so on, and we see in this Jesus Seminar an unbelievably biased group of skeptics who have ripped the Scriptures to shred. And if there's any group of alleged scholars in 20th century America that would fit this description that Paul is giving here of deceivers and imposters, I would say it's the Jesus Seminar. In fact, I would say from an academic viewpoint that the Jesus Seminar represents, in my judgment, the lunatic fringe of biblical academics because they are utterly irresponsible and anything but sober in their treatment of the historical text. And just ignore the objective evidence that has been there for centuries and the analysis of the finest minds in church history with respect to basic issues of historicity with respect to the text of Jesus. But we need to be fully equipped in the things of God and in the teachings of Scripture to be able to resist these deceptions that we're encountering all the time.

So Paul goes on to say, in distinction from the imposters, he says now to Timothy, But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. I remember when I was a little boy, and there was a fellow in our community who was a couple of years older than I was, and he was something of a bully, and he used to make fun of me and hurt my feelings and call me names. And sometimes I'd come home crying to my mother and say, he said such and such about me, and my mother would wipe away my tears.

And she had her favorite response to this. She said, when people talk like that about you, son, she said, consider the source. Now that little bit of sage advice that my mother gave me when I was a little boy, crying because somebody hurt my feelings by an insult, was a principle that I learned to a much more intense degree in the academic world, that part of the rules of scholarship is to track down in your research the sources for the information you have to make sure that those sources are reliable.

And so you are careful to not just take everything at face value, but you analyze, you examine, you use the critical apparatus that is at your disposal to track down the real sources. And Paul is saying to Timothy, he said, continue in the things that you have learned and remember from whom you have learned them. Now, he doesn't say exactly for sure who he's referring to. Is he referring to his family, his grandmother, Eunice, whom he praises here for her nurturing of Timothy? Is he referring to himself as his mentor?

Remember that you've learned these things from me? Or is Paul directing Timothy's attention to the ultimate source of those things that he has learned, namely God Himself? But obviously the most important source for a Christian in understanding truth is God Himself. And that's why getting in the Scriptures and being students of the Bible is so vitally important.

Why? Because we believe that as the Bible maintains that the Bible is nothing less than the Word of God. And if we are to grow in grace and grow in our understanding of the things of God, obviously it's of great import that we be diligent in our study of the Scriptures. And so Paul says, from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. Now, Paul, remember, is a Jew, and he's very much concerned about the acquisition of wisdom. And the Jew understood the difference between wisdom and knowledge. The Jew understood that people could have all kinds of knowledge, all kinds of information, and still lack wisdom.

It's easy to be an educated fool. And in biblical terms, the essence of foolishness is this, that the fool says in his heart, there is no God. And in writing to the Romans, the Apostle Paul reiterates that point when he refers to us in our common nature and our basic disposition as fallen creatures is to trade the truth of God for a lie. And when we do that, we claim to be wise, when at that very time we are acting in a foolish manner. And conversely, the opposite of foolishness, according to the Scripture, is that wisdom that is rooted and grounded in the fear of the Lord. Again, in the wisdom literature of the Old Testament we read that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So, having a healthy sense of reverence for God is the necessary disposition of the heart for us to acquire that word from Him.

I mean, let me put it this way. There's a distinction between wisdom and knowledge. You can have knowledge without wisdom. But you cannot have wisdom without knowledge.

Again, I'll say it. You can have knowledge and not have wisdom. But you cannot have wisdom without knowledge. And the knowledge that gives us wisdom is that knowledge that is delivered to us from the Word of God. It is the Scripture, Paul says, that is able to make you wise, to make you wise unto salvation. And then in verse 16, he says, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Now, this is the Bible's claim to divine inspiration.

Now, when we talk about the source, here is the key text. First of all, when Paul says all Scripture, he's saying here all the grafe. Now, the grafe is the word that was used in antiquity to refer to the Old Testament. So, at the very least, Paul is claiming that all of the writings of the Old Testament are inspired of God. Now, elsewhere in the New Testament, we see the similar claim that would include the New Testament writings as well in this same category of Scripture.

But what Paul is saying is that Scripture is inspired of God, all of it. Now, the word that is used here that is translated by the English word inspire is a word that has doctrinal ramifications and consequences, and it's a decent translation. However, to be very precise and very technical, the word that is used here in the text is translated by the phrase, God breathed. And it refers to God's breathing out rather than God's breathing in. When you use the term inspire, that means to breathe into something. But the text here has to do with God's breathing out, and we breathe out when we speak.

Our words are carried, as it were, on the waves of the air that we breathe out. And so, what Paul is saying here is that the Bible, that the Scriptures, have been breathed out by God. That is, he's making a statement about the origin of the content of those things that are found in sacred writ. That the source, the supreme source for the content of Scripture is not some late first century or second century redactor or editor, or some person who's spinning out yarns and myths from his own perspective, but the claim that the Apostle is making here, the apostolic claim, is that the source of Scripture is God Himself, that God breathes it out. Now, the doctrine of inspiration speaks about how God, through the Holy Spirit, superintends the human authors in such a way that they are inspired by the power of the Holy Ghost to ensure that what is written is in fact what has its origin in the very mind of God. So, the Bible is the Word of God that comes to us through the means of human authors, but humans who are not just engaged in speculation, but authors who have been empowered and superintended by the Holy Ghost to ensure that what is produced is nothing less than the Word of God.

That's why the prophets in the Old Testament could preface their teaching by saying, thus saith the Lord. Alright, well then Paul says, all of the Scripture is given by this God breathing, this inspiration of God, and it is profitable for what? What's its practical value? What good is it?

What's the use? Why should we be engaged in Bible study? It's profitable for doctrine.

Now, what does that mean? Some people, you know, in our day and age say, oh, we don't need to be worried about doctrine. Doctrine divides. No, doctrine instructs. Doctrine gives you the foundation for your very life. What the Bible is is doctrine. The Bible gives you the content of divine truth. That's what doctrine is all about. To despise doctrine is to despise the Word of God. It's profitable for doctrine for reproof.

Now, this is something. We, even after we're converted, still need to be corrected. If we're going to grow in our sanctification, we need to have our sins revealed to us. And, you know, again, I mentioned a little while ago about using our critical apparatus when we are examining theories and so on. I was a philosophy major in school, and one of the things that we were taught constantly was to analyze, examine, to critique everything that we wrote and not just take something as being absolutely true simply because it was printed on a page, but we had to subject it to rigorous criticism. And I have found, however, that when I come to the pages of sacred Scripture, something different happens. Now, I'm the one who is subjective to criticism because I am underneath the Scripture. The Scripture is not underneath me, and there is no worse arrogance than to seem that we can stand over and above the Word of God and subject it to our critique. Rather, it subjects us to its critique, and it is profitable for this reproof that we may be corrected for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. To what end?

What is the ultimate purpose? It comes in the final clause, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. Now, Paul was writing to Timothy.

He said, Timothy, get in the Word. That's where you will get this prophet that will make you a complete Christian. If you neglect the study of God's Word, your life will be incomplete.

You will be missing out on this vast resource, this treasury of truth that is contained within it. Now, finally, to be a Christian is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. And the word disciple in the New Testament, mothates, in the Greek means simply learner.

So, anyone who would be a disciple of Christ must be a learner of the teaching of Christ. And we get the word discipline from that. And so, if we're going to learn how to understand the Scripture, we need to develop some kind of discipline of Bible study. And I'm going to be suggesting some practical ways to do that in our next session.

But for now, let me make some broad suggestions for you. In this regard, just like anything else, if I'm lacking self-discipline, the best thing I can do is to place myself under the discipline of somebody else. If you have struggled to be disciplined in studying sacred Scripture, then let me suggest to you that you get in a class, get in Bible study fellowship or a group like that where you're engaged in a regular process of Bible study. I would like to ask those who are present in the studio audience today, how many of you have read every single word that's printed in the Bible?

Let me see your hands. Alright, that's about half of the group that's assembled here. Now, let me just say to those who are listening on radio that the people who are assembled in this room today are people, for the most part, who have been Christians for years. And they're devout Christians, and they are people who come on a regular basis to these lectures because they're so much interested in adult Christian education. And yet, only 50% of this group have completed the entire text of sacred Scripture.

Now, I say that for a reason. Incidentally, in groups that I speak to around the country, this percentage that we have here today is extremely high. The overwhelming majority of Christians who have been Christians for 10 years have never completed the entire reading of sacred Scripture. And I want to ask the question this morning, why?

Why would that be? You would think that we would take to the Scripture like a duck takes to water. I mean, if we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, how would we want to go another day without making sure that we hear every single word that comes from the mouth of God? Well, I think that the biggest reason many of us fail to complete the reading of the entire Scripture is how we go about it in the first place. Most people endeavor to read the Bible initially from cover to cover, and they start with good intentions with the book of Genesis. And there's a basic familiarity, at least with some of the stories and narratives that are found in Genesis.

And Genesis, by the way, is basically narrative. It tells us historical events. It tells us stories about people like ourselves, about the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, about the drama of the life and the trials of Joseph, for example. It's like reading a novel.

It's very gripping, absorbing, and interesting. And then we move from Genesis into Exodus. And again, the flavor of narrative and drama continues. And we've all seen the movie The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston playing Moses, so we have a basic familiarity with the conflict between Pharaoh and Moses and the children of Israel and so on. That's part of the fabric of our cultural history, and so there's a certain familiarity.

And we read that, and we're comfortable. And then all of a sudden, as soon as we finish Exodus, we run smack dab into Leviticus. And Leviticus goes over and over these minute laws about the dietary regulations and the prescriptions for Hebrew worship in the desert and so on, things that are completely foreign to us, and it is frankly tedious reading. Now, at the same time, I have to say those details that are found in books like Leviticus and Numbers are extremely rich in how they point forward to the New Testament and to the coming of Christ. But for the person who's just beginning to read through the Scriptures, there is no framework, no skeleton to hang one's hat on to understand these things. And so people become discouraged, and they sort of drop out from the program.

They'll stop in the middle of Leviticus or Numbers or Deuteronomy. Now, here's how I relate to that. When I enrolled in college as a freshman, I had to declare a major. And I thought the thing that I would like to learn about was history because I had liked history in grade school and in high school. And so I signed up as a history major in college. And my first course in college in history was the history of civilization that began with the Sumerians and the Acadians and the Egyptians and the Chinese and everything and went from antiquity all the way up to World War II in my first semester, my first course in history.

I made a D in the course, and at the end of that course, I changed my major because I got lost. I was overwhelmed with details, overwhelmed with facts. I had no basic outline of the history of the world to sort out all of this myriad of detail that was new to me.

It was really a knowledge explosion that I was simply not prepared for. And then I discovered later on that once I had a skeletal outline of the history of Western civilization, of the major movements that took place in the major epochs of Western history, then I was able to fit things in, sort it out, and come to an easier understanding. But to have knowledge, first you have to have the outline.

You have to have the basic structure, and then you add to that structure and build on the structure in order to complete your knowledge. And so the way I recommend that people study the Bible, particularly for the first time, is to do it like this. Start reading at Genesis, read Exodus, then move to Joshua, to Judges, to 1 and 2 Samuel, to Ezra, and Nehemiah. That's how I tell people to read the Old Testament, and that's a very, very small portion of the Old Testament.

But what is it that I've just advised people to do? I've given them a historical overview of the Old Testament. It's an introduction to Old Testament history, starting way back at creation, going through the patriarchs, going through the Exodus, going through the conquest of Canaan under the military leadership of Joshua, drama, interest, reading like a novel, okay? And then at the end of the book of Joshua, we enter into that interim period where Israel is led, not by a king, but by charismatically endowed individuals who were called judges. And the book of Judges is a really exciting book to read. And then at the end of Judges, we read 1 and 2 Samuel, where we learn of the transition from this loose federation of tribes led by judges over to the kingdom that is established with Saul and then with David and Solomon and so on, so that we get a sense of what is going on in Jewish history. And then you read about what happens during the exile and the return from exile with Ezra and Nehemiah. And so after that, you have that overview of Old Testament history.

Then you can go back in and plug in the rest so that you can fill out the skeletal framework. Now, the second stage that I advocate for people who are studying the Old Testament at this point is after they first read Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, Ezra and Nehemiah, that phase two for the Old Testament is to read Amos and Hosea, two short books that are called minor prophets. In the Old Testament, there are twelve minor prophets. But two of the most famous and most important of the minor prophets are Amos and Hosea.

And by reading those two books, a person gets a taste of the prophetic literature, a taste of what the prophets' concerns were in the nation of Israel. Then I ask that they read Jeremiah, who is one of the major prophets. I mean, you have Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.

But I think the easiest of the four to start with is Jeremiah. And so I recommend that people read Jeremiah. And then I ask people to read Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. Not tackling the book of Job yet, but looking at Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon, two very short books in the Old Testament that introduce you to the wisdom literature of the Old Testament.

Because we have wisdom literature, the poetic books, we have the historical books, and we have the prophets are the divisions that we find in the Old Testament literature. And then finally, I recommend the reading of the Psalms and the Proverbs, although I have a different kind of technique for the Psalms that I'll mention in a few moments. And so that's the way I would approach the reading of the Old Testament.

And then, of course, the next stage is you fill in the blanks, what you haven't read before. Now you have the structure and the framework to go back and read Leviticus and Deuteronomy and the other prophets and so on. Now, I do the same kind of thing with the New Testament. I suggest that people read one gospel first. And my recommendation is that they read, first of all, the gospel of Luke. We're at least familiar with the Christmas story, the narratives that introduce the birth of Jesus. And Luke's writing is extremely rich, and it was written especially for Gentiles, and that's who we are.

We don't have to have all the knowledge of the Old Testament literature that the illusions that are made, for example, in Matthew's gospel might escape us. We don't get those so often in the gospel of Luke. Plus, Luke, as an author, wrote two books in the New Testament. He wrote a sequel to the gospel called the book of Acts.

And so we can see by reading Luke's gospel the continuity between the life of Christ and then the experiences of the apostles in the early church that are recorded in the book of Acts. So I would say read, first of all, Luke, then, second of all, Luke's second volume, namely the book of Acts, and then I recommend that people read the book of Ephesians, which is their introduction to Paul's teaching, and then to 1 Corinthians, because 1 Corinthians is so filled with practical issues that arose in the early church that Paul addresses in the Corinthian congregation. Then I suggest that people read 1 Peter to get a taste of Peter's concerns, and then the first epistle of Paul to Timothy, because this is one of the so-called pastoral epistles of the New Testament, and then graduate to two big books, the book of Hebrews, which is one of the richest books in all of Scripture to communicate the person and work of Christ to us, and then finally to read Paul's magnum opus, his great theological work, the epistle to the Romans.

And so it goes like this, Acts, Ephesians, 1 Corinthians, 1 Peter, 1 Timothy, Hebrews, and Romans. And then just as we've done in the Old Testament, go back and read the rest of the New Testament books after you've familiarized yourself. Now, as a practical method, I often say to people, you may want to combine your reading of Old and New Testament literature on a system. What I used to do was I read so many chapters in the Old Testament and so many chapters in the New Testament every day until I completed the study of Scripture. And my discipline was to do this, to read one Psalm each day, to read five chapters from the Old Testament every day, and four chapters from the New Testament, which gave me really ten chapters in all, six from the Old, four from the New. And remember, the Old Testament is much larger than the New Testament, so even with that process, I would finish the New Testament before I would finish the Old Testament. But I think that this is a helpful scheme to follow, even if you're a veteran of Bible study. Martin Luther made the observation that he thought, and he taught his students that he thought that it was important for a Christian to read through the whole Bible once a year. He said, just to keep the winds of the hole blowing through your mind because it's easy to get lost in one portion of the Bible. And remember that the biggest context for every scriptural text is the whole context of Scripture. It's the forest in which all of the trees are planted. And Luther said, then you go and you isolate certain groves of trees in the forest for more specific and careful, detailed attention, and then you pick out a particular tree and examine it carefully. And then you examine the branches, the twigs, and the leaves of that particular tree. And Luther, of course, being a biblical scholar, said it doesn't really get fun until you're turning over each leaf and examining the details of the Word of God. And it is a marvelous experience of edification for the Christian life to follow this kind of procedure. Now, I also recommend as a practical matter that people who are studying the Bible use their pens. Use pen and ink and highlighters.

Don't be afraid. There's nothing sacrosanct about the paper that the Bible's printed on. But if you're going to interact with the text of Scripture, it's helpful to be writing notes in the margin or using your highlighter to highlight certain texts that you may want to memorize or that you may want to come back to because they're particularly difficult. And I think it's important that we have practical aids and helps that are at our disposal when we come to this task of studying the Bible. A whole large portion of my library is made up of commentaries. But of course, I'm in this full-time professionally, and I have to spend the money, and the average layman can't have, you know, a couple of thousand commentaries in their house.

I understand that. But there are excellent one single Bible commentaries that you can get to help you work through difficult passages. Also, every student of the Bible should have a concordance on their desk.

Why? What does a concordance do? A concordance will list every time a single word in the text appears anywhere in Scripture so that you're reading a passage in the New Testament, for example, and maybe you come upon the word that you've never heard of before, like propitiation, and you try to figure out what it means in the text. And then you look it up in the concordance, and you look up every reference to it in the Bible, and pretty soon you get a good idea of what the concept means, or a word like justification or to sanctify or whatever. And I use concordances all the time to help me get the whole biblical view of a particular idea or a particular concept.

Now, there are words like love, where you may have several hundred references, and it may take you a long time to check each one out. But in the main, the concordance helps you keep the whole context and the whole purview of Scripture in front of you. Another help that you may find strange that I recommend is if you've ever heard Max MacLean, who does dramatic recitations of the Bible. He has those recitations on videotape.

He has them on audiotape. And I'll tell you, they move my soul just beyond belief, and it's a marvelous thing to hear the word recited in an exciting way that you can hear in your car when you're driving back and forth to work. You can be reading the Bible by hearing somebody read it to you aloud in a way that brings the proper emphasis to the text. And finally, I would say to people that if you're going to be a student of the Bible, you have to read the Bible existentially. And what that means is this, not that you adopt the philosophy of existentialism, but that you become involved in what you're reading. You don't just sit back as a spectator, untouched, unmoved by the text of Scripture, but get in the socks, get in the shoes of Abraham. Ask yourself, how does Jacob feel when he encounters God in this particular incident that is recorded in Scripture? What does this word say to me?

How does it penetrate my life where I live today? That's what I mean by reading the Bible existentially. The author of Hebrews echoes Paul's exhortation to Timothy, when in the fifth chapter he says to his audience, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God. And you have come to need milk and not solid food, for everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. We all start as infants in the Christian life. And at the beginning of the Christian life, just as babies in this world, we need milk. It would be a terrible thing to give a newborn infant a diet of steak.

They wouldn't be able to handle it. But it's also true that we would not nurture a child for 10 or 15 years simply on a diet of milk. There comes a point where we have to grow up and grow to the meat. And so the author of Hebrews, just as Paul exhorted Timothy, exhorts us not to be satisfied with milk, not to be content with being infants in the faith, but to grow to maturity on the milk. To grow to maturity on the meat of the word of God. We'll give you lifetime digital access to the series and study guide and send you his book, also titled Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow. So call us today at 800-435-4343, or visit renewingyourmind.org to request this series and book on Bible study, prayer, worship, and more. And your generosity is helping equip Christians around the world who are hungry for trusted teaching like you heard today. How is your prayer life? That's a question that can make us nervous when asked, as we all would like to grow in the area of prayer. And that's our topic tomorrow here on Renewing Your Mind. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-22 02:16:59 / 2024-04-22 02:30:42 / 14

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