How to Study the Bible Session 14

Download (right click and choose save as)

How to Study the Bible Session 14

Bible Study XIV


I have mentioned several times that the most important step of Bible study is the step of application. The Bible was written not to make us comfortable but to conform us to the character of Christ. Life change, therefore, is the goal of Bible study.


We live in an ever-changing world but the Bible is eternal and unchanging.  We do not change the truth to fit our agenda and our culture. In Genesis 2:24, we see how God set up the institution of marriage. What did Adam and Eve’s marriage look like before the Fall? Imagine the trust, communication, partnership, and intimacy they shared. But then sin entered the relationship and things changed forever. Mistrust, selfishness, pride, and lust had to be contended with, yet God’s truth did not change. He still expected Adam and Eve to live as one flesh. What did a one-flesh relationship look like when the Israelites came out of Egypt when polygamy was so prevalent? What did the one-flesh relationship look like in the days of the Pharisees when the question was, “How could a man get out of a marriage, not stay in it?” How did a couple pursue a one flesh relationship in 1st Century Ephesus when people were marrying in order to divorce? What does a biblical marriage look like in the 21st Century?


More than half of all new marriages are ending in divorce today. Sexual infidelity is rampant, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are threatening our society. Both parents are working to pay the bills. More and more families are living in a “blended family” situation. How does a couple practice “one-flesh marriage” in today’s cultural climate? How do we apply Biblical truth to our situation today?


Context, context, context.


Knowing the context then and the context now will help apply the Word of God. You must understand the ancient culture of the Bible. We said that the six key questions to ask in Observation were the 6 Ws. These are the same questions that need to be asked of the culture we live in today. Answering the

m will help us apply the Word to our situation. Let’s take the issue of marriage. Who is involved in a marriage today? Who are the partners? Who should we marry? What does a marriage look like today? What are my responsibilities in marriage? What does a biblical marriage look like today? What does the Bible say about remarriage? Where are marriages headed? Where should we look for a spouse? When should a person

marry? When is it appropriate to get a divorce? Why does God expect the marriage relationship to mirror Christ and His Church? Why did Jesus not marry? How does one stay in a marriage that pulls you down spiritually? How does a person cope with a spouse that has died? These are all questions that will help you to know the context of marriage in the world that we are living in.


It has been said that we should have a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other if we really want to make application of the Word. You should have an understanding of the world you live in. We can never completely understand the world we are living in but there are many issues that if addressed will help our Bible study. We should have an understanding of: Power (Who is in charge of making the decisions?), Communication (What are the means of communication? Who has access to the media? Is the information credible and reliable?), Money (What place does money have on our values? What resources do we have?),

Ethnicity (What people make up our culture? What history and values do they bring?), Gender (What are the roles of men and women? How do the sexes relate?), Generations (How are families structured? What value is there on family life?  What are our young people being taught?), Religions (What are the dominant religions? What are the trends? What groups are growing fastest?), History (What is our story? Where do we fit in to our history?), Place (Where is our culture located geographically? How mobile are we as a society? What wars have been fought on our soil? How long do we live in one place?).


lf you can answer some of these questions about the world around you, you will have some great insights to how our society operates. Does the Bible have anything to say about abortion, euthanasia, cloning, or birth control? What about nuclear power, powerful CEO’s and leveraged buyouts? Is there anything in the Bible about public education, prison reform, health insurance, housing, or waste disposal? Does the Bible address AIDS, arthritis, Alzheimer’s? Absolutely! If we are going to read the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, we have to face these kinds of issues. There is a connection between the Word of God and the world we live in. The better we know the context of the Bible and the context of own culture, the better bridge we be able to build to the 21st Century and the better we will be able to apply the Bible to our everyday life. But remember, the Bible is not a biology book, business manual, or a history book. It is a life transformation book.




We are going to study the book of 1 Thessalonians. We will be using the steps of Bible study we have learned: Observation, Interpretation, and Application. Go back through your notes that you made three months ago. Read thru the book several times. Try to gather as much information as you can (authorship, geography, history, context, date and place it was written, purpose, and major issues). Uncover the theme of the book, try to pick out the divisions of the book. Outline it if you can. We will get started on the 29
. Bless you, my Bible detect