There is no other book, ancient text, or piece of writing more important than the Bible. It is the word of God and gives us insight into the character of Him who created us, loved us, and died for us. It not only shows us who God is, but how to build His church the way He wants to build it. It is also vitally significant that the Bible is a way that God chooses to speak to us through the Holy Spirit. It really is a crucial and precious resource in our walk with the Lord, but it is also an exceptionally complex book, which we need to study and understand in order for it to help us grow into maturity in Christ. However, what are the tools we need, and how can we be equipped to study the word without leading ourselves down misty paths of misinterpretation?
On Wednesday, 1 February 2017, the Durbanville PM congregation combined all our communities for the start of a new and exciting Biblical journey. At the Soet Bistro, we all gathered to hear from teacher Luke Hulley for tips and “how to’s” on studying the Bible effectively.
The night kicked off in the usual JoshGen way: Friends, family and good good coffee. Eventually it was time to start and everyone grabbed a pen, notebook, bible, and seat, ready to learn. Along with excellent teaching techniques, visual aids and demonstrations from the ex-school teacher, we learned that the history, background and cultural information of the book we choose to study is quite important. There are so many treasures hidden in the chapters that the historical keys can unlock.
Another useful piece of advice from Luke (the JoshGen elder and teacher, not the biblical evangelist and doctor) was to summarise the book and chapters, choosing a summarizing verse for each chapter if possible. We also learned that asking the right questions like “What does this say about God?”, “What does it mean for us today?”, and “Who was this writing addressed to?” can steer our thinking of the scriptures towards deeper understanding.
We received amazing advice on reading correct versions for studying and using the Bible itself to study the Bible and we heard that all the knowledge could be lost if not applied correctly to our lives, teachings, and sermons. After a few demonstrations applied to Ephesians 1, we left encouraged, equipped and ready to dig into the word of God!
We are grateful for these tools that equip us to study the Bible on our own and excited about times in our communities, where we will be digging into the word of God further, together. We look forward to more teachings like this in the future that will open up the word to us and help us in our understanding of how great and wonderful our God is.