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“Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me." (Psalm 119: 98 ESV).
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#353, 9th October 2018
Hi, Friend,
Welcome to your newsletter. In this issue, we continue the theme of enjoying the Bible. We've included another edited chapter from Peter Wade's marvelous book Enjoy Your Bible and Understand It Too! You've also been treated to an article by F.E. Marsh entitled Seven Rules for Bible Study. In it he states, "The living man proves the fact of life. The Living Book proclaims the Living Author." 

We've included the familiar icons to tap or click, which will take you where you can respond to the articles, look up newsletters you've missed reading, and forward this newsletter to a friend. 

There's More Than
One Way to Read
the Bible


by Peter Wade

You will never enjoy the Bible if you merely read it as a discipline. 

How does a bride read a love letter? Well, she reads every word of it, that is, completely. “God is love” (I John 4: 8 ESV) and “God’s love has been poured into our hearts” (Romans 5: 5). The analogy fits well. Yet “completely” is not how most people read their Bible, our Father’s love-letter to us.

I’ve made the point for many years that we should remember that each book of the Bible was written to be read from start to finish. It was not written with the concept of taking a sentence out of the middle and one near the end. When a young church received a letter from Paul, I picture a gathering of believers sitting there listening carefully to every word.

How does a traveller consult a road map? The answer is constantly. We are pilgrims, travellers on a journey to a place prepared for us on the right hand of the Father. We have a passport that gains us entry into heaven. We sing, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through...” In past days we would have had a map to tell us everything we wanted to know (except how to fold it up again!). If we weren’t sure which road to take while travelling, we got the map out and checked it before proceeding. Now new cars have a GPS unit that talks to us.

I encourage you to go straight to the source [the Bible] constantly. Check up on what people tell you. Be like the Bereans who heard Paul and “received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17: 11). Even while watching Christian TV, when a speaker makes a debatable statement, Vivien and I say, “Book, chapter, and verse, please!”

So read the Bible completely; consult it constantly.

How does a scholar study a lesson book? The answer is carefully. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2: 15 NKJV). The word translated “study” in the KJV is “to be earnest” or “to be diligent,” and that takes effort.

How does a good soldier obey Army orders? The answer is conscientiously. Of course, we’re talking about God’s orders to us here, not denominational directions or the pastor’s insistence. The distinction is not always clear. The psalmist wrote, “Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation” (Psalm 119: 98-99 ESV). The whole of Psalm 119 is about God’s Word.

Jesus revealed that “the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John 12: 49). On the night before Jesus died, he told his disciples, “As the Father gave me commandment, even so I do” (John 14: 31b).

Let’s give the final word to G.R. Harding-Wood: “Practice, then, Reading the Bible completely like a love-letter; consulting it constantly like a road-map; Studying it carefully like a lesson book; and obeying it conscientiously like Army orders.”
When you've finished reading, we'd love to hear your thoughts about "There's More Than One Way to Read the Bible" from Enjoy Your Bible and understand it too! by Peter Wade.
              


In this book Peter Wade artfully leads you through the first steps to understanding what the Bible is saying. LEARN HOW TO: read what is written, mark your Bible to aid your memory, look for repetitions, contrasts, comparisons, take note of the little words that have big impact, and accept the integrity of God’s Word! All this and more in 17 powerful chapters with many examples, the wisdom of Peter's lifetime of Bible teaching. 


This book is currently available 
in eBook format, but we're excited to announce that our staff is working hard to help Peter release the new paperback version! It will be a great addition to your personal Bible reading library, and by making a multiple copy purchase with a 20% discount, it's a perfect way to begin your own group Bible study. Look for the paperback availability in the newsletter or on our website at www.peterwade.com.

Seven Rules for Bible Study

by F.E. Marsh

The  best way to prove the truth of the Bible is to study it. As the Living Word Himself proves His Deity, so the Written Word itself evidences its Divinity. Theories about Inspiration provoke controversy, but the fact of Inspiration commands attention. As life in its essence cannot be explained, so inspiration in its heart is beyond human ken.

The living man proves the fact of life. The Living Book proclaims the Living Author. Men’s books are bushes without the burning flame; the Word of God is a Bush flaming with the fire of God. “Inspired of God” is the Word’s claim, and it contains the life of God. It is God-breathed and God-breathing. As the Creator breathed into man’s body the breath of life, and thus united man’s body with his created spirit, so God has taken the body of human language and united to it the Holy Spirit, and breathed the breath of the Living Christ in its sacred revelation. We do not worship the Book as a Book, but we worship Him who is revealed in it, and because of Him we prize the Book.
   
There are many ways in which we can study God’s Word, some of which I have indicated in my “Fully Furnished” or “Christian Worker’s Equipment” in which will be found, on pages 150-172, ten ways in which the Bible may be studied, namely: Geographically, Topically, Concentratingly, Geologically, Comprehensively, Critically, Grammatically, Comparatively, Textually, and Practically
   
Broadly speaking, if the following seven rules are followed, the student will find himself so full of the truth of God’s Word that he will never be wanting for a theme.

1. Study the Text in the Light of its Setting
Sometimes the division between two chapters will mar the beauty of association. We have such an instance in John’s Gospel. Chapter three begins, “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus.” The particle “now” which is supplied in the Revised Version leads the reader to see what has gone before.

In the latter part of the second chapter we are told Christ did not commit Himself to certain disciples who professed to believe on Him, but He did commit Himself to Nicodemus, hence, in the conversation with him, as Sir Stevenson Blackwood once pointed out, Christ practically revealed to him every truth of the Gospel.
   
2. Study Words and Phrases
A phrase of frequent occurrence in the Epistles is “In Christ.” It will be found in at least three associations. It is an Inclusive term, for we are blessed by God the Father with all spiritual blessings “in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). “In Christ” is an Exclusive term. When Paul would designate himself, he speaks of himself as “a man in Christ” (II Corinthians 12:2).

Being “in Christ”, believers are no longer in sin, in the world, in condemnation, and in the flesh. Then “In Christ” is a Conclusive word, hence Peter speaks of “your good manner of life in Christ” (I Peter 3:16). At once we see the importance of the association of a phrase.
                                       
When you've finished reading Seven Rules for Bible Study, we'd love to know what you're thinking.
 
 

 
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