Understanding The Bible: Part 1

The podcast of this talk will be up very soon. Watch this space!!

This week we looked at part 1 of our Understanding The Bible series, learning with intrigue a great truth when it comes to the Bible – it is written for us and if we will allow God to guide us we can learn great truths about him… but are we willing?

Unlike a science textbook the Bible was not written to confuse us.

Like last week we started by looking at [biblegateway passage=”2 Timothy 3:16″], and answered three questions:

  • Who wrote the Bible? 2 Tim 3:16 – ‘all scripture is God breathed’
  • What is the Bible for? 2 Tim 3:17a – ‘teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness’.
  • Why do we have it? 2 Tim 3:17b – ‘so we’re thoroughly equipped’

The Bible has a structure; it has a story and a sense.

To help us understand Bible we need to be aware that there is a bigger picture.  The contextual facts about the Bible are:

  • There are 66 books (yet one book)
  • It was written over 15-1600 years
  • It was written by 40 writers, but has only one author!
  • It is God’s story – His involvement in His world
  • It contains different types of writing:
    • Historical – e.g. Genesis
    • Law – e.g. Exodus
    • Wisdom – e.g. Proverbs
    • Prophecy – e.g. Isaiah
  • There are different styles:
    • Poetry – e.g. Psalms
    • Teaching – e.g. Romans
    • Letters – e.g. 2 Timothy

The structure of the Old Testament is as follows:

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The structure of the New Testament is as follows:

Slide07

THERE ARE THREE MAIN PARTS TO THE STORY OF THE BIBLE:

It tells us that:

  • God is alive – this was shown by God sending Jesus
  • God is relevant – Jesus is fully human and fully God.  He understands what it’s like to be one of us
  • God is relational – Jesus came to show us what life is really like.

TO WHOM DOES THE BIBLE BELONG?

  • The Bible belongs to YOU – (Deuteronomy 29:29) – and it tells Bible us everything we need to know about God!
  • God has revealed it to US by His spirit – 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
  • To everyone that knows Jesus

THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:

Understanding the Bible is not just about:

  • Intelligence – because God helps us to understand it.
  • Education – Jesus is more interested in who we are and who we can become
  • Social position – age and background are irrelevant

It does not depend on who we are, because God reveals it to us!

CAN WE UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE??

Yes.  Understanding the Bible is not just a mind thing neither is it just a heart thing.  It is a heart AND mind thing based on a relationship with Jesus (Mark 12:30)

HOW CAN WE UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE?

If we are to understand the Bible we need God’s help. God offers His help to each one of us.  But as we come to read the Bible we have to want to learn, we need a desire to find out more about God. And we need to pray that He will speak to us and open our hearts as we read.

The question is: ‘are you willing?’  Are you willing to read the Bible?  Are you willing to allow God’s Spirit to guide you?  Are you willing to allow God to speak to you?

If the answer is yes, grab a Bible, pray that God would speak to you, open up Mark’s Gospel, read and listen to what God is saying.

When we meet again on 23rd March, it would be great to hear what He’s been saying to you!

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