Verse by verse study is essential
Why a verse by verse bible study?
The Easily Understanding Scripture series is not how the Bible is commonly taught in the world today. The books in this series are not a sermon or a directed teaching. They are a simple explanation of the scripture, whether they are verse by verse or topical.
More importantly, they are designed to readable.
Modern study bibles are marvelous gatherings of commentary—but often the Bible itself is lost in the clutter. Easily Understanding Scriptures is the result of a simple goal: presenting the bible richly in an easy to comprehend format to people who have a real desire to understand what was written and why it is important to us today.
Obviously, it is foolishness to think that we could possibly do this without the anointing of the Holy Spirit. On your part, it is equal foolishness to not pray for His guidance every time you pick up one of our books to read.
One of the issues we are dealing with here in mid-America is the lack of Bible studies. There are quite a few groups (often barely holding together) that meet around a book that claims to be a bible study. But they really are not a bible study—they are a topic study with some biblical references.
Topical studies can be good—but…
We’re currently involved in a topical group like that. We are using an entertaining book based on very shaky premises. The basic assumptions are easy to tear apart by anyone with a solid background in the Bible as a whole. But no one wants to do that.
As a result, we have a so-called Bible study where we don’t study the Bible, but simply share opinions. It is not required that you back up your opinions with Biblical references. This is nice and useful for building personal and social relationships—but it is of very little value in helping group members know the Lord better or grow in holiness.
The basic problem is a weak scriptural foundation
All leaders assume that their sheep are doing regular daily verse-by-verse bible study. In truth, few sheep do that. Even worse, few ministers do that. The result is that I constantly see and hear people in the church who do not have any biblical foundation with which to discern the latest fashionable teachings.
The danger is found in teachers who make major teaching series based on inadequate understanding of the whole Bible. Scripture is not something where you can pick out a verse, put your personal interpretation on it, and build a theology upon that limited base.
Bible study must be synergistic—
building on the entire gestalt of scripture
Whoa! What does that mean?
You must study the Bible line by line, verse by verse in its entirety. Only then can you safely pick out pieces woth which to build a teaching. Only then can you accurately discern the teachings you hear. Only then can you learn to recognize the voice of your Lord and build a relationship.
This encouragement to study is not to limit you or God. It is to help you get to know God better. Remember the core of the bible:
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
The word know here is the same one used for a husband knows his wife—an intimate relationship, the purpose of creation.
We are releasing a book on this topic called:
Knowing Jesus as His Bride
It is due to be released early in 2011. It examines the fact that knowing God intimately is required for salvation.