Principles of Basic Bible Study

The job of a real preacher is not to "interpret" the Bible, but rather to "rightly divide" or "portion out in bite sized portions". Notice that the same Bible that says the scripture is not open to private interpretation also advocates it's being "rightly divided" by a preacher.

II Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

II Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

* I hope to cover just a few basics here that will help arm our readers against deceivers. We need to understand that a deceiver will also be quoting scriptures, but the bottom line will be that the false preacher will be teaching why it is not essential to obey the Bible. Two men will use the exact same Bible. One will use it to deceive folks into disobeying it, the other will use it in an attempt to get people to see the importance of obeying God. Here are some important points to consider:*

* 1) Matt, Mark, Luke and John were not penned until well after the churches were established (as recorded in the book of Acts), AND they tell the history of a time right BEFORE the new testament church was born. During these books, Jesus always referred to His church in future tense and that "conversion" was something that would come later. Jesus did not consider Peter "converted" even though Peter had been with Him for quite a while as a disciple. *

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

* (The "ROCK" was the revelation that Jesus was God Himself (the messiah). *

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

(Peter was not "converted" until he was re-born in Acts 2:4)

* 2) Jesus chose to use Apostles to teach His message. The _ONLY_ record that we have of anything that Jesus said is what an Apostle wrote down. People who received the doctrine of the Apostles were said to have received "the word" or "Word of the Lord Jesus". (Receiver=Obeyer) *

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.

Acts 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.

Acts 19:10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:

* Paul preached the same Acts 2:38 message that Peter preached on the birthday of the new testament church. Notice that Paul disputed daily with those that opposed the "word of the Lord Jesus". *

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

* Noticing above that I started at Acts 19:9 where the Bible speaks of those who "believed not" and spoke evil of the "way" that Paul was preaching. Let us go back further and see what the "non-believers" were speaking evil of! Notice carefully that Paul followed the Acts 2:38 formula exactly, even re-baptizing John's disciples: *

Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Acts 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.

Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Acts 19:5 When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Acts 19:7 And all the men were about twelve.

Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.

* Now go back and look again at Acts 19:9 concerning those "non-believers" that were speaking evil of the "Word of the Lord Jesus" that Paul was preaching. We have people on this network who also speak evil of the "Word of the Lord Jesus". Look at what Paul has to say about them: *

Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

3) Remember that the book of Romans forward were letters (epistles) written to those who had obeyed the "Word of the Lord Jesus" that the Apostles had preached.

Rev. Steve Winter

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