As we grow in our walk with Christ, knowing God’s word (and seeking it with zeal) is one of the most important things we can do. After all, he’s revealed himself to us in two primary ways: Through his Holy Spirit, which we received as a gift when we became Christians, and in his Word.
This post is the 10th of 15. In each post, I’ll be examining my personal “Top 15″ things leading to successful bible study. This series of posts can be filed under “Making it Happen.”
Click the link to view yesterday’s post on having a Study Plan.
Making it Happen: My corner of the house: Like anything else in life that we do more than once, bible study is something that works best as a part of a routine. If I had to roam around and collect all the elements for my study every day, find a comfortable place to sit and organize everything, I’d be a lot less likely to do it every day. Luckily, my wife and I have found a spot that works for both of us to do our daily study … and to have all of the materials we need close at hand.
I’ve got all my books stacked (more or less) neatly there. I’ve got a comfortable chair with a floor lamp behind it. All I have to do is bring a cup of coffee and my iPhone (which, per yesterday’s post on Study Plans has my reading plan embedded in the Austin Stone iPhone app) and I am ready for a great morning of study. If you can spare the space, I highly recommend a dedicated place for study that can double as a place to store all of your study aids.
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The Message is not a Christian book, it was written by a new ager – a man involved with very dubious occult beliefs.
Eugene Peterson is not a “new ager” – he is a man of God who was given deep insights and special gifts in sharing the gospel. You could not be more wrong!
Without the Holy Spirit no one can understand the Holy Scriptures.
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by [the] revelation of Jesus Christ. …But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.”
– Gal. 1:11-12.
If the gospel that we preached has been handed down to us by men, or if we have learnt it from men, or even if we have compiled it ourselves from the pages of the New Testament, it is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
No man can learn the Gospel; for it is not something which can be taught him. The Gospel is revealed ‘to me’ in as much as Jesus Christ is revealed ‘in me’. Jesus Christ Himself is the living Gospel, written into my heart and into my mind (see Heb. 10:15-16) by the Spirit of the Living God. He is the living Word. Many may preach from the Scriptures, but they do not preach Christ unless He is revealed in them, and they are not conferring with flesh and blood.