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Notes on R.A. Torrey’s “Methods of Bible Study”

Link: http://www.biblestudytools.com/resources/methods-of-bible-study.html

1. “It is an easy resolution to make, and not a very difficult one to keep; if the one who makes it is in earnest.”

“It is astounding how much heedless reading of the Bible is done. Men seem to think that there is some magic power in the book, and that, if they will but open its pages and skim over its words, they will get good out of it. The Bible is good only because of the truth that is in it, and to see this truth demands close attention.”

“God pronounces that man blessed who “meditates” on the Word of God “day and night.” Ps. 1:2, 3. An indolent skimming over a few verses or many chapters in the Bible is not meditation, and there is not much blessing in it. Jeremiah said: “Thy words were found and I did eat them.” (Jer. 15:16.) Nothing is more important in eating than chewing. If one doesn’t properly chew his food, he is quite as likely to get dyspepsia as nourishment. Don’t let anyone chew your spiritual food for you. Insist on doing it for yourself.”

Make up your mind to study the Bible everyday, investing time in it. I have to choose to want to study it, verses just knowing it is a good thing that should be done (I know I should exercise, but…)

2. “It is impossible to make a rule that will apply to everyone as to the amount of time that shall be given each day to the study of the Word. I know many busy people, including not a few laboring men and women, who give an hour a day to Bible study, but if one cannot give more than fifteen minutes a great deal can be accomplished. Wherever it is possible the time set apart for the work should be in the daylight hours. The very best time is in the early morning hours. If possible lock yourself in with God alone.”

Set a constant time for Bible study, best if in the morning.

3. ” It may be important to know what the great men have to say on important subjects; it is far more important to know what God has to say on these subjects. It is important also to know all that God has to say. A great many people know a part of what God has to say–and usually a very small part–and so their ideas are very imperfect and one-sided. If they only knew all God had to say on the subject, it would be far better for them and for their friends. The only way to know all God has to say on any subject is to go through the Bible on that subject.”

“The topical method of Bible study is simplest, most fascinating and yields the largest immediate results. It is not the only method of Bible study, and the one who pursues it exclusively will miss much of the blessing God has for him in Bible study. But it is a very interesting and fruitful method of study. It is Mr. Moody’s favorite method. It fills one’s mind very full on any subject studied. Mr. Moody once gave several days to the study of “Grace.” When he had finished he was so full of the subject that he rushed out on the street and going up to the first man he met he said: “Do you know anything about Grace?” “Grace who,” the man asked. “The Grace of God that bringeth salvation.” And then Mr. Moody poured out upon that man the rich treasures he had dug out of the Word of God.”

Try studying the Bible topically.

Wow, I’m going to try doing the last one, seems very profitable. The article has more to say on this topical study. Also will be implementing morning devotions again, devotions at night seem to be less beneficial because after I wake up I forget much of what I’ve learned, didn’t get to apply it. And finally, I have to choose to study the Bible, not approach my God with grumbling but with gratitude.

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Hey all!

Jonathan mentioned yesterday about book dioramas… though I’ve never made one,here’s a book report.

C.S. Lewis (Men of Faith) by Catherine Swift

There’s a copy of it in our sunday school room, or you can buy it here:
http://www.amazon.com/C-S-Lewis-Faith-Catherine-Swift/dp/1556611269

Summary:

I was encouraged to learn about this man who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia. This book is about his life and how he came to accept Christ, but mainly about how he came to accept Christ (since he became a Christian at age 31). His life was filled with much difficulties.

This book encourages me to live by faith in God instead of living by emotions and my current life situation. It also encourages me to want to read Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity, all by C.S. Lewis.

Interesting points from book:

– Book mainly on how he fought and despised Christians and the religion.
– Insight into how Chronicles of Narnia came about (At the age of 5? he began writing Animal Land)
– Tolkien (Lord of the Ring series) was a Catholic, good friend of Lewis.
– Lewis eventually gave into Christianity by “kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape.”
– Learned many things that I didn’t know about him (how he finally married while trying to help a woman and her children stay in the country, he is dead, fought in World War I)

I highly recommend this book!  :]
Take care,

– Joshua H Wu

1. “The contemporary evangelical Church is ‘Corinthian’ to the core. It is being stewed in the molten juices of its own sensuality.” I agree because many times the way we behave towards the opposite sex at church would be no different than the way we treat others outside of church. Praise God, at my church it is more enforced and spoken against, though we aren’t perfect in this matter. In my personal life I still constantly battle the temptation to stay pure though most likely I still have many actions and attitudes that came from the past.

2. “At the moment [of lust] we forget about God and lose all reality.” In my battles with temptation I have found this to be true, that as soon as I give in to temptation everything God has done for me and told me to do goes out of the window. The most effective way to prevent moral lapses is to prevent ourselves from even “taking a second glance.” To remember why it is we strive for godliness and purity. For God, because He forgave me for every sin I have commit and will commit to free me from sin’s grasp.

1. Prayer

– pray for purity

2. Accountability

– with your spouse, with brothers and sisters of the same sex

3. Discernment

– what situations to avoid, to not “take a second glance”

A way I found effective in helping me flee from temptation is as simple as spending time investing in someone else’s life. Whether just hanging out, spending time with them or even praying for them.

– Just a few minutes spent watching TV or surfing the web today and one can find sensuality being paraded as fine. Sex, lust and adultery are becoming less of a deviance but is even being encouraged in our culture today.

Progressive desensitization to sin and descent from holiness can take any man down.

– Even if the culture allows the sin, by the Bible it is still a sin, abominable in God’s eyes.

1. R. Kent Hughes uses the example of David and Bathsheba to present the dangers of not being on guard and pursuing the discipline of purity.

– Dangerous to relax at disciplining myself; if I am not pursuing and growing in discipline, what direction am I going in? I must be backsliding!

– When lust takes control I forget about God.

– In the heat of the moment it seems we can come up with the weirdest rationalizations to justify our lust. one ex. would be “I’m acting in love.”

2. Eventually a thought becomes an action, and an action leads to another until this snowball effect destroys the lives of not only the individuals involved but also their friends, family, church, life.

– There are great consequences for our sin (specifically lust)

3. The discipline of purity involves:

1. Accountability

– your spouse, your brothers/sisters in Christ, your mentor. Ask them to keep you accountable in this area.

2. Prayer

– to be intentionally and consistently praying for your intention to be pure and for others also in this regard.

3. Memorization

– Let God’s word change me, to be able to recall scripture at the most critical time when we must choose to either fall or flee from lust.

4. Mind

– To be careful what we think about and what we look at; Our actions, our words will reveal the impurities of our hearts.

– We must forbid a second thought, a second glance at temptations but instead focus on Christ’s love for all men and women.

 

Great chapter on the discipline of purity, thank you R. Hughes!

Application/Response

 

God spoke to me most specifically that with my life being undisciplined I am ignoring many other people’s needs and instead of being one who exhorts his fellow brothers and sisters I instead dragged them down.

Some practical ways to grow in discipline

-          Set aside time with God

-          Set aside time for studying the Word

-          Make a schedule of tasks/goals and follow it.

 

2. Anyone can become disciplined men of God – a spiritual Mike Singletary or Winston Churchill. As Christians nobody had a spiritual advantage over another – all men fell short of God’s perfect standards. We all draw strength from the same Creator; the same God is with us all and with Him, who can stand against us? Let the gospel be preached to all nations, Jesus saves!

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