Before we get going, the purpose of this sermon in training you to study God’s word, is so that you can live out our mission here at Kineo. The only way you and I can live the way we are called to live is if number one, you have the Holy Spirit living in you, and number two, you devote yourself to knowing God which can be accomplished through reading and meditating on Scripture, and prayer. Along with being an Acts 29 church who is committed to being a church plant that continues to plant other churches, here’s what we’re after here at Kineo in a nutshell:
1) Exalt God: This is worship. This means we display the beauty of Jesus through our lives of worship. This must be our first priority. Worship happens when we find our joy and pleasure in God alone. The overflow of our joy is always worship of what brought us joy. (Mark 14:3-6: this is what real worship looks like; John 4:23: He’s looking for worshippers)
2) Edify the body: This is community. This means we display the beauty of Jesus through living unselfish lives within the body of Christ for the building up of the church which means every member is using their gifts unselfishly to serve one another. (Rom. 12:3-6)
3) Equip the saints: This is discipleship. This means we display the beauty of Jesus by intentionally raising up leaders who not only live lives that are fully devoted to Jesus, but are leaders who multiply themselves by intentionally investing in other leaders (Eph. 4:11-13; men with other men & women with other women; 2 Tim. 2:1-2; Titus 2:3-5).
4) Extend grace: This is mission. This means we display the beauty of Jesus by living out the gospel in word and deed. We are to live as sent missionaries wherever we are by applying the gospel in every context of life and loving and being in relationship with those who are far from God. (1 John 3:16-18)
So with this goal in mind, we get into our sermon for today.
1) Read: “By Reading You May Have Insight”
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul encourages the churches to read what he has written so that “through reading they might understand his insight into the mystery of Christ” (3:4). The Bible is a book and as such must be read. And unless we have a relationship with Jesus, we do not have the Spirit and will not be able to understand the truths of God. While we must have a vital relationship with God through Christ to understand it properly, poor reading skills will hinder our comprehension of what God is saying. Some of us need to work on the skill of reading more. We should, as Christians and committed to Holy Scripture, develop our reading skills.
Then when the Lord begins to reveal truths through scripture, read it over and over until you have a good grasp on what you read. But there is a grid in which we all should read Scripture within, but not limit it to this grid. This grid is only to help you better understand the flow of Scripture and where it’s pointing you towards.
a) All Scripture is God breathed (it is perfect and true) 2 Timothy 3:16-17
b) Creation (God creates the world and gives man the ability to create out of what He has already created).
c) Sin (man rebelled from God in Eden, and still rebels even to this day).
d) Israelites (the people group in whom God chose to reveal Himself to the world and through whom He would send His Son, Jesus; a model of how God relates to us).
e) Prophets (the means by which God spoke to His people and offer redemption through the Old Covenant, before Jesus came to bring the New and better Covenant).
f) Redemption (God has offered mankind redemption through the person of Jesus Christ; He is always seeking to redeem people and things that have been wrecked by sin and its effects).
g) Reconciliation (God, in the last days, is going to reconcile all things to Himself, until then, He is reconciling people and relationships through the Spirit-empowered church).
2) Pray and Meditate: “And The Lord Will Give You Insight”
Pray and Meditate: The key to transformation is meditation which means prolonged reflection on a passage or truth in order to penetrate its meaning, relating it to other doctrines and life, and hearing God’s voice in it. Prayer and meditation is the bridge to meaningful obedience. Paul told Timothy to think seriously about what he said and that the Lord would give him insight into it (2 Tim 2:7). Unfortunately, just about everything in our driven society keeps us from investing time in prayerful meditation.
Nevertheless, God commanded Joshua to meditate on his word so that he could obey it and enjoy the blessing of success (Joshua 1:8: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.). As you meditate and worship God through Scripture, here are a few practical tips for you to study it”
3) Observe/Interpret/Apply: “But we have the mind of Christ”
Observation: First, we need to observe what it is we are reading and let all the details stick out to us. Write down all the people, places, things and events that are going on in the passages and look at the passage as if you have no clue as to what other passages around that passage says. Try to start without assuming what the meaning is. Practice on John 1:1-4.
Interpretation: Then we want to put the observations together to get a proper interpretation of the passage we are reading (reminder: we must also know what the whole book is saying as well, or else we will be in danger of reading our own meaning into passages). In interpretation, we need to try to understand the context and who the letter is written to. Then you can even cross reference other scriptures that relate to that passage. Most Bibles have reference passages at the middle or bottom of the page. Read those reference passages. Read commentaries (good quality ones) on those passages, listen to sermons about the passage.
You may even want to find the Greek or Hebrew meaning of key words or words that you don’t understand why they’re in that passage or why the author wrote a certain word. That means you may need a Greek/Hebrew concordance. Make sure you’re not verse dropping and claiming every promise in the Bible for your specific situation. That’s dangerous.
Application: How does this passage affect you. The Bible is not a list of to do’s, it is a story of what God has done for His people. What part of the passage speaks about things that you can’t do, and you need God’s help to do it? What part of it is asking you to submit, repent, ask forgiveness, forgive others, go and tell, stop in your tracks, change the way you live, etc… Let Scriptures affect you and your heart, not just change your behavior.
The issue is really one of blessing. The Bible was meant to be lived not just “figured out.” We must relate what we have learned—what the Lord has spoken to us about in meditation—to our lives and the lives of others. As James says, “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says” (James 1:22).
4) Talk About It:
Deuteronomy 6:4-9: 4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. ” // You get the point…don’t make this a legalistic thing. Let God’s word drench your life in such a way that you can’t not speak of it and teach it to those you love.
5) Teach it: “…entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
This is the one that will be the best tool for studying the Bible. There’s an old saying that says: “Whatever you give away, you keep.” 2 Timothy 2:2 says: “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Teach others so that they will teach others! When you teach the Word of God to others, you have to learn it first, then you remember it!
Again, don’t leave here and miss the main purpose of this message. God’s word transforms us to live out His mission in this world! It only does so, not if we memorize it and obey it perfectly, but only when we see the grace of God in it! Then we are free to obey His word and be changed from one degree of glory to another.
God is good and loving and present and active and on the look out for worshippers of Him and His grace! He loves you. He wants you to know Him. He wants you to enjoy Him. He wants you to be free from idolatry and sin. He wants you to see all the evidence of grace that He has poured out onto your life.
He wants you to stop sleeping around. He wants you to be free form lust. He wants you to be from addictions. He wants you to rejoice in your suffering. He wants you to be free to love your enemy. He wants you to love and serve your wife and kids. He wants you to honor and respect your husband…. and all that will only happen if we see and experience the grace and mercy (the gospel) of God in Scriptures!
Scripture must not be looked to as a guide until you’ve looked to Jesus as your savior. Turn to Jesus today, give your life to Him. You will not be satisfied until Christ is all!
So we devote ourselves to studying His word and let the power of the grace of God transform us from the inside out. Please, please, please, please, get this!! He loves you and His Word transforms you! Submit to HIm. Give yourself over to the study of His word and to fellowship with believers.
Hebrew 4:12: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.