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|· THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Understanding the 7 Biblical Approaches to The Word of God
The Bible is the only official document sanctioned by God as a treatise on God, man and creation! In it's pages we come face to face with the knowledge of the truth!
The bible is the greatest treasure that exists on planet earth! It is the unfathomable mind of God expressed in terms we can understand! It's God's words expressing who He is, what He is, what He likes and doesn't like!
We commonly use words to express ourselves, that's why the bible is called "The Word of God." It's God's expression of Himself in words, recorded for our benefit!
It's the definitive explanation of who He is, who we are and the nature of the worlds around us (spiritual and natural)!
How do we approach it? How do we glean from its contents our necessary, daily food?
Over the years, I've identified seven practical approaches to the word of God, which can be used for the renewing of our minds. They are...
The 7 Biblical Approaches To The Word Of God
(1) Read the word!
"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read, Luke 4:16.
Jesus' custom was not only to congregate but also to read the scriptures. This is evident because at 12 years old he was in the temple discussing the scriptures intelligently with men who had the equivalent of PhD's in scriptural knowledge!
When we read the scriptures, we gain information that leads to knowledge. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path," Ps 119:105.
The word of God gives spiritual light, which enables us to discern the true nature of the world around us. Reading gives information, which produces knowledge for direction.
Reading gives information!
(2) Study the word!
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed," 2Ti 2:15. We need to study, to get the deeper meaning of what was said. For instance, "thou shalt not kill!" Have you ever killed... a spider, an ant, or a mosquito? This particular scripture means don't commit murder or take the life of another human being unlawfully!
I know this illustration is simplistic, but I believe it accurately defines my point! What is said is not always exactly what is meant! Reading is good, but not enough! You must study in order to fully understand what is meant by what is said!
When we dig below the surface of what is written we begin to acquaint ourselves with the inner workings of the mind of God, and this brings spiritual understanding! "... With all thy getting get understanding," Pr 4:7. Studying gives explanation, which produces understanding.
Studying gives explanation!
(3) Meditate on the word!
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night," Jos 1:8.
The word "meditate" from the Hebrew is "hagah (pronounced daw-gaw') (yes, it's really pronounced with a "D") and means "to utter, ponder or imagine." So therefore, biblical meditation means thinking deeply on a portion of the word of God, turning it over in your mind as though having a conversation with yourself. And as you cogitate, you remain sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit who illuminates your understanding making plain to you what you couldn't see before.
The entrance of thy words giveth light", Ps 119:130.
Meditating brings revelation.
(4) Discuss the word!
"And it came to pass, that after three days they found him (Jesus) in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions," Luke 2:46. Jesus was listening and asking questions, He did not argue over doctrine... and neither should we!
Discussing the word of God with Godly associates is necessary! God gives to no one man, organization or denomination the full revelation on anything! To think that we have received the final revelation on any subject may be considered a sign of arrogance!
"For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection (of reality as in a riddle or enigma), but then (when perfection comes) we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known (by God)." 1Cor 13:12. (TAB)
Discussing God's word opens our minds to new concepts and ways of thinking thus expanding our capacity to receive more knowledge! Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
Discussing the word brings mental expansion.
(5) Memorize the word!
God told Joshua, "...These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart... And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, De 6:6, 8. In this scripture the word "bind" from the Hebrew is "qashar (pronounced kaw-shar') and can be translated "to mentally tie " or, "to remember". The word "hand" is yad (pronounced 'yawd') meaning "an open hand, indicating power or means."
So, we can interpret De 6:8 as saying, "memorize these words that I've spoken to you and they will provide for you a means of power.
"When the devil came to Jesus in the wilderness and tempted Him, Jesus quoted the word right back at him. Why? Because His spirit and soul were full of the word! The bible says, that what the heart is full of the mouth will speak. You fill your heart with the word of God by committing it to memory!
Whatsoever you continually allow into your soul makes a deposit in your spirit! "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him," Isa 59:19.
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the standard that the Spirit lifts up... is the word of God you have memorized! The Holy Spirit can only lift up against the enemy what you have deposited in your own soul and spirit!
If you have committed the word of God to memory, then in times of spiritual warfare you'll have ammunition that the Holy Ghost can use! The word of God you have committed to memory is the ammunition with which you can fight the good fight of faith!
Memorizing gives you ammunition!
(6) Confess the word!
"For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith," Mark 11:23.
Most preachers emphasize the 'believing' part of this verse as a means to receiving what we desired of God, but notice very carefully, Jesus said, we ought to "believe" only once in this verse but He told us to "say," three times!
Nothing Jesus did or said was incidental! He was always very specific with His words and actions, and in this verse He mentioned the word 'say or saith' three times, indicating it's superior importance in receiving the things we desired!
The utterance of what we believe out of our mouths affects the world around us either for good or evil! The power of death and life are in our tongues! When God speaks, He releases His breath! His breath is synonymous with His life giving Spirit! It is the active force behind the creative power of His words!
Let me explain:
It is God's faith, which gives power to His words but it's His Spirit who produces the manifestation of His words! When God breathed the breath of life into Adam He placed a part of His Spirit into man! Thus, we operate in exactly the same way that He does!
When we speak in faith we release (energize and activate) our spirit with our words, and it is our released (energized and activated) spirit which produces the environment that attracts the right people and circumstances to us which ultimately creates the manifestation of our desire!
Jesus said, "My words, they are spirit and they are life!" It is the same with our words they are spiritual, life-giving tools. They give life according to the very nature of the words spoken!
When we speak good and positive words, we give life to good and positive things. When we speak evil and negative words, we give life to evil and negative things. It is our choice! Death and life are in the power of our tongue!
Confession brings manifestation!
(7) Practice the word!
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves," Jas 1:22.
When we hear and understand God's word but do not practice it we are treading on dangerous grounds! The word is alive and powerful and can bring tremendous change to any person or situation. But when we are exposed to that power and respond negatively to it we attract to ourselves the opposite of its intentions.
For instance, if that word was supposed to bless, it becomes a curse! The word of God to Israel was, "go up and possess the land!" They did not respond to that word in faith and obedience but in unbelief and disobedience, thus every one who partook of that unbelief died in the wilderness! The very word of blessing became a curse! So it is with you and I!
The bible says, if you don't receive the truth you will believe a lie! If you believe a lie you will disobey God! And if you disobey God you will be cursed! Obedience brings a blessing, disobedience brings a curse! However, when we respond to the word of God in faith and obedience we activate its life-giving power and bring to pass its purpose.
Now the entire bible is God's revelation of Himself, so as we consistently practice its teachings we are gradually conformed to His character. In other words, as we learn to think and speak like God, we begin to take on God's character and act like Him.
So, this is the ultimate response to the word of God, practicing the word brings spiritual maturity or what the bible calls perfection! Over time, we'll progress to a state of perfection, which simply means consistently acting like God!
Practice brings perfection!
Now friends, since Jesus Christ is the focal point and central theme of all scripture, it is as we consistently practice these 7 steps, trusting the Holy Spirit to do His part, that our minds become renewed to the revelation of Jesus Christ.
And the clearer we perceive Him, the clearer our own images become. The more we discern Him, the more we understand us!
Because we are made in His image "...Let us make man in our image... Gen 1: 26. "...All things were created by him (Jesus The Christ), Col.1: 16.
Everest John Alexander is a Minister/Author/Internet Marketer in public ministry for over 20 years Pastoring for 4 years. He's married to his High-School sweetheart, Loraine and together they have two grown children, Andrew and Jade.
He's written several Ebooks published online at: www.KingdomLearning.com where you can get FREE ACCESS to Video & Audio Teaching, Ebooks, Articles, Quizzes, Poetry, etc. He recently completed work on his sixth book, "Understanding How To Pray Effectively."
To read his bestselling Ebook "Understanding The 3 Levels of Salvation: Spirit, Soul and Body" visit: www.3LevelsOfSalvation.com
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