"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." (Acts )
This is the step that helps us "internalize" what we are learning. This is the process of further interpretation, which is determining the meaning of the text. Not just what it says, but what we do with it: to determine how it's going to "affect" and "effect" me to "fit into" our life.
· "It is not enough to just know it. It must be rooted in our very hearts, minds and soul!"
· We must ask ourselves, "How can the teaching about God's Word relate to my problems, feelings, values, attitudes, situations, ambitions, needs, desires, and relationships."
· Study with a not only a personal application in mind but also how can I be changed, renewed and transformed.
· Don't forget to write down what you are going to do about it (Rom. 12; James -25).
START LOOKING FOR THE ANSWERS:
"Interpretation" is the process of determining the meaning of the text.
You can not make an application until you are a "new life," that is we must be the people of God to be able to do the work of God!
· Ask the Question: "What is God Telling Me?"
· Ask the Question: "How am I Encouraged and Strengthened?"
· Ask the Question: "How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?"
· Ask the Question: "What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my listening to God?"
WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IS:
· Discover and understand what the divine author means. Example: When Jesus says He is the bread of life, does this mean He is the loaf of bread?
WHAT DOES SOMETHING MEAN AND WHY IS IT THERE?
· Discover the historical and cultural background.
· Be sure your information is correct!
· Look up what you do not understand! Make sure you use good commentaries, Study Bibles, and Bible Dictionaries.
· How are you encouraged and strengthened?
· Where have you fallen short, and how can you improve?
· What do you now intend to do with the information given to you by the Holy Spirit through God's Word?
Remember: "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching…" We must never substitute doctrine for personal beliefs! (2 Timothy 3:16).
· Consider any barriers you may have to knowing Christ further-about Him, His story, His character…?
· What about barriers from growing in Christ, and not taking time and effort in your spiritual walk?
· What are the barriers from following His will?
· What about barriers we place in the way of worshiping Christ in a deeper, more heartfelt way? Consider what distracts you. Remember, worship is not just a service; it is a lifestyle!
· What holds you back in your spiritual development and deployment? Traditions? Presumptions? Time? Commitment?
Be Aware of Context! You will get into big trouble if you try to read into the text what is not there!
· THERE ARE NO SECRET MEANINGS! (except some apoplectic writings, but they are not a "secret" just temporally hidden, they will be plainly revealed in time)!
· You are not to dig out what is not there!
· Getting into God's Word must affect our every day life. How we think, how we feel; this is where our values come from.
· We are to be active in God's Word even when we are not reading it.
· To our very "existential core" that is the soul and being of who we are to Christ!
· We must have the confidence that the Bible is truth, and the Truth is living within us. Without such confidence, we can no way be transformed ourselves, let alone infect others with the Gospel message! This is knowing It!
· We must allow God's Word to bend and break our will and desires over to His!
What did God say to you today? What did God nourish you with today? Are you appreciating it?
· Is there a sin in your life that needs to be confessed and repented?
· Are you not only receiving the great benefits, but practicing them to others around you?
· Are you a changed person as a result of receiving the Word?
Here are some more personal, inductive questions you can use to challenge yourself. Take a careful look at the passage you are studying; as you realize that it is indeed God's most precious Word, examine your life and compare it to the passage. Now ask yourself:
· How do I exhibit a life of fruit, character, love, faith, and maturity in my daily life now?
· How can I develop the willingness to be a more disciplined, character, fruit and faith driven person who will realize I am called, empowered, and filled by Christ?
· What blocks His work in me from working and being exhibited in me?
· How can I accept and commence His work, and discipline myself to carry it out?
· What can I do to make His work in me function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainty and stress?
· So, what is our LORD telling you?
Remember, service is who we are in Christ, and not so much what we do for Christ!
Condensed from the book, "Into Thy Word" (see Resources)
© 1979, 1998, R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org