Christ is All in All

Christ is All in All

Do you see the repeated words/phrases I highlighted in this text? When you study the Bible inductively it is crucial to look (observe) repeated words. It takes a little practice, but over time you will begin to see the cream of key repeated words rise to the top of your passage. I will always remember my fourth grade teacher sharing a story from her childhood growing up on a farm in a rural town. After the cows were milked, she would wait patiently for the cream to rise to the top. Mrs. Sanford (I can envision her head of red hair to this day!), would skim off and put some of that incredibly sweet cream into her mouth for a tasty treat.

God’s Word is so much more sweet than any by-product of fresh milk. We shudder today to think of ingesting such a cholesterol-laden morsel, don’t we? The Bible, on the other hand, is both life and health to our soul. It doesn’t way us down with the type of fat deposits that are detrimental to our health.

Take a bite out of this text today. See Christ! He is the center of the book of Colossians and the whole of Scripture! Take out a notebook and make a list of what you learn from every reference to Jesus Christ and the tiny, but enriching word, ALL.

(Colossians 1:15–20 (NASB95)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or                      dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will               come to have first place in everything.
19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I             say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Total Rebuild or Partial Repairs

Total Rebuild or Partial Repairs

Studying the book of Nehemiah has awesome lessons on the subject of Leadership. I’ve observed it inductively a few times and participated in Bible studies in this book. I am presently back in Nehemiah for my personal study time. I avoided restudying this thirteen chapter section of God’s Word because I was so familiar with it’s main lessons for my life. How foolish! How prideful!

I am studying Nehemiah “inductively” which means I observe the text of God’s Word before I turn to man’s commentaries. As I read through the Scriptures, I mark repeated words and phrases. I was struck today by the words “built” and “repaired” in Nehemiah 3. If you decide to get into Nehemiah yourself, you will discover “Jerusalem’s wall was broken down and its gates burned with fire”. Nehemiah 1:3 Remember that context rules when you read the Bible and the key words above help you understand why there is a Chapter 3.

While the words “built” and “repaired” refer to Jerusalem’s actual wall and gates, I began to meditate on these two words. Applying God’s Word is crucial to study….taking it in and living it out. On a personal note, there have been seasons where the Lord graciously and totally rebuilt some area of my life. At other times, all I needed was a repair to my behavior or thinking. Romans 12:1-2 If I dwell on the rebuilding or repairing process, I will live in the “yesterdays” of my spiritual journey. It is beneficial to look back and see where He has done His sanctifying work, but to dwell there prevents me from living in the “today”. Daily He continues to repair the broken pieces of my life and I am so grateful. I am a work in progress and so are you! That wall and those gates were motionless as the people took hammer and chisel to reshape them into a wall and gates. So it is, God does the same in our lives…He does the rebuilding and repairing. We, like bricks and wood, do the yielding to His tools of restoration.

Is God the Father doing a total remodel in you now? Or maybe some much needed and neglected repairs. Be the clay and allow Him to form you into the image of Jesus.

If you want to jump into Nehemiah yourself, simply read through the book. Here are a few words you want to look for and mark:

  1. God of heaven
  2. Pray
  3. Wall
  4. Rebuild
  5. Repair

Also, make a list on a piece of paper of everything you learn about the God of heaven. Don’t forget to think on these things and put faith into practice.

Yada…Yada…Yada

Yada…Yada…Yada

Do you need more of an “experience” to “experience” God?

Have some Christians been given a quarter, a half…three quarters of the Holy Spirit?

Are you missing out on some special and divine knowledge of God that He imparts to some and not others?

Answers…NO, NO AND NO!

The Apostle Paul addresses these questions in his Letter to the Church in Colossae.

These questions have plagued Christ’s church from the first century to this very day.

The heresy of Gnosticism is running rampant across social media and in small circles of those who claim Christ’s name.

Gnosticism…now that’s an odd word. Where did that false teaching derive it’s name?

It’s root in the Greek language is “gnosis” which means “knowledge”. Pretty simple, huh? This was a doctrine that took that word to new extremes and had some believers feeling “less knowledgable” than others. It taught that a special few had a secret knowledge…a deeper knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are studying the Bible inductively with us, you will immediately see a key word here…KNOWLEDGE! It added things to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are studying the book of Colossians via Podcast. We invite you to join us for this overview Inductive Bible study.

Exercise Your Inquiring Mind

Exercise Your Inquiring Mind

Ever heard the slogan “Inquiring Minds Want to Know? I know…a not so great example, but the question posed is a good one. Especially if it is placed in the context of a very positive thing.

We begin our new BTI Podcast in the book of Colossians asking the question, “how do I exercise my inquiring mind?” This Podcast has a goal of introducing you to the inductive Bible study method. I will drop breadcrumbs of inductive principles as we “dig deeper into truth that transforms” together!

What is an inductive Bible study? Tune in today to discover more.

Download accompanying Colossians Resources

 

The Solid Foundation of Christian Ministry

The Solid Foundation of Christian Ministry

The first Beloved Truth blog post should begin with our extremely important and needful Mission and Vision Statement…right? The statement below sums up why we exist and it was prayerfully put in words that you could catch a glimpse of the passion of our ministry.

Beloved Truth International is a ministry that shares a variety of Bible Studies with the goal of reaching the world via Online and Local Venues. 

Mission Statement: to share Bible Study with people around the world. We accomplish this using a variety of online and local venues, in which we host LIVE Online Bible Studies, Training Classes, Webinar Events, Videos and more. 

Vision Statement: to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His Word.  Our passion is to see Christ followers who encourage others to go deeper into God’s Word, too!

Our foundation verse is 2 Timothy 2:2: “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

Yet, I believe the question posed in the first line of this blog should be answered…wrong! Where I must begin is with the heart of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His undying love for all people. If I do not speak first of the good news of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Beloved Truth International is an empty shell of existence. 

Many on the BTI Team of volunteer Online Bible Study Leaders and behind-the-scenes workers, study the Bible using the inductive method (I will share much more on the “how to’s” of Bible study in future blog posts). One of the goals in handling accurately the word of truth is to “observe” the text by marking key repeated words. We look for repeated words and phrases, so that we will “interpret” the passage in context. 

As a simple example, note the terms I marked in purple and red below and ask of the text…What do I learn from this conversation between Jesus and an extremely religious group, the Pharisees.

John 8:21-36 (NASB)

21 Then He said again to them, “I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.”

22 So the Jews were saying, “Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?”

23 And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.

24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

25 So they were saying to Him, “Who are You?” Jesus said to them, “What have I been saying to you from the beginning?

26 “I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.”

27 They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father.

28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

29 “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”

30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;

32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

35 “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.

36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed

37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.

38I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”

First, notice the contrasts between what He (Jesus) said they (the Pharisees) said.What did Jesus say in this passage? Let’s make a list using words from the text.

1-He was going away, they would seek Him, they would die in their sin, where He was going they could not come (v.21-22)

2-You are from below, I am from above (v.23)

3-You are of this world, I am not of this world (v.23)

4-Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins (v.24)

5-What have I been saying to you from the beginning (v.25)

6-I have many things to speak to you (.26)

7-I speak these things the Father taught Me to you and the world (v.26)

8-Spoke to them about the Father (v.27)

“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

“And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” (v.28-29)

8-As He spoke, many came to believe in Him (v.30)

9-Spoke to those who believed Him, If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of mine (v.31)

You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (v.32)

You will become free (v.33)

10-Everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin (.34)

11-the slave doesn’t remain in the house forever, the son remains forever (v.35)

12-If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed (v.36)

13-His word had no place in them (v.37)

14-Spoke the things He had seen with My Father (v.38)

15-You do the things you heard from your father (v.39)

There are many observations that come from this passage. Learning to ask who, what, when, where, why and how will revitalize your reading of the holy Scriptures. I want to point to “the point” of this blog and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Every individual has sinned against God. 

We are from below…the earth. 

Each person needs the One who came from and is from above…Jesus, who is God. Who always did the things that pleased the Father. He alone was without sin.

Unless we believe that Jesus is the I AM, in other words, God, we will die in our sins. 

How did Jesus die? He was lifted up on a cross and died to pay the penalty for our sins. 

When a person believes the good news, he is no longer a slave to sin, but is free and will continue in His Word.

Now would be a great time to go back through the text and make a list noting what you learned about those who were very religious and what they said to Jesus.

Let’s journey back to the first line of this blog post and why this is the wrong light to share why Beloved Truth International exists. While our Mission and Vision Statements are an accurate description of what we do and pray to achieve at BTI, we realize that “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3 If we neglect sharing the love CHRIST has for YOU, we have nothing to offer anyone. 

The goal of inductive Bible study is that we “apply” the truth of the Bible personally. Application comes in a few forms. Did you know that belief is one way we apply the Scriptures? 

Dear ones, I plead with you today…turn from your sin and receive the open arms of forgiveness in our Lord Jesus Christ today. We at BTI have a passion to help you grow in your relationship with God through getting to “really” know Him through what “He says” in the Bible. 

Discover more about entering a real relationship with God.

To “dig deeper” into this passage, listen to and follow the Beloved Truth Int’l Podcast.