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.
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.
38 “I 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.