Students, parents, friends, and random people: here is an opportunity for you to see and reflect on what we have been studying in High School Core. This blog will recap the lesson on Bible Study Methods, which sounds riveting I know.
Let’s dive right in!
We wrapped up our “Bible Study Methods” series by asking how we can develop a desire to study, instead of our devotions just being another boring reading assignment. It’s important to know what makes studying the bible boring to us, because all of us have many and different excuses. If we know our excuses, we can ask God to help us overcome them with self-control so that we have ears to hear what God wants to teach us through his Word.
But, maybe you are asking, “Why do we need to study the bible and what we can get out of it?”
If we know the why then we have a reason to actually do it. To figure this out, lets look at 2nd Timothy 3:16-17
“16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a]may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Can you tell the “Why” from this verse?
1. The first big reason is because it is God-breathed. Do you know what that means? Do you fully understand that? The God of the universe – the creator of earth and everything in it, the one who knew us before we were born, the Father who sent his Son to die for our sins – has given us this book, his Word, to speak to us. He wants us to use it to grow closer to him, to fall in love with him and to be his followers. So, now I’ve got to ask: Do you live out what you read in the bible as if it is truly God-breathed? Do you thirst to read the scripture knowing that it is directly from God? Take a second right now to wrestle with those questions, they aren’t something to be taken lightly.
If you are feeling convicted by this right now quit reading the blog, go open your Bible and spend time with God through Scripture and prayer. He would love it and I know you will too.
2. The second reason to read and know the Scriptures is because it is useful for teaching, not just for ourselves but our fellow brother and sisters as well as those outside our faith. The same goes for using it for rebuking, correcting and being trained in righteousness. The bible is useful for these things because it is the truth. The bible is the truth because of the first point, it is God-breathed. In our culture where the attitude is “do whatever makes you happy,” we need to rely on the Bible to tell us what the truth is – what is right and what is wrong. If we don’t, we can get caught doing what people say is best (which is usually not God’s best for us).
Now, since we know the why and the importance of studying the Bible, let’s dig into some Scripture and use the O.Q.IC method to study it. This method will help take your Bible study deeper – past surface level reading. It focuses a lot on context, which will really help us understand what the Bible is saying.
O.Q.I.C. is an acronym for:
Observe: What do you observe from the text? (keywords, themes, who, what, where, when, why, grammatical tools)
Questions: What questions do you have of the text? (what does it mean?, how is it saying it?, why is it stating this?)
Investigation: Finding answers to your questions (use canonical context-whole bible, immediate context-passage, keywords)
Completion: Summary of the text and application of it
Using this method, you will read a passage four different times looking for the different parts. By the end, you will take what you have learned, summarize it and figure out ways to personally apply it to your life. A good passage to start with is James 1:19-27
“19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. “
Now, it’s your turn. I’ve done a lot of talking here.
My challenge to you is this: find a good application from James 1:19-27 for you today, this week, this summer and DO IT! If we just study the bible and don’t apply what we learn, it is useless. If your Christianity doesn’t include action, then its not the Scripture that is boring … it’s you.
Anybody want to share a story of ways you’ve applied Scripture this week?