Seven Steps to Successful Study!
THIS BOOK contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveller's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword and the Christian's charter. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object, our good is its design and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened in the judgement, and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.Finding the meaning to a particular scripture or determining proper application is not easy. Proper study is not for the faint nor the lazy. Paul told Timothy:
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV)
The King James Version which many of us are familiar with begins with the word σπουδάζω (spoudazo ) which was translated as "Study."
The key is to be very diligent and studious as you examine your passage.
- look for repeated words
- study the pronouns
- look up words you don't understand
- consult an atlas/maps for geographical places
- study/mull passage until you know its primary meaning
Take your time and work at determining the meaning of a Scriptural passage. Don't forget a passage of scripture can not mean anything today or to you that it did not mean to the original author and recipients of the writing at the time it was written.
The Apostle Peter was very clear when he wrote, "knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation," (2 Peter 1:20, NKJV)
Study with all diligence to come to know the intended interpretation.
So, read slowly, read sedulously, read systematically, read strategically, and read studiously!