By Mike Riley

6) Desire To Understand God’s Word!

Psalm 119:34 states, “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” There are two common reasons why man is unwilling to understand the Bible: (1) “self-satisfaction” and (2) “self-conceit.” This is the way a selfish young man often loves a young lady. He loves her for only what pleasure she brings to him – thus really loving himself, not her. We must not allow our determination to seek the truth deteriorate into the plight expressed in the words, “the truth as I see it.” Let us ask ourselves the following questions regarding the truth of God’s word:

By Mike Riley

One of the most prevalent causes of misunderstanding the Bible is that the student fails to approach the Bible with the “right attitude.” In this way, God’s method of teaching him the truth is thwarted from the very beginning. This is the very problem Jesus faced as He began His ministry among men. After His famous parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9), the disciples asked why He had used this method (Matthew 13:10). The reply of Jesus indicated that the parable method was used so that only those who possessed the wholesome, “willing” attitude to know and understand what He said would actually understand it (Matthew 13:12). Those whose attitudes were wrong in any way would see, but “see not”, and hear, but “hear not”, thus they would not “understand” (Matthew 13:13). Is this not the reason why many people of Jesus’ own nation never understood God’s great truth as revealed by His Son in person?

With the above thoughts in mind, it is highly important that we prepare ourselves with the proper “attitudes” as we approach the Bible for study. The following attitudes are “essential” as we study God’s word:

By Mike Riley

From time to time a short refresher course is needed to refresh our memory (2 Peter 1:12) regarding key words, key verses, key phrases and key messages contained within the books of the Old Testament. With this in mind, the following are “keynotes” of the books of the New Testament:

Book – 2 Thessalonians
Key Words – “The Day of the Lord”
Key Verses – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8
Message – The righteous judgment of Christ
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Book – 1 Timothy
Key Words – “Minister”, “Ministration”
Key Verses – 1 Timothy 3:15-16
Message – Be an example to the believers
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Book – 2 Timothy
Key Words – “Unfeigned Faith”
Key Verses – 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Message – Preach the word, keep the faith
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Book – Titus
Key Words – “Savior”, “Salvation”
Key Verses – Titus 2:11-15
Message – God’s Grace brings salvation to all men
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Book – Philemon
Key Words – “Receive”
Key Verses – Philemon 1:9; Philemon 1:15-17
Message – The transforming power of the Gospel
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Book – Hebrews
Key Words – “Better”
Key Verses – Hebrews 8:6
Message – Christ’s superiority over Moses, prophets, and angels

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Book – James
Key Words – “Faith”, “Works”
Key Verses – James 2:21-26
Message – Faith shown by works
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Book – 1 Peter
Key Words – “Suffering”, “Hope”
Key Verses – 1 Peter 3:15; 1 Peter 3:21
Message – Suffering patiently and joyously to God’s glory
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Book – 2 Peter
Key Words – “Knowledge”
Key Verses – 2 Peter 1:3-4
Message – The word of Christ is the source of life and godliness
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Book – 1 John
Key Words – “Fellowship”
Key Verses – 1 John 1:7
Message – The life of fellowship with God
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Book – 2 John
Key Words – “The Doctrine of Christ”
Key Verses – 2 John 1:9-11
Message – Christ’s teaching must be received, obeyed and all error rejected
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Book – 3 John
Key Words – “Truth”
Key Verses – 3 John 1:4
Message – Walking in the Truth
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Book – Jude
Key Words – “Keep”, “Kept”
Key Verses – Jude 1:3
Message – Keep the faith so that God may keep you from stumbling
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Book – Revelation
Key Words – “Overcome”
Key Verses – Revelation 2:10

Message – The glorious triumph of Christ, ultimate victory of the righteous (Revelation 15:2) 

By Kevin Cauley

A few years ago, the late brother Guy N. Woods told a story about a minister who called for the removal of the Bible from his congregation for a period of six months. Recently, I received an e-mail in which the writer expressed the view that the public reading of the scripture was boring and that he did not get anything out of it. Those who once simply ignored the reading of scripture evidently feel that they can now challenge whether or not it is read at all; apathy has become disdain. Moreover, it is a mark of apostasy that some in positions of leadership in the church desire to limit another’s reading of the scripture. At the high point of Roman Catholicism, Bibles were chained to pulpits and access was limited to few. Too many have forgotten the importance of reading the Bible.