Bible Perspectives: How to Study the Bible for Yourself — Part I
The View From the Ant Hill
- Col 2:1-23
- Class Lesson: Prayer and Fasting
- To have a teachable heart or an openness to God requires humility. In other words it is getting down on your knees spiritually to the level of the ant. Sometimes that kind of humility is achieved by prayer and fasting.
- Whenever fasting is mentioned in the Bible, it is usually linked with prayer. Therefore, it is not a form of food diet, but rather a Christian discipline. (Dan 9:3)
- To fast, a persons attitude must be humble before God:
- In the Old Testament, sack cloth and ashes are frequently mentioned with fasting. That was a from of dressing to indicate humility and a contrite heart. (Neh 9:1 Est 4:3 Psa 35:13)
- Jesus tells us that it must not be done publicly to demonstrate a persons pride in his religious piety. (Mat 6:16-18)
- You should fast when God indicates to you that you should do so.
- The purposes of fasting:
- Fast to get in deeper touch with God.
- Fast to accomplish some difficult things in the spiritual realm that cannot be accomplished otherwise. (Mat 17:21)
- Fast to be assured of Gods guidance (Act 14:23)
- Did the disciples fast?
- No and yes. They did not fast before Jesus was crucified. (Mat 9:14-15) However, after the crucifixion and in the early church, we find them fasting. (Mar 2:20 Act 27:33)
- Did Jesus fast?
- Yes. Remember he was fasting 40 days in the wilderness when Satan tempted him.
- Did Jesus tell us to fast?
- He did not command it specifically, but said, “when you fast ” indicating that he considered that Christians would automatically fast. (Mat 6:15)
- Types of fasting:
- There are different types of fasts and for various lengths of time.
- A partial fast where you fast only certain foods. (Dan 1:8)
- A fast can be for any length of time, from 1 meal to 40 days.
- Some practical suggestions:
- =1= Do not fast if you are on medications, in poor health, have diabetes, or some other physical condition, without the approval of your doctor.
- =2= Do not fast more than 21 days without a medical check up.
- =3= When fasting, be sure to drink a lot of water.
- =4= Do not eat a heavy meal the day before starting a fast.
- =5= Do not eat a heavy meal the day after you finish a fast. Add easily digested food the first day and progress gradually back into your regular diet.
- =6= Do not drink coffee or alcohol while fasting.
- Prayer and the Word of God:
- Read 1Joh 5:14
- If we pray according to Gods will, he hears us. The implication is that He answers our prayers.
- How can we know we are praying according to His will?
- The Word of God is His will. Therefore, if we pray the Word we are praying His will.
- An example of praying the Word:
- Eph 1:17-19
- Pray putting your name in the passage.
- Types of Bible Study Methods: The ABC Bible Study Part 2
- You were introduced to this method of Bible Study last week. However, you did not complete it. This week you will complete the study on Col 2:1-23.
- This Bible Study method asks you to make an outline of the passage. Outlining is a very useful tool to get you to see relationships and main points.
- If you did not learn how to outline in school, this is how it is done:
- =1= Look for two or more basic points.
- =2= Those basic points are given Roman numerals.(I, II, III, IV, V)
- =3= Look for 2 or more secondary points.
- =4= Arrange the secondary points under the main points. The secondary points are those that support or explain in greater detail the main points.
- =5= The secondary points are given capital letters. (A, B, C, D, E)
- =6= Look for two or more points that further explain the secondary points.
- =7= Arrange these under the secondary points if they support or explain those secondary points more fully.
- =8= These points are given Arabic numbers.(1,2,3,4,5)
- =9= There should be no #1s without a #2 and no letter A without a letter B.
- Your outline can be simply main points and secondary points, or it can get more detailed and contain points on the third level and fourth level, or further.
- An example of an outline will look like this: Jam 1:19-27
I. The engrafted Word
A. Swift to hear
B. Slow to speak
C. Slow to anger
D. Put away filthiness and wickedness
E. Receive the Word with meekness
II. Doers of the Word and not hearers only
1. He does the things the natural, unsaved man does.
2. He forgets that he is saved and belongs to God.
1. He considers his freedom in Jesus to live in love.
2. He walks in love.
3. He is blessed in his deeds.
III. The test of hearing and doing
A. The hearer
1. He does not bridle his tongue.
2. He deceives his heart.
B. The doer
1. He visits the fatherless and widows
2. He keeps himself clean from the world.
- =1= Work on your Spiritual Diary 15 minutes each day (6 days a week)
- =2= Continue your study of Col 2:1-23
- Day 1 and Day 2 = Review your study of Col 2:1-23.
- Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5 = Read the passage through each day and begin to outline it.
- Day 6 = Read the passage through and write a summary of the passage.
#4 ABC Bible Study Part 2
Scripture Passage to Study: Col 2:1-23
(Rewrite the title you chose last week)
E. The Essence (Outline and summary)