3 - How to Study the Bible

Introduction


God wants disciples of Jesus to make other disciples of Jesus. Join Francis Chan, best-selling author and founding Pastor of Cornerstone Church, and David Platt, author and Pastor at The Church at Brook Hills, in this 5-Part Multiply course—a simple, practical, biblical, helpful, and personal resource to help you understand Scripture and give you the tools to disciple others. In Part 3, Francis and David talk about the importance of knowing, studying, and obeying God's Word—the Bible.

 

The Multiply video material was designed to work with a printed study guide, which is available as a free download (for the complete 336-page study guide, click here) or for purchase from David C. Cook (click here). In order for you to get the most out of this series, please download and work through the study guide before you watch the videos. Each study-guide session includes a number of questions that will challenge you to think about the material you have covered. 

Unlike some of the other training available to you on this site, this Multiply training is not designed to be finished quickly. Take some time with each lesson. Don't be in too much of a hurry to finish each part, but allow the truths in each lesson to penetrate your mind and heart. Do one lesson, then put it aside for a while and come back.

If you prefer to download one lesson at a time, the study guide for Part 3: Lesson 1 - Why Study the Bible? can be downloaded here.

Let's begin!


 
Why Study the Bible?


Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 1, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



Francis and David both urge us to not rush through this lesson. So much of what follows—of what it means to be a faithful disciple of Jesus—rests on our understanding of Scripture, and what the Bible really is. Take a moment to examine your own heart. Do you believe that the Bible is really God's Word? That it is authoritative; that you should obey what it says? How has this been evident in your life?
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Do you feel confident in explaining what it means that the Bible is the authoritative, inerrant, infallible Word of God? If you need to, take some time to look those words up in a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia and write out definitions here.
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Sometimes it helps to be able to articulate to someone you are discipling how the Bible has transformed your life. Can you think of a behavior or idea that you use to practice that was contrary to what God teaches in the Bible, and how God has helped you move toward obedience? How would you share that with someone else?
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How can you encourage a young believer to study the Bible enthusiastically, while at the same time help them avoid the pitfall of becoming arrogant about their biblical knowledge?
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Francis ends the video with an excellent challenge. We shouldn't become defensive when people present honest questions about the Bible, but instead, we should work through the issues with them. Take some time right now to pray and ask for God's guidance as you lead others into His Word. Pray that you will be a faithful example and obey what God has taught you through Scripture.

Up next, Part 3: Lesson 2 - Studying the Bible Prayerfully and Obediently. Feel free to take a break and pick back up with this training later.


Studying the Bible Prayerfully and Obediently


In the last lesson, David Platt and Francis Chan talked about the importance of being connected to a local church. In Lesson 2 - The Local Church, Francis and David explore what a healthy local church is supposed to look like and how it should function.

The study guide for Part 3: Lesson 2 - Studying the Bible Prayerfully and Obediently can be downloaded here. Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 2, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



Do you find Bible study a joyful time, or drudgery? Why?
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How often do you approach Bible study with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand God's Word? How can that become something you do every time?
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Francis and David mention that knowledge isn't the ultimate pursuit of Bible study, but that what we should seek is understanding that leads toward obedience. What do you "know" from the Bible that you don't obey? What has to happen in order for you to surrender that area to God?
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As you lead others, make sure to remain dependent on the Holy Spirit as you study and obey the very words of God. How often we think, "If only God would speak to me…". But He has; in His Word. 

Up next, Part 3: Lesson 3 - Studying Logically. Feel free to take a break and pick back up with this training later.


Studying Logically


In lesson 2 we talked about the importance of praying to God before Bible study, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you its meaning and help you respond in obedience.  In Lesson 3 - Studying Logically, Francis and David offer some practical and general principles for interpreting Scripture.

The study guide for Part 3: Lesson 3 - Studying Logically can be downloaded here. Once you have completed the study guide for Lesson 3, watch the following video with Francis Chan and David Platt.



How do you feel about your own Bible study methods? Are you confident that you understand the importance of trying to first understand what the passage meant in its original context, and then what it means for all believers throughout time, and then how it applies to your specific situation? What tools do you use to help you study the Word of God (concordance, encyclopedia, commentaries, etc.)?
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David began this video by distinguishing the difference between interpretation and application. While a passage of Scripture has one meaning, it may have many applications. In the study guide, Francis mentioned that "it's important to understand that the Bible means what God intends for it to mean." As you disciple others, how can you lovingly lead them toward a correct understanding of interpretation and application?
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David challenged us to make sure we don't twist Scripture to fit our situation or make us feel more comfortable. But instead, we should adjust our lives to the Word of God? What in your life needs adjusting?
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Studying the Bible should be a lifelong pursuit. There are many great resources to assist you or the person you are leading as they study the Word of God. Here's a list of some books you might consider:

  • Living By the Book by William and Howard Hendricks
  • How to Study the Bible by John MacArthur
  • Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods