Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Creating and Writing a Bible Study: Week 1--Bonnie Lisech

When I began to write Bible studies, I asked myself, “exactly what do I wanted to achieve? After much thinking and praying, I wrote the following purpose statement:

My purpose is to help believers “think deeply” in Scripture, to know God, and to understand and apply truth in their lives through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, thereby, assisting them to grow progressively in their relationship and fellowship with Christ, and to mature spiritually to the glory of God.

I have a rocking chair in my home office where I go to have a focused time with God in His Word and prayer. Everything I write begins in that chair. The creation of a Bible Study usually begins when I realize I need a deeper understanding of a passage or subject. Of course, at times the subject or passage is chosen for me. Either way, I sit in my rocker with my pad and pen and ask God to help me and lead me to exactly what He has planned. Sometimes thoughts come immediately, sometimes I spend days meditating and praying for His direction.

Once I know the topic God wants me to teach on, I begin to study Scripture.

There are 3 areas I carefully consider in the study of Scripture:

1. It’s important to know who the author is and have knowledge of the context. I always read the background information at the beginning of each book in a good study Bible. Then, I read the complete book one to three times to gain a fuller understanding. A good example of the importance of context is found in the book of Philippians, a book about joy, by the Apostle Paul. If I wrote on Philippians 4:4-7 but only studied those verses, it would lack power and significance. Why? Because the first chapter informs us that Paul was in prison when he wrote this book.

“Study the Scriptures in the light of the context.”—Bill Dillion

2. I am also careful about using Old Testament (OT) verses and passages—especially promises—that were addressed to Israel. Sometimes they don’t apply to the New Testament (NT) age. If I do include OT verses, I make sure the meaning is repeated in the NT in some form. Some verses from the four Gospels don’t apply to believers because before the final rejection of the Jews in Matthew 23, Jesus approached them from old covenant law, not grace. Of course, OT Scripture that reveals God’s attributes and character qualities always applies.

3. Finally, I never assume that everyone who does my Bible studies is a believer. As I study, I look for verses that provide an opportunity to share the gospel. For example: I Corinthians 15:3-4. I also note verses that point out foundational truths. For example: Acts 5:31-32 mentions each Person of the Trinity.

Next week I’ll share how I accomplish my goal.

1 comment:

brianlisabiegert said...

I am very excited about these blog weeks. I've been wanting to figure out how to write a Bible study for awhile now, but have never be sure exactly how to start. Maybe this will motivate me to get going and write my own. I'm looking forward to these ideas!
By the way, I'm an NTBI Waukesha grad from 2004! My husband and I met there. We are not serving with NTM, but we have quite a few friends who are and NTM will always be close to our hearts.
-Lisa

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