Pray and Work in the Word
Young Adult Bible Study
Fr. Glenn E. Davis
March 10, 2019
Understanding and Applying the Bible
[Video: The Bible Project, How to Read the Bible, Part One]
[Sidebar: What is the Apocrypha?]
Goal: We are called to delight in God’s Word. “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Psalm 119:18). Our hunger, our desire is a passion to be changed inside out by the Word of God.
Definition: Bible study/meditation is a believer using his or her rational abilities along with the Holy Spirit’s illuminating guidance to understand and apply God’s inspired, written Word. “God has ordained that the eye-opening work of his Spirit always be combined with the mind-informing work of his Word.” (John Piper, A Godward Life, Book Two, 184).
Four Requirements for Studying the Bible
1. Prayerful, dependent heart toward God 2. Jesus-focused interpretation (John 5:39-46) 3. Spirit-enabled reasoning 4. Open heart to God’s conviction and correction
Five Principles of Bible Study
1. Pray and Read: Read the Word with passion, “In reading this, then, you will
be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:4 NIV) Pray while studying the Word, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people” (Eph 1:18). 2. Pray and Study: [Illustration: B.B. Warfield quote, Spend ten hours on knees
and in your books. Bible study is a both/and use of your mind and heart.] “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Quality Bible knowledge comes by hard work with long hours sitting behind a desk
while also being dependent on the Holy Spirit for insight welcoming God to bring changes to your heart and life. Work at studying the Word if you want the most from it. 3. Pray and Ransack: [Illustration: The 49er’s, gold miners sifting through every
bit of silt and sand on the American River to find gold in 1849.] “Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:3-5, NLT) 4. Pray and Think: “Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you
understand all these things” (2 Tim. 2:7 ESV). Just because you are studying the Bible does not mean that you are called to put your mental abilities on hold. 5. Pray and Receive: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper
than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable” (Hebrews 4:12-13). God’s Word will diagnose the spiritual condition of our hearts.
Summary Statement: Quality Bible knowledge comes by hard work with long hours sitting behind a desk while also being dependent on the Holy Spirit for insight welcoming God to bring changes to your heart and life. Work at studying the Word if you want the most from it.
Resource: John Piper, The Godward Life, Book Two, “Prayerfully Ransack the Bible,” p.182-184.