Principles and Patterns of Scripture Study

I. The Scriptures set forth several principles and patterns of Bible study to be followed by God's flock. The following principles and patterns are limited to those that help us use the Scriptures to determine truth and to communicate that truth. A. We are to study the Scriptures to know the truth. 2TI 2:15; PRO 15:28 ct/w MAT 22:29. 1. Principle: Prove what is truth and then believe and maintain it. 1TH 5:21; EPH 5:10. a. The commandment is to prove and hold. b. This commandment assumes knowledge and skill in the Scriptures. 2TH 2:15; HEB 5:13-14. 2. Pattern: The Bereans searched the Scriptures daily. ACT 17:11 c/w PSA 1:1-2.

B. We are to study the Scriptures to stand against Satan. 1. Principle: Use the Scriptures to repel the devil. EPH 6:11, 17; 1PE 5:8-9 c/w ROM 10:17; PSA 119:11. a. The Scriptures are the offensive weapon in our arsenal. b. The Scriptures provide the means to locate and identify the enemy by his calling card: opposition to God's word. 2CO 11:3; ISA 8:20; ROM 16:17. 2. Pattern: Jesus used the Scriptures to rebuke the devil and his scripture corruption. MAT 4:1-11.

C. The men in particular are to study the Scriptures to be godly husbands and fathers. 1. Principle: Men are to instruct their families. a. Fathers are to instruct their children. EPH 6:4. (1) admonition: The action of admonishing; authoritative counsel; warning; implied reproof. (2) nurture: Breeding, upbringing, training, education. Moral training or discipline. b. Husbands are to teach their wives. 1CO 14:34-35. 2. Pattern: Solomon gave excellent instruction to his son. PRO 2:1-5. 3. Pattern: Abraham led all his household in the ways of God. GEN 18:19.

D. We should study to apply knowledge to obtain more knowledge. 1. Principle: Growth depends on utilizing what you hear. LUK 8:18. a. Desire (imperative) the word of God as newborn babes desire milk. 1PE 2:2. b. Performance is the key. JAM 1:21-22. 2. Pattern: The servant which received one talent lost that talent because he did not put it to work. MAT 25:24-30.

E. We should study to be able to save souls. 1. Principle: The saints are responsible to convert their brethren. JAM 5:19-20. a. The ability to discern error and convert one in error requires knowledge. ROM 15:14. b. This soul-saving skill can hide sins by persuasive conviction of the conscience with truth that moves one to repentance. 2. It is the wise man that wins souls. PRO 11:30.

F. We should study to be able to teach others. 1. Principle: Teaching is a responsibility of all the flock. HEB 5:12. a. The saints ought to be teachers. b. Ability to handle meat (and thus to teach) comes from use and exercise. 2. Pattern: The saints persecuted at Jerusalem became teachers. ACT 8:1, 4.

G. We should study to be able to answer, defend, and prove the truth to others. 1. Principle: Be able to answer with reasons to prove the truth. 1PE 3:15. a. reason: A statement of some fact (real or alleged) employed as an argument to justify or condemn some act, prove or disprove some assertion, idea or belief. b. The ability to respond to questions requires knowledge. PRO 15:28. c. The goal is to be capable of answering every man, not just the ignorant. d. A proper answer includes giving reasons. e. Knowledge is essential to answer with meekness instead of emotion. f. “In reasoning with others, we should use soft words and hard arguments.” (Matthew Henry) 2. Pattern: Aquila and Priscilla instructed Apollos. ACT 18:24-28. a. Apollos was from Alexandria, the center of learning. b. He was eloquent. c. He was mighty in the Scriptures. d. He was instructed in the way of the Lord. e. He was fervent in spirit. f. He spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord. g. He spoke boldly in the synagogue. h. Aquila and Priscilla expounded the truth more perfectly to him.

H. We should study so as to increase our fruit unto God. 1. Principle: Saints are to strive for perfection as Christ. EPH 4:13. a. Increasing in the knowledge of God and His ways facilitates our being more Christ-like. COL 1:9-10; 2PE 1:2-4. b. If we are not becoming more Christ-like, we are apt to become more unChrist-like. JAM 1:23-24. 2. Pattern: Only where the Scriptures are gainfully utilized will much fruit be produced. MAT13:23.

II. The Scriptures can provide you with the ability to accomplish all of the above. A. The Scriptures can make you perfect and throughly furnish you for every good work. 2TI 3:16-17. B. Proper study of the Scripture can make you approved before God and keep you from being ashamed. 2TI 2:15. C. The Scriptures are able to equip you to face any opposition. PSA 119:98-100.

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