Living by the Book Methods of Bible Study[The Benefits of Applying Biblical Principles](A Term Paper)Introduction God’s written Word, the Bible, has been spread by the hundreds of millions of copies, and yet the religious clergy have not turned this great opportunity and advantage to good account, so as to incite the people to study that Holy Word and inform themselves of God and his kingdom.
Is it any wonder, then, that, go where you will in Christendom, you will find the people in religious confusion, none of them clear on why God Almighty has permitted this reign of wickedness and woe till now and what he purposes to do now about this state of affairs and what his will is for lovers of life and security to do? Because the Bible with its divine information has been so available to the clergy and they have rejected its truths and enlightening prophecies, the great God of spiritual plenty has rejected them as his spokesmen and channels of Scripture information and instruction. Everyone has been given a chance to take hold of the most priced privilege that each person could get, that knows what the holy book of God relays to the human society. Living in a world where science and technology controls the major activities of man, it is not impossible to note that there are several individuals who find it difficult to understand what the practicality of an old-aged book is in their modern lives. For this reason, many among the large population of humans disregard the importance of Biblical learning.
Are their doubts with regards the practicality of the Bible to the modern society reasonable enough to believe into? What are the real benefits of studying and applying the principles of the Bible within today’s modern life? What impact does studying the Bible leave the people who believe in its power to change an individual’s personality? The books of Charles Swindoll and Roy Zuck, discuss the said topics. The proof that the Bible indeed is “beneficial for teaching, for reproving and for doing everything else….”(1 Timothy 3:16) have been primarily presented to within the context of the books of the authors mentioned above. More likely, their enthusiasm in creating possibilities of making the public understand of the actual effects of studying and applying biblical principles within their lives, have made Swindoll and Zuck come up with a fascinating explanation of how and why the Bible and its contents is beneficial to all. Both authors stress in their writings that the Bible is indeed a source of incomparable knowledge and understanding of the Human life. Nevertheless, the Bible also is a material that is accustomed to help each individual in the society in maintaining a path of living that is beneficial for him and his fellowmen. True, today, people are living in a century that has witnessed a virtual explosion of knowledge.
In all fields of science and learning, information accumulates at an astonishing rate. By laboratory research, by exploration on land, deep into the sea, far out into space, new data pour in faster than men can digest and evaluate them. For this reason, only a few really gains interest in reading, and more than that, applying what the Bible suggests.
This particular truth is what is stressed within the book of Swindoll, which he refers to as the “Primary weakness of man” (Swindoll, 25). However, this does not mean that this particular weakness could not be overcome. More likely, through accurate understanding of the benefits of Bible studying and the application of its principles in one’s personal living, people are believed to gain interest with the study that is further suggested. (Zuck, 45) Proof of Bible’s Validity and Applicability in the Human life Not everyone actually recognizes the fact that Bible reading indeed returns benefits to the individuals who appreciate it.
Although there are numerous religious groups in the society today, only a few are really able to understand the Bible as accurately as possible. True, the Bible is not that easy to understand. At times, decoding the symbolic messages of the Holy Scriptures brings confusion to the mind of individuals. This is the reason why the need for accurate knowledge is necessary. This accurate understanding of the Bible however only results from persistent praying and Bible Study. At first glance, applying Biblical principles may not seem to be as easy as it looks.
To many, it is too much of a pressure to apply because merely looking at the principles that it suggests and comparing them to the norms that are followed within the society today, it is quite obvious that the society’s supposed judgment of right and wrong is much easier to follow. How then could it be proven that the Bible is truly beneficial? The following comments from well known people indeed serve as proofs to the truth of the matter being presented herein: “When your country and mine shall get together on the teachings laid down by Christ in this Sermon on the Mount, we shall have solved the problems not only of our countries but those of the whole world.”- late Indian leader Mohandas K. Gandhi (Knowledge that leads to Everlasting life, 21) “Although being a high-school counselor with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and having read a large number of books on mental health and psychology, I discovered that the Bible’s counsel on such things as having a successful marriage, preventing juvenile delinquency and how to gain and keep friends is far superior to anything I had read or studied in college.
” – Psychological Educator in Britain. (Knowledge that leads to Everlasting life, 21) From these particular comments, it could be noted that even the most prominent people that this society considers wise believes that the Bible is one book that has the most precious knowledge that is incomparable to any human-written reading material. Many books have been made regarding psychology and yet, they are not able to solve the dilemmas of the family, suicidal cases of people of young ages, and things alike. On the contrary, those people whose lives were directly affected by the principles of the Bible changed their lives, saved their families and saved their lives. The radical changes that the Bible makes on the personalities of individuals are indeed remarkable noticeable in the years of the human civilization. (Swindoll, 59) The Benefits of Bible Study There are five different areas in life with which the Bible directly affects when the correct method of Bible study is applied: (a) Personal Being(b)The personal being is the basis of one’s characteristics and attitudes.
It serves as one’s identical uniqueness against other creatures or other people. Every individual possesses his own personal being. The fact that every person is unique in his own way identifies the certainty that every individual requires a certain standard of living that he believes his good for him. As an individual, a person is gifted with his freedom to have his own choice, his own decisions, and his own way of living. However, although he has been given the freedom, this does not mean that he actually has the capability of leading himself to the right path.
Unfortunately, many of those who believed that they could lead themselves ended up in messing up their own lives. (Zuck, 64) More likely, it could be noted that the principles of the Bible primarily helps a person do away with the pressures of not knowing what to do with one’s life (Swindoll, 56). As Jeremiah 10:23 reads: “.
..to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking to even direct his ways.” Certainly, this passage may not be that easy to accept, seeing that each individual does have a sense of pride that suggests to him that he as an individual has the capability of assisting himself towards the right way of living. However, as already mentioned earlier, there are many incidents within the human history when this particular claim was disproved.
Hence, it should be realized that the willingness of humans to be corrected in the way with which they are supposed to walk in to helps them recognize the actual importance of studying the Bible. AS Jeremiah continue in verses 24 and 25: “Correct me o God, however with judgment, not in your anger, that you may not reduce me to nothing. Pour out your rage upon the nations who have ignored you and upon the families who have not even called even upon your name…” Yes, it is indeed true that only those who have the capability to really comprehend with what the Bible suggests to be true and beneficial would be the only ones to truly benefit from what the Bible primarily advices. (c) Family Life The counselors of the world have noticed that every year, the rate of divorce increases. Many parents have been eased down the road to divorce by a few widely touted clichés, such as: Divorce is better for the kids than an unhappy marriage; just wait until the children are ‘the right age,’ to spare them any pain; kids bounce back from the trauma after only a couple of years.
As reports attest:“Narita is Tokyo’s international airport, and the expression refers to newlywed couples who say good-bye to each other and their marriage when they arrive back at Narita. In fact, 1 out of 4 or 5 couples seek divorce in Japan. They view divorce as the door to a happier life.” (Awake! 1992, 16) “Even in Hong Kong, where old Chinese values are still strong, the divorce rate more than doubled in the six years between 1981 and 1987. In Singapore, divorce among both Muslims and non-Muslims increased almost 70 percent between 1980 and 1988” (Awake! 1992, 17).
From the reports cited above, the situation of family living and marriage is on its way from bad to the worst case scenario resulting to a more chaotic society of the youths who have been directly affected by the mentioned dilemma of divorce. This is primarily caused by man’s refusal of following God’s principles regarding marriage and family arrangements. The following are only the basic principles that are suggested in the Bible to be followed by families and married couples as well: · LOVE YOUR WIFE- “In this way husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself, for no man ever hated his own flesh; but he feeds and cherishes it, as the Christ also does the congregation, because we are members of his body.” (Eph. 5:28-30); Time and again, experience has proven that for wives to be happy they need to feel they are loved. This means that a husband should give his wife special attention, including tenderness, understanding and reassurance. He needs to ‘assign her honor,’ as the Bible says, taking her into consideration in all that he does. (Swindoll, 54) · RESPECT YOUR HUSBAND- “Nevertheless, also, let each one of YOU individually so love his wife as he does himself; on the other hand, the wife should have deep respect for her husband.” (Eph. 5:33); Failure to heed this counsel is a chief cause for husbands resenting their wives.
A wife shows respect by supporting her husband’s decisions and cooperating whole-souled with him to achieve family goals. By fulfilling her Bible-assigned role as ‘helper and complement’ to her husband, she makes it easy for her husband to love her. (Zuck,69) · GIVE OF YOURSELF TO YOUR CHILDREN- “YOU must also teach them to YOUR sons, so as to speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut. 11:19); What a difference it makes when parents follow the Bible’s admonition to teach their children ‘when they sit in their house and when they walk on the road and when they lie down and when they get up’. Yes, time is an important factor that is required by the Bible for families especially parents to render to their children. · YOUTHS—RESIST WORLDLY WAYS- “Foolishness is tied up with the heart of a boy; the rod of discipline is what will remove it far from him.” (Prov.
22:15); “Children, it is your Christian duty to obey your parents, for this is the right thing to do.” It will bring rich rewards. So be wise. Heed the counsel: “Remember your Creator while you are still young.” Resist the temptations to take drugs, get drunk, commit fornication and do other things that violate God’s laws.—Eph.
6:1-4 From these particular Scriptural readings, it could be noted that the Bible insists in being conscientious of being able to provide each member of the family with the time and attention that they deserve. If human families would only recognize what the Bible suggests, then they would not have to suffer the dilemmas brought about by believing and applying the modern norms of the society. (d) Social Life Each person is given the chance to mingle with others in the society. Being alone is not among God’s plan for his beloved creations, the humans.
It could be remembered that through the written history of the origin of man in Genesis, he made the first man and women to complement to each other. In the same way, people in the society are supposed to be a compliment to each others strength and weaknesses. However, because of the fact that each person believes that he is higher than that of the other person, healthy relationship between people in the society becomes seemingly impossible.
The Bible then further advices that the application of humility indeed purifies the relationship of humans with each other (Swindoll, 45). HUMILITY, or lowliness of mind, is most fitting for human creatures. Even some worldly-wise men evidently appreciate that fact. Humility can be a great help at such times.
It causes a person to think, not just of himself, but of others in a similar plight, and to offer them aid and encouragement. At such a time humility will help one to be content with having less in a material way. It will help one to make the best of circumstances, being thankful, in the case of a storm, that life has been spared. (e) Professional Life Usually, people have a hard time relating the Bible with issues of profession and finance. However, it should be remembered that in the olden times, the use of the Scriptures in dealing with several business issues of the first century Christians have been proven greatly effective. Thus, being faithful and honest in all things calls for honesty at one’s place of employment.
Honesty in work habits draws attention to the kind of God we represent. Stealing time and stealing money is certainly not the right way for a true Christian to trod. (Ephesians 4:28; Colossians 3:23) It is estimated that in one European land, one third of the employees who request a doctor’s letter authorizing sick leave do so fraudulently. True servants of God do not fabricate excuses to avoid going to work.
Yes, applying these particular principles at ones’ performance at work gives a person the reputation of a fine worker which is highly recommended to handle bigger tasks and harder responsibilities because trust has been primarily earned by such particular individuals. (f) Motives and Disposition Towards Living Many people today, lack the ability to recognize the essence of living. As a result, they end up in giving up their fight for a fine life and a through understanding of living. Their motives in living their lives become jammed up with the many disturbances brought about by the human society. Sadly, many among those whose visions have already been distorted resort to suicide. On this matter, the Bible tends to enlighten a person’s mind in creating possibilities for him to realize the worth of his life thus, give meaning to his way of living.
The real purpose of life—the one that brings true satisfaction—is living one’s life in harmony with what the well of God is. What is involved, though, in doing God’s will? For Adam and Eve, it involved overseeing the animal kingdom and subduing the earth and filling it with perfect offspring. If people would do God’s will today, they must learn about and exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. And they must follow Jesus’ example by telling others about ‘the good news of God’s kingdom.’—Matthew 24:14. Conclusion From this point, it could be noted that this study concentrated much on what studying the Holy Scriptures actually brings as benefit to the readers. True, it has been assured that those who are able to comprehend with what the Bible suggests are the only ones who are indeed capable of applying the principles and thus later on benefit from them. Primarily, the determination of a person to understand what the bible has to impart to him, leads him to a more productive and progressive way of dealing with the study that he has to face when he is about to begin the process of really understanding the deeper truths of the Holy Scriptures.
As the Scriptures say:“Ponder over these things; be absorbed in them, that your advancement may be manifest to all persons. Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching.”—1 TIMOTHY 4:15, 16. Yes, understanding the Bible and applying its principles is necessary for gaining and achieving a progressive and straight path living.
References: Charles R. Swindoll. (2006). Living by the Book Methods of Bible Study. Thomas Nelson Publishing.Roy Zuck. (2001).
Basic Bible Interpretation. Thomas Nelson Publishing.Knowledge that Leads to Everlasting Life. (1994). Brooklyn New York Publishing. Brooklyn New York.
Divorce and its effects. Awake! (1992). Brooklyn New York Publishing. Brooklyn New York.New American Standard Bible. Foundation Publications; updated edition (August 2005) .Nelson Bibles. (1999).
The NKJV Slimline Bible. Thomas Nelson; New Ed edition.