After our Lord’s resurrection, the first instructions or commission He gave to His disciples was:
Then the eleven disciples went away to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him. But some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples (G3100) of all nations (G1484=Non Jewish, gentiles, heathen world), baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:16-20
This is the main reason it’s best to start studying the Bible by learning first Jesus teachings (or Doctrine of Christ) found in the New Testament. Because this is what Jesus wanted. As you can see there is not methods, and this is not about making a living, nor how many disciples you can get, nor training ‘leaders’, but all the opposite is about learning to be servants, because we learn from His example & His words:
But Jesus called them together, and said, “You know that those who are appointed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever among you would be greatest must be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10: 40-45
There is a popular movement called ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ that teaches Dominion & the conquer of the 7 spheres (this is not biblical), & also teaches discipleship of whole nations, not individuals. Discipleship to them means to ‘transform societies’, but in reality these are Gnostics doctrines introduced as Christian teachings. The apostles themselves made disciples from the gentile world, individuals, not their entire nations, they didn’t transformed societies with a social gospel, they taught the instructions of Jesus Christ the Son of God to each individual that accepted or believed that His sacrifice on the cross was made for their sins. We cannot teach the Bible to unbelievers that don’t accept Jesus, because they won’t be able to receive or understand with out the help of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 2:14. Only believers can receive the Holy Spirit of God Ephesians 1:13.
Then, after few years learning His Word we can disciple other new believers showing them what we have learned, this is why it is so important that what we learn it’s right from the Scriptures & not man ideas or their interpretations of Scriptures, otherwise we will teach errors to others & we’ll be accountable to God for doing that. There are many pastors & teachers that are nice people, but that are teaching believers what they are listening in videos of other popular teachers, or reading in books, etc. They don’t take the time to study the Bible for themselves, sadly many of them are just looking for an income, & are shallow in their relationship with the Lord. So please beloved be aware of that, and ask questions to your pastors or teachers. Who is he following after? What other teachers does he listens to, or where his doctrine comes from? Do you notice if he is a servant of all or does he loves to be served?
Personal Bible study is always recommended, even if we study in a church group. You will find out there some methods to study, example ‘Inductive’ vs ‘Deductive’. Inductive Bible Study, also called Exegesis, is when we use the information in the same passage or other parts of the Scriptures to get the meaning of what the passage is saying, this is what we want, let Scripture interpret Scripture (Some may say this but they don’t do it). Inductive Study can be done in different levels.
The opposite is ‘Deductive’, called Eisegesis, which means making deductions or opinions based on a knowledge outside the text, which attempts to use the Bible to support a previously made conclusion. This is not recommended, and you will find every sect use this method & it’s a main cause of doctrinal errors. An example of this is St Augustine, a Catholic & a former gnostic that brought his preconceived heretical ideas & tried to support them with the Bible. Later some bible teachers (e.g. M. Luther, John Calvin, etc) were influenced by his writings. Augustine followers say they use Exegesis but unfortunately they don’t.
These are some steps of Inductive Bible study that we can use to help us organize & study better:
1/ Setting the Context: Most doctrinal errors come from people reading their bibles casually or taking verses out of context. To read in context is necessary to always read the verses immediately before and after, & if possible the entire chapter of the the passage you’re studying. You may have heard a realtor said the 3 more important factors when buying or selling real state ‘ Location, location, location’, well similarly in Bible study to avoid errors & understand the real meaning of a passage is ‘Context, context, context’. The context can be divided in historical context, cultural context & literary context or A, B & C.
A= Author – Who wrote the passage? original audience? = Historical Context
B= Background – When did the author live? In what culture? = Cultural Context
C= Context or Literary Context – Reading the text involves looking at the near context (the verses immediately before and right after) as well as the far context (the paragraph or the chapter that precedes and/or follows the passage you’re studying). The smaller the passage being studied, the greater the chances for error.
2/ What does the passage say ? (Observation)
3/ What does it mean? (Meaning)
4/ Can the principle be applied to one specific area of my life? (Application)
-We always recommend taking notes, that will help us organize better & also will help us to memorize.
Please see more information at Basic steps to Bible Study and in the second post of this Bible Study series: ‘Psalm 23“, you will find examples on how to apply the steps, making outlines or studying verse by verse. Take time to pray and read your Bible as often as possible, do not rush, enjoy your relationship with the Lord.
Also, because we consider sound doctrine very important we prefer a Bible version translated from the Received Text (Textus Receptus or Majority Text) that doesn’t add, change or remove words from the original. For more information please check:
Booklet- Sound Doctrine Through It All