Where do I Start? Part 1

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      Rebecca A.

      Perhaps you have asked yourself this question many times when it comes to studying the Bible. As every individual grows older, they face the reality that their parents’ knowledge is not enough for them to make it through life; they must know things for themselves in order to function in this world. Especially when it comes to an understanding of the Bible; who God is, how someone can be saved, what the life of a Christian should look like, what God’s will is and many other areas of understanding of the truth of God’s word. Many people try to fly through life holding onto the coat tails of their parents’ faith in God or the instruction they get from a preacher or popular teacher. The faith or understanding of others will not save you and it will not provide you with the true peace that can come from you personally being persuaded in your mind about truth( Romans 14:5 KJV). The knowledge of others is not enough for you to stand on your own. Each individual person will be accountable before God for themselves alone, not for others in their life (Romans 14:2 KJV, 2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV). Neither will your parents, teachers, and preachers be accountable for you. The Bible instructs us to study to show ourselves approved unto God, being a faithful workman so that we do not need to be ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV). Maybe you have a desire to study God’s word and understand it for yourself and you see the necessity of that but you are not sure how or where to start. The purpose of this post is to provide you with an opportunity to learn just that.

      A good place to start is to do a self evaluation. What are things you already know from the Bible? What are questions you still have about the Bible? Maybe you are not sure about either of those; you have grown up hearing about God in your family or church but have never really felt like you personally understood many things you heard. That was definitely the position I found myself in. Over the years I tried to remedy that by taking opportunities to be involved in different ministries, thinking that maybe I could learn answers to questions I had. These ministries took the time to teach me and others what they believe the Bible says and means and taught us how to memorize and teach others that information. I found that when people asked me questions outside of what I had memorized, I didn’t have an answer. Even worse, I didn’t really understand most of what I had memorized. I also didn’t know where to look in the Bible to find the answer to questions I had. My desire was to serve God and to tell others truth about Him but I found that I knew very little truth and I was confused about most of the things I thought I knew. This became a problem I battled with in my mind. “How can I teach others what I do not understand myself?” I would often think. Most people have probably asked themselves a similar question at one point or another. This is not a bad thought or question to have. After all, why would you want to give wrong instructions that could potentially harm or hinder someone in their growth of understanding God’s word?

      The good news is we are all continuing to learn new things no matter what age we are or how much experience we have in this life. I have come to understand that you will never learn what you do not know if you are not aware that you do not know something. Seems to be a pretty simple concept right? Realizing that we do not know something is the first step in being able to learn. Our flesh however, is not a fan of admitting ignorance, especially to other people even if they may be able to help. It took me a while to get up the courage to talk about my questions with those who would listen and who I thought could help me find answers. When I finally started to ask questions I found that very few people seemed to know the answers either. How could this be? Is the Bible just not meant to be understood? There are many reasons why you or I may not understand or know things about the Bible. Many of which are simply excuses we have given ourselves. Studying is hard work and many of us do not want to take the time to attempt it. However, when we find that truth is able to be found in God’s word and it can be understood, then studying becomes so rewarding and 1 Thessalonians 2:13 tells us that it works effectually in us who believe it.

      I have put together a list of questions that three years ago would have seemed a daunting task for me to try to answer. And perhaps many of you will feel the same way. If not, than great, be encouraged by the truth you know! But realize the reality that many people, even those much more advanced in years, still may not understand these concepts or know where to find the answers. I have met many and heard their testimonies of how they finally learned truth and understood it for themselves after 10, 20, 30 years or more of attending a church. This is a testament either to the lack of teaching or prevalence of wrong teaching in churches that has blinded and confused the hearers. It is never too late to begin to learn something new. Knowing that all truth is found in God’s word makes our search for answers a much more simple task!

      With this list of questions I hope to give you an opportunity to stop and think about what you do or do not know. As I mentioned earlier it is a sort of self evaluation. If you would like to participate in this practice, great! This can serve as a guide for enlightening you to questions you still have so you can study and find answers for yourself. Some of these questions are simple but help us learn how to find answers in our Bible. They may be more familiar to you because they deal with specific, well known people or events in the Bible. As the list goes on, perhaps it may get a little more tricky. There may be questions that you find hard to answer off the top of your head and you may have trouble knowing where to look for the answer. If you find this to be the case, I will have a cheat sheet to help in your search of the answer. This cheat sheet will provide you with a clue for each question by giving a book of the Bible to start in and possibly a few specific chapters to read to find the answer. If you would like to use this list, please leave me a comment in the comment section below this article or contact me on the contact page and I will send that to you.

      Here is how I would encourage you to answer these questions. For every answer you give, try to have multiple verses from the Bible that show how you know that your answer is true. It is so important to not only know an answer but to know where it is found. Also, try to give your own summarization of those verses to help you learn to communicate what you already know or have just learned. If you have a hard time doing this, think of how you would explain that information to a child or a good friend. If you find that some of the verses you want to use as an answer seem to disagree with others in the Bible, put all of those verses down(there may be a reason they disagree). Perhaps you will want to look a little harder at some of those verses and the context of the verses around them. This exercise may take a while for you to complete. That is not a bad thing; it is study after all. But I hope that you will take the time to try to answer these questions to the best of your ability and be encouraged by what you know or have learned as a result of your study. If you are not sure how to answer a question, leave it blank for now. You can always go back later and do a more extensive study on that topic.

      If you would like to share your answers with me through the contact link on the left hand side of this blog, I would love to see what you found to be true in God’s word! If not, that is okay too. If you do decide to send me your answer list, I would not share any of your answers on this blog and would not respond with any criticism. It would just be an encouragement to me to know where people are at in their thinking and understanding!

      I will continue this series of posts to provide my answers to the questions I have asked you all. I hope you will continue to join me. The answers given, will be what the Bible clearly states, not just an opinion. I do not think that I know all truth, but I do believe, “16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”(2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV). God has given us the Bible to know who He is and what He has done and what He would have us do. It can be understood. Please comment or contact me with any questions you have. Even if this exercise takes you a while to go through and answer, I hope you will decide to give it a try!

      Creation and Israel

      1.How many days did it take God to create the world?

      2.When did sin first enter into the world?

      3.When Noah built the ark how many animals did God tell him to bring on the ark?

      4.After the flood what was the covenant God made with Noah and all of the earth and what was the sign God gave them?

      5.What did God do at the tower of babble that resulted in many nations being formed?

      6.What were the promises and covenant God made with Abraham?

      7.Which son of Abraham did God establish his covenant with?

      8.Who was Isaac’s wife?

      9.How many male children were born to Jacob?

      10.What were their names?

      11.What did God change Jacob’s name to and therefore naming the nation that God had chosen above all other nations?

      12.What was the name given to the Hebrew child that Pharaoh’s daughter found in the river?

      13.After Moses had fled from Egypt and the king of Egypt died, what did God send Moses to do because of the cry of the children of Israel who were kept in bondage to the Egyptians?

      14.Who did the Lord send to help Moses?

      15.Name 3 of the plagues which God caused to come upon the Egyptians because of the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart in not letting the children of Israel go out of the land of Egypt.

      16.What 2 foods did God provide for Israel in the wilderness?

      17.In Exodus 19, what did God say that the Children of Israel would be if they obeyed His voice and kept His covenant?

      18.What man did God use to bring the law to the Children of Israel?

      19.Which one of the twelve tribes of Israel was given the office of priest?

      20.After the death of Moses who did God use to bring the children of Israel into the land He had promised them?

      Jesus’ Earthly Ministry

      21.Who was Jesus’ mother?

      22.Was she a virgin?

      23.Who was Jesus’ earthly Father?

      24.Was Jesus both God and man?

      25.Where was Jesus born?

      26.Why did God tell Joseph and his family to flee into Egypt?

      27.At the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry, where was he found preaching?

      28.Why did John baptize with water?

      29.Why was Jesus baptized with water?

      30.In Jesus’ earthly ministry, was He sent to Jews or Gentiles?

      31.Why did Jesus choose 12 apostles?

      32.Which one of the 12 apostles did God give the keys of the kingdom to?

      33.When did Jesus begin to tell His disciples that He was going to die and raise again?

      34.Did the disciples understand what Jesus told them?

      35.Which of the 12 apostles betrayed Jesus, resulting in Him being captured by those who sought to kill Him?

      36.When Jesus was raised from the dead, did the disciples believe the report of those who had seen Jesus?

      37.What was the name of the man chosen to take the place of Judas as one of the 12 apostles?

      38.Was Israel’s salvation a present thing for them or was it something they would receive in the future?

      39.Does the Bible tell us that Israel will Reign in Heaven or on the Earth?

      40.Was all of this information about Israel and their future prophesied about since the world began?

      41.Has Israel fallen from their standing with God as a nation above all other nations?

      42.Will God keep His promises to Israel in the future?

      A Mystery Revealed

      43.To whom did Jesus reveal the mystery of His will concerning all men without national distinction? And when did He first begin to reveal this information to him?

      44.What is the problem that all men have as a result of the one man Adam?

      45.What does the apostle to the gentiles (all nations) say that the gospel is that saves all men?

      46.Are we saved as a result of anything we can do? Why or why not?

      47.Are we forgiven all our trespasses and sins when we trust the gospel or do we need to confess the sins we commit in order to continue to receive forgiveness?

      48.Is salvation something we can obtain now or is it something we receive in the future?

      49.If someone has trusted the gospel and are therefore a member of the church, the body of Christ, when they die will they reign in Heaven or on the earth?

      50.What was the function of the law according to the apostle of the gentiles?

      51.Are we still under that law?

      52.Is God judging men today or offering peace and reconciliation?

      53.What does the Bible say is God’s will for us today?

      Written By: Rebecca

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