SDA Sabbath School Lessons
January 13, 1996
#2 The Purpose of Bible Study
Read for this week's study:
Memory text: Matthew 7:25-26
Among other things, the Bible challenges us to discover God's will for our
lives and to learn how to grow in grace as we prepare for His soon-coming
Preparation for Bible Study.
When people gather to study the Word of God, they bring their personal
problems, definite spiritual challenges, and deep emotional needs to the
task. Too often we leave the exploration of Scripture to Scholars. But
should Bible study be left only to those with special knowledge? The
answer to this question is foiund in the purpose of the Bible study.
In order to be a careful interpreter of Scripture, there is one primary
challenge. We must seek to understand what God is saying to us. This
involves asking the right questions of the Bible text--questions that the
Holy Spirit brings to our minds as we study and meditate upon particular
passages. Thus we can find specific answers for our individual needs.
Prayer for divine enlightenment is the first step. (See The Great
Controversy, p. 521.) As we speak and listen to God, our hears are
prepared to understand His written word.
- Sunday Jan. 7: Building of strong footings. Matthew 7:24-27 & Romans 2:13
- What are the results in people's lives of the learning that involves both
hearing and doing? Matt. 7:25-27. What does obedience have to do with
hearing God's Word? Rom. 2:13
- What causes people to feel that they cannot follow the instruction and
counsel from God in Scripture? What other types of hearers are there in
How many of the hearers of Matthew 13 are active hearers, open to learn
about God's truth? What reasons are given for this commendable attitude?
- What do the types of soil referred to in the parable of the sower
represent in your world? Give a practical applicaton to the attitudes
depicted in the parable.
- Monday Jan. 8: Study systematically. Acts 17:10-14
- What methods would enrich your study of the Bible? How is studying the
Bible like being a good detective? Compare
with Luke 24:27,
- Listed below are the steps in basic Bible study:
- Observing - seeing the basic facts contained in the passage we are
- Asking - learning the kind of questions to ask of the text we wish
to examine and thereby discovering more information.
- Interpreting - finding out what the text actually means.
- Cross-referencing - comparing scripture with scripture, allowing
the Bible to be its own expositor.
- Applying - making life applications
- What other process have you found to be helpful in understanding
Scripture? Read your favorite passage in the Bible, and apply the above five
- Tuesday Jan. 9: Hearing to understand. Matthew 22:23-33
- What skills used in mastery of one's profession can come to bear in
learning to explore the Bible? What are the two reasons stated in Matthew
22:23-33 that cause people to believe false doctrine?
- How many times have you determined that you should study the Bible
but have found that your busy schedule interferes with your best intentions?
What must you do with your priorities to focus anew on personal Bible study?
What is the best time of day for you to spend with God's word?
- Wednesday Jan. 10: Study for life application. Matthew 28:18-20
- Ask yourself, Which of my attitudes should be changed by Bible study?
What do I need to begin to do or to stop doing if my Bible study is to be
practical? In what ministry for others should my study of Scripture
motivate me to engage?
- Look at the gospel commission found in Matthew 28:19,20, and complete
the following exercise:
- List all the action words found in the passage.
- How do you do the things implied by the action words in the passage?
- Thursday Jan. 11: Defense against falsehood. Matthew 25:1-13
- In making a practical, personal application of this passage, one might
ask the following questions:
- What is the major issue in the story?
- Contrast the wise with the foolish bridesmaids. Why are they different?
- Is the moral of this story perseverance in the faith, or is it the
accumulation of spiritual reserves?
- Friday Jan. 12: Review and further study.
- Do you agree with the following assessment? Explain your answer.
"It's quite clear from the Bible itself that God isnot concerned
merely with our knowing about his people, or even, about him. In fact, we
might go so far as to say that the Bible writers were not interested in
knowledge for the sake of knowledge ... they were much more concerned
about living." --John F. Balchin, David H. Field, Tremper Longmann III,
eds., The Complete Bible Study Tool Kit (Downer's Grove, Ill.:
InterVarsity Press, 1991), p. 73.
- What is the result when the people of God fail to understand the Bible
- What do you believe is the root cause of failure to study the Bible
on a regular basis?
- How would you summarize the practical lessons we can learn from Satan's
temptation of Jesus in the wilderness?
- What is the purpose of your Bible study? What is the purpose of Bible
study for your family? Do these purposes differ? If so, how?
- What are some of the challenges we face in developing a systematic plan
for Bible study?
The purpose of Bible study includes both systematic discovery of God's will
and application of biblical principles for ourspiritual growth and
development. This twofold process of understanding and application
provides the basis for Christian living. God nees individuals who are
committed to personal study, discovery, and application to life.
Coded by Dave Albrecht.
Last updated on January 27, 1996.