Two Essential Questions of Bible Study & Busta'rhyme
Go deeper. Get to the foundation.
Here is the thing about inductive Bible study - it is a tool. It isn't about remembering the Bible, but that happens. It isn't about making lists or charts, but that happens too. It isn't so much about remembering the chronology or the geography or even the importance of context, though all of that happens too. First and foremost, it is about God.
Bible study starts and ends with God.
Some times people make it more than that, but inductive Bible study is merely a tool with which we can know God. No, not know about God. If it was just know about God as the goal, then filling out charts and lists about Him would be the end. Nope, that isn't it. The marking, listing, and charting is a means - a tool with which you can slow down and process what God says about Himself. That is a solo endeavor, getting to the foundation on your own. Something supernatural takes place as you slow down and answer one of the most important questions of inductive Bible study:
What does this text say about God?
Then, as you observe who God says He is... as you start with God (not with what it means to you or how it applies to you), an amazing thing happens - you start to realize how glorious our God is. God shows you what He wants you to know about Himself. You want to know love? Don't start with you, start with God. You want to define holiness, mission, or compassion - yeah, start with God. As you continue knowing God, depending on Him to teach you as you get to know Him through His Word, the next important question is this:
What implications does this have on my life?
Yes, it is that simple. It isn't rocket science, though it does require grit and grace. Grit because we live in a culture that wants things now and wants someone to tell us. Grace because there is a full dependence upon God's Spirit to reveal truth to us as we use the tool of inductive Bible study.
The grace + grit combo is really important.
Too much emphasis on grit and you become a prideful Bible-basher. Someone who forgets that it is by grace that you've been saved and grace by which you have grown in using the tool of inductive study.
Too much emphasis on grace with no grit... that feels really weird to write... to be fair, true grace always results in a grace-motivated grit... Someone who forgets the grit bails when it gets hard, always looking for a motivational, pragmatic, 5 steps to a better life with Jesus kind of thing. Nope, grit and grace and grace driven grit.
Does that sound boring or mind-blowing to you? Check out these students - high-school and college students. They've displayed a lot of grit this week. They've been given a ton of grace this week too! (At the end of the video, some Boot Campers answer those two questions - what have you learned about God? What difference does it make?)
They use the tool on their own, fully depending on grit and grace.
NOW, while in the world of good, better, and best - individual Bible study is better than none at all. However, with inductive Bible study - we discover truth for ourselves, but never by ourselves.
After studying it on their own, students then discuss and reason through it with a group, fully depending on grit and grace.
Finally, they apply it, fully depending on grit and grace.
They get to the "So What?" where they talk through how they can apply what God has taught Him about Himself. Because of Jesus and through the power of the Spirit, they apply the Word of God to their lives!
Yes, millennials not only want to know God through His Word... they actually get after it and do it! Be encouraged.
Special thanks to Annie Spratt for the photo!