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The Word of God

The word “Bible” is derived from the Greek word Biblia which means Books. The Bible is composed of an Old Testament with 39 books and a New Testament with 27 books – a total of 66 books. These books were written at different times and in many different places, but they were collected under die guidance of God’s Spirit and form a wonderful unity. In the Bible itself these books are referred to as the “holy Scriptures” (2 Tim. 3:15). They all constitute the Word of God because the authors have written them under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21).

We are living in a time of great falling away from the truth, and evangelical Christians must observe and honour the Bible. The Word of God is a precious gift that was given to us. It is dynamic and living, and fulfils various spiritual needs in our lives. The Word has, according to its own statements, the following clear and unique characteristics:

It is a revelation of God and His works

Firstly, it should be realised that the Bible does not contain the words of men but the Word of God. It reveals the nature of the Triune God, the works of His creation, including the origin of man, the existence and plans of a hostile kingdom under the leadership of Satan who was cast out of heaven by God, the wretchedness and moral depravity of humanity due to of the Fall, God’s calling of Israel and the giving of His laws of righteousness, His saving grace for all humanity through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the wrath of God upon the wicked who rejected His offer of salvation, the Second Coming of Christ, the establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth, and the future of humanity – the saved ones in the new heaven and on the new earth, and the wicked with Satan and his demons in the lake of fire. A large part of the Bible is devoted to supporting the spiritual growth of believers and to equip and empower them to stand against all the spiritual deception of a hostile world (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Bible is not a collection of human thoughts about God but a Book that was “given” by God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21). The divine inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible as it was written in the original languages has been firmly established – among others, by the remarkable fulfilment of prophecies. The clear revelation of Jesus Christ as God the Son is elevated far above all theological speculation and vain reasoning.

It is associated with a Person

All the promises of God in the Bible are related to a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the incarnate Word (John 1:1,4,14). The spoken and written Word of God testify of the Saviour, Jesus Christ, and is therefore closely associated with Him. In Him all promises in the Bible are Yes and Amen as He paid the price for their fulfilment on the cross (2 Cor. 1:20; Eph. 1:7). Because of the close relationship between Christ and the Word we cannot fully know and love the Lord Jesus if we neglect the study of His Word (John 14:23).

It has creative power

The Word of God has creative power (2 Pet. 3:5), also in the lives of people who were dead in their sins and iniquities (Rom. 1:16). All true believers know that there is quickening power in the Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. The believing Roman centurion said to Jesus: “…only speak a word, and my servant will be healed” (Matt. 8:8).

It is pure

The inerrancy and flawlessness of the Word are proof of the fact that it is absolutely pure. It is unchanging and trustworthy (Ps. 12:6; 119:140). It is worthy of all acceptance that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15).

It is like a fire and a hammer

The Word is like a consuming fire and a hammer which breaks a rock in pieces (Jer. 23:29). It can soften the hardest heart and break down every wall of resistance. If we have a teachable spirit and receive the Word into our minds and hearts, it will be like a fire which consumes all human theories and false ideas about life. Instead of our distorted views of the past we will receive divine wisdom and insight, which is described as enlightened eyes of the mind (Eph. 1:18).

It saves the souls of sinners

We must receive the Word with meekness as its message can save our souls (Jas. 1:21; 1 Pet. 1:23). The Lord Jesus gave intensive teachings to the disciples and opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures that testify of Him (Luke 24:44-45; John 5:37-40). If they reject the Word they will die in their sins (John 8:24). Jesus reprimanded them because His Word had no place in them (John 8:37). The most important reason for their resentment of the Word was the wayward opinions of Israel’s spiritual leaders who deceived the nation and thus shut up the kingdom of heaven against men (Matt. 23:13).

It is spirit and life

The words of Christ are spirit and they are life (John 6:63). After being born again we should nourish ourselves daily with the Word to become mature Christians, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (1 Pet. 2:2; Eph. 4:13-14; 1 Tim. 4:6). This spiritual food is essential (Luke 4:4). Pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit as only He can teach you and guide you into the whole truth of God’s Word (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:10).

It is a two-edged sword

The Word is like a two-edged sword that pierces into our deepest being where it discerns the thoughts and intents of our hearts (Heb. 4:12). It reveals to us which thoughts are carnal and which are spiritual.

It gives direction to our lives

It directs our steps away from the paths of sin and iniquity (Ps. 119:101,133; Josh. 1:7). By accepting the promises of the Bible in faith we are hiding God’s Word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him (Ps. 119:11). The lives of all people who are not anchored to Christ and His Word have been built on sand. They will certainly fall down and come to eternal grief when they encounter the storms of God’s judgements (Matt. 7:24-27).

It illuminates our lives

All Christians should let the light of God’s Word shine in the world so that sinners may repent (Acts 26:18). Every unsaved person is caught in the darkness of sin and should, by way of a spiritual rebirth, come out of the darkness of Satan into God’s marvellous light. In the light of God’s Word we realise our sinfulness and need for salvation (Eph. 5:14).

It reveals the future

Prophecies that reveal future events are an important part of God’s Word. Paul says that we should not despise prophecies (1 Thess. 5:20). A special blessing is promised to us if we study the prophetic Word and take its message to heart (Rev. 1:3). It reaffirms the certainty of our hope in Christ, while also giving information on the future strategies that Satan will follow in his relentless efforts to deceive Christians.

It will not return to God void

The Word of God either leads to the salvation and spiritual growth of people or to their condemnation due to unbelief: it will not return to God void (Isa. 55:10-11). The Word of God will be fulfilled in all respects (Rev. 17:17) – for believers and unbelievers (Num. 23:19). With His perfect foreknowledge God knows what will happen in the future. Consequently, He could supply our every need before the time and also announced appropriate penalties for the wicked (Rev. 20:15). The Lord has no pleasure in the death of the wicked but rather in his repentance (Isa. 55:6-7). That is why the message of repentance is proclaimed to all nations (Acts 17:30-31). In the light of these facts we should hold fast the Word of life (Phil. 2:16).

It endures forever

 “The Word of the Lord endures for ever” (1 Pet. 1:25; Matt. 24:35). It will always remain effective, never become irrelevant or redundant, and will prevail after the present heaven and earth have passed away. Every word will be fulfilled. Together with the psalmist we have every reason to rejoice in our eternal God, His everlasting Word and His enduring mercies (Ps. 19:9-10; 29:10; 37:18; 44:8; 73:26; 92:8; 111:3; 119:93,160; 135:13).

Extra-biblical revelations

Does the Lord speak to you through His Word, or do you wait on Him to speak to you in other ways outside His Word?  Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest) explains this point in the following way: “Jesus says: ‘The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life’ (John 6:63). That is the way God speaks to us, not by visions and dreams, but by words. When a man gets to God it is by the most simple way of words.”

We can avoid many fallacies if we observe the sound principle of Sola Scriptura (only the Word). Even when we are tempted to attach significance to dreams and visions, we are still not allowed to convey these messages to other people as revelations of God’s will. We only have one clear command concerning God’s will: “Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2). God has revealed His whole counsel to us in the Bible (Acts 20:27). Direct your steps according to His Word! (Ps. 119:133).

Personal commitment

I accept the Bible as the inspired and inerrant Word of God. It is a precious gift from heaven as God has revealed Himself through His Word to humanity. The holy Scriptures do not only give the promise of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life but also instructions on how to build, strengthen and sustain this life with a view to reaching its full potential. Through His Word, the Lord wants to make me complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. May He keep me from ignorance about His Word which is living and powerful, so I will never be guilty of the following reproach: “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matt. 22:29). May the Word of Christ dwell in me richly (Col. 3:16; Rom. 10:8-9), that I may be rooted and grounded in His love (Eph. 3:17). “I have restrained my feet from every evil way” (Ps. 119:101).

Questions

1.    Explain whether the Bible is the words of men or the Word of God.

2.    What is the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Word?

3.    Explain the Bible’s role as a two-edged sword.

4.    How is the Bible related to our salvation?

5.    Should we look for extra-biblical revelations of God’s will?

Prof. Johan Malan

Pleasure and Profit in Bible Study

Pleasure and Profit in Bible Study

by Dwight Lyman Moody

We cannot overestimate the importance of a thorough familiarity with the Bible. I try to lose no opportunity of urging people by every means in my power to the constant study of this wonderful Book. If through the pages that follow, I can reach still others and rouse them to read their Bibles, not at random but with a plan and purpose, I shall be indeed thankful.

Go to this Bible study guide

Group or Individual Bible Study Guides
Studies available in English & Afrikaans.
Joshua

An Old Testament Type of Jesus

Joshua played an important role in Israel after they had been delivered from Egypt, thereby preparing him for his future role as leader when they crossed the Jordan to take possession of the Promised Land. His conquests in Canaan rendered proof that he was a special instrument in the hand of the Lord. Joshua was an Old Testament type of Jesus, who was sent by the Father to accomplish a much greater purpose, i.e. to deliver people all over the world from the bondage of sin.

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Josua

’n Ou-Testamentiese Tipe van Jesus

Josua het ’n belangrike rol in Israel se geskiedenis gespeel nadat hulle uit Egipte bevry is, en dit het hom voorberei om as leier op te tree toe hulle deur die Jordaan getrek het om die Beloofde Land in besit te neem. Sy oorwinningstogte in Kanaän het van hom ’n beson­dere instrument in die hand van die Here gemaak. Josua was ’n Ou-Testamentiese tipe van Jesus wat deur die Vader gestuur is vir ’n veel groter doel, naamlik om mense oral in die wêreld uit die slawerny van sonde te bevry.

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Studies Concerning the subject of Holiness

Holiness is a characteristic that is often talked about but hardly understood as to how it can be obtained. Too often holiness is considered an attribute of God that is not attainable to man. Holiness is considered something impossible.
1. Personal Holiness

2. The Holiness of God

3. Putting Sin to Death, Pursuing Holiness

4. Trained in Godliness

5. True Humility

6. Contentment

7. Self-Control

Open Studies

13 Studies in Christelike Heiligheid

13 Studies in Christelike Heiligheid

Hierdie 13 Wesleyaanse lesings oor heiligmaking is opgestel om weekliks oor ‘n tydperk van drie maande aangebied te word.

Sien Studies

Die Bybel in Geheel

Die Bybel in Geheel

Hierdie is 'n kort oorsig om vir jou 'n duideliker prentjie te skets voordat jy in diepte met Bybelstudie begin. Hierdie Bybel in Geheel studie, is 'n studie van die hele Bybel. Dit neem jou deur elke boek van die Bybel om vir jou 'n kort oorsig te gee oor elke boek, deur wie dit geskryf was en waarom dit geskryf was en lig ook dan belangrike dele uit en som die boek in kort op. Met hierdie notas saam sal verdere studies van die Bybel baie meer vir jou sin maak en help om sekere konsepte beter te verstaan.
Die Bybel in Geheel

Kort Oorsig

Die waarde van die Bybel / Om die Bybel te verstaan / Bybelse Uitdrukkings.

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Die Bybel in Geheel - DEEL 1

Die Ou Testament

Die Ou Testament kan in 3 Dele opgedeel word: Deel 1 – Geskiedenis – Genesis tot Ester Deel 2 – Wysheid & Digkuns – Job tot Hooglied Deel 3 – Profesieë – Jesaja tot Maleagi

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Die Bybel in Geheel - DEEL 2

Die Nuwe Testament

Die Evangelies is seker die mees bekendste deel van die Bybel. Baie mense ken dele van die Evangelies maar min mense verstaan die omvang en doel van hierdie vier boeke.

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Discipling New Believers
English & Afrikaans FREE printable studies.

8 Week study program

This can be used as a weekly study for new believers. These studies will help with assurance of salvation and will grow their Bible knowledge. These are the very basics of the Christian faith and will ensure a firm foundation. Give this to a young believer and go through all the answers with the person each week. Make sure they memorized the scriptures each week. Use the study's questions to lead conversations on subjects that the person do not yet understand.

/Study%201
WHAT HAPPENED TO ME?
/Study%203
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GOD
/Study%204
IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD
/Study%206
WITNESSING FOR GOD
/Study%207
FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD
/Study%208
TO BE ONE IN CHRIST
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All 8 studies in one
/Answer%20sheet
Study 1 ot 8

8 Weke studie program

Gebruik die kort studies om weekliks deur te gaan met 'n nuwe Christen. Dit sal hulle sekerheid gee en hulle Bybel kennis verbreed sodat hulle op 'n vaste fondasie kan bou. Gee dit weekliks vir die persoon en gaan dit dan saam met hulle deur elke week nadat hulle dit ingevul het. Toets hul teks memorisering Gebruik die vrae in die studies as leiding tot nodige gesprekke daar waar die persoon dalk dinge nie verstaan nie.

/Studie%201
WAT HET MET MY GEBEUR?
/Studie%202
‘N WANDELING MET GOD
/Studie%203
OM VAN GOD TE LEER
/Studie%204
IN GESPREK MET GOD
/Studie%206
OM VIR GOD TE GETUIG
/Studie%207
GEVUL MET GOD SE GEES
/Studie%208
OM EEN TE WEES IN CHRISTUS
/Studie%201%20ot%208
Al 8 studies in een
/Antwoordblad
Studie 1 ot 8

Profitable Bible Study

There are many profitable methods of Bible Study. There is something, however, in Bible study more important than the best methods, that is, the fundamental conditions of profitable study. He who meets these conditions will get more out of the Bible, while pursuing the poorest method, than will he who does not meet them, while pursuing the best method. Many a one who is eagerly asking, "What method shall I pursue in my Bible study?" needs something that goes far deeper than a new and better method. 1. The first of the fundamental conditions of the most profitable Bible study is that the student must be born again.
Precept Ministries International

Precept Ministries International

PRECEPT MINISTRIES SOUTH AFRICA SERVES THE CHURCH BY HELPING TO ESTABLISH PEOPLE IN GOD'S WORD, USING INDUCTIVE BIBLE STUDY.

The ministry’s goal is to equip and encourage people to live as exemplary followers of Jesus Christ, studying the Bible inductively, viewing the world Biblically, making disciples intentionally and serving the church faithfully in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Through workshops, conferences and Bible classes the ministry provides training in Inductive Bible Study skills, which includes leading dynamic small group discussions. Inductive Bible study materials are available in nearly 70 languages. Hundreds of thousands of men, women, teens and children in close to 150 countries discover Truth for themselves using the Inductive Bible Study Method through the work of Precept Ministries.

www.precept.org.za

Precept Ministries - Lightning Studies

FREE downloadable Lightning Study topics offer a “print friendly” option for you to have a practical example of how Inductive Bible Study works during your personal devotion times or even with your small group.

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Read and download these free booklets

Also great for group or personal Bible study.
Biblical Decision Making
Is it God’s will to “find” His will?
Exactly how should you go about making good, God-honoring decisions?

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The Companionship Principle
Bringing Biblical Sanity to the Insanity of Dating
The real reason dating is often "insane" is Christian young people and parents have never consciously shaped their understanding of "dating" with the Bible.

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Dinge van Belang
Dinge van Belang vir jong Christene
Hulp en raad aan jong Christene. Die boekie is vol waardevolle wenke en waarskuwings om jou te help op jou pad saam met die Here.

Lees boekie

Identifying False Teachers
A Biblical Checklist for Identifying False Teachers in the Church
The purpose of this booklet is simple: to give you a checklist so that you can identify and avoid Christian leaders whom God would call false.

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Testing Today's Prophecy
Does today's "prophecy" measure up to biblical standards?
Should Christians accept the modern prophecy movement as a new work of God’s Spirit?

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