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Bible Intake: Part 2

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Introduction:
Read:
Introduction: Augustine’s conversion
Augustine’s conversion
II. Introduction:
a. Augustine’s conversion
b.
Body:
III. Body:
a. A Definition: Actively listening to God
A Definition: Actively listening to God
b. Why it matters? The Bible is the written Word of God. Therefore, what it says is what God says:
Why it matters? The Bible is the written Word of God. Therefore, what it says is what God says:
It is inspired and God’s tool for spiritual growth: ;
i. It is inspired and God’s tool for spiritual growth: ;
It is to be read, heard, studied, memorized, meditated upon, preached, and obeyed: ; ; ;
ii. It is to be read, heard, studied, memorized, meditated upon, preached, and obeyed: ; ; ;
Scripture has four main attributes:
iii. Scripture has four main attributes:
Sufficient: It is all we need to know God and how we are to relate to Him.
a. Sufficient: It is all we need to know God and how we are to relate to Him.
b. Clear: What needs to be understood can be understood.
Clear: What needs to be understood can be understood.
c. Authoritative: It has final say in all that it speaks to.
Authoritative: It has final say in all that it speaks to.
Necessary: Without it we could not know God in any meaningful or saving way.
d. Necessary: Without it we could not know God in any meaningful or saving way.
c. Memorizing the Bible:
Memorizing the Bible:
i. Don Whitney: Many Christians look on the Spiritual Discipline of memorizing God’s Word as something tantamount to modern-day martyrdom. Ask them to memorize Bible verses and they react with about as much eagerness as a request for volunteers to face Nero’s lions.[1]
Don Whitney: Many Christians look on the Spiritual Discipline of memorizing God’s Word as something tantamount to modern-day martyrdom. Ask them to memorize Bible verses and they react with about as much eagerness as a request for volunteers to face Nero’s lions.[1]
Definition: Committing verses, passages, and books to memory.
ii. Definition: Committing verses, passages, and books to memory.
iii. Reasons/Benefits of Memorizing:
Reasons/Benefits of Memorizing:
Memorizing Scripture provides spiritual power (, , )
a. Memorizing Scripture provides spiritual power (, , :
b. Memorizing Scripture strengthens your faith ()
Memorizing Scripture strengthens your faith ()
c. Memorizing Scripture provides resources for counseling and evangelism
Memorizing Scripture provides resources for counseling and evangelism
d. Memorizing Scripture provides guidance (, )
Memorizing Scripture provides guidance (, )
e. Memorizing Scripture aids understanding, meditation upon, and applying Scripture
Memorizing Scripture aids understanding, meditation upon, and applying Scripture
iv. You can do it! You should do it!
You can do it! You should do it!
v. Process:
Process:
Have a plan
a. Have a plan
Pick a translation
b. Pick a translation
Write out verses
c. Write out verses
Draw picture reminders
d. Draw picture reminders
e. Memorize verses word-perfectly
Memorize verses word-perfectly
f. Do it with others
Do it with others
g. Review and meditate Every day
Review and meditate Every day
Tools:
vi. Tools:
a. Scripturetyper
Scripturetyper
b. Fighter Verses
Fighter Verses
c. Sunday School Members/Spouses/Mentors
Sunday School Members/Spouses/Mentors
d. Meditating on the Bible:
Meditating on the Bible:
Definitions:
i. Definitions:
a. Thomas Watson: A holy exercise of the mind whereby we bring the truths of God to remembrance and do seriously ponder upon them and apply them to ourselves.
Thomas Watson: A holy exercise of the mind whereby we bring the truths of God to remembrance and do seriously ponder upon them and apply them to ourselves.
b. Jimmy Johnson: The habit of pondering and applying God’s truth.
Jimmy Johnson: The habit of pondering and applying God’s truth.
The difference between Meditating on and Studying the Bible, according to Thomas Manton: The end of study is information, and the end of meditation is practice, or a work upon the affections. Study is like a winter sun that shines but does not warm, but meditation is like blowing up the fire, where we do not mind the blaze but the heat. The end of study is to hoard up truth, but of meditation to lay it forth in conference or holy conversation. In study, we are rather like vintners that take in wine to store themselves for sale; in meditation, like those that buy wine for their own use and comfort. A vintner’s cellar may be better stored than a nobleman’s; the student may have more of notion and knowledge, but the practical Christian has more of taste and refreshment.[2]
· The difference between Meditating on and Studying the Bible, according to Thomas Manton: The end of study is information, and the end of meditation is practice, or a work upon the affections. Study is like a winter sun that shines but does not warm, but meditation is like blowing up the fire, where we do not mind the blaze but the heat. The end of study is to hoard up truth, but of meditation to lay it forth in conference or holy conversation. In study, we are rather like vintners that take in wine to store themselves for sale; in meditation, like those that buy wine for their own use and comfort. A vintner’s cellar may be better stored than a nobleman’s; the student may have more of notion and knowledge, but the practical Christian has more of taste and refreshment.[2]
c. Types:
Types:
Occasional Meditation: done at any time, in any place, and among any people. Learning to see the spiritual behind the physical or mundane.
· Occasional Meditation: done at any time, in any place, and among any people. Learning to see the spiritual behind the physical or mundane.
Intentional Meditation: deliberate at set times every day.
· Intentional Meditation: deliberate at set times every day.
d. Frequency: Twice Daily, or at Least Once ()
Frequency: Twice Daily, or at Least Once ()
e. Preparation:
Preparation:
Clear your heart from things of this world
· Clear your heart from things of this world
Have your heart cleansed from the guilt and pollution of sin and stirred up with love for spiritual things
· Have your heart cleansed from the guilt and pollution of sin and stirred up with love for spiritual things
Approach the task with seriousness
· Approach the task with seriousness
Find a place to do it
· Find a place to do it
· Be in a reverant body posture while doing it
Be in a reverant body posture while doing it
Guidelines:
f. Guidelines:
Pray for God’s assistance
· Pray for God’s assistance
· Pick easy subjects at first
Pick easy subjects at first
· Select subjects relevant to your circumstances
Select subjects relevant to your circumstances
Memorize relevant scripture passages
· Memorize relevant scripture passages
g. Subjects of Meditation:
Subjects of Meditation:
· Prolegomena
Prolegomena
i. the sacred Word of God (3)
the sacred Word of God (3)
the defense of Christianity (1)
ii. the defense of Christianity (1)
Theology Proper
· Theology Proper
i. the nature and attributes of God (7)
the nature and attributes of God (7)
the works and providences of God (7)
ii. the works and providences of God (7)
the glory of God as man’s chief end (4)
iii. the glory of God as man’s chief end (4)
iv. the majesty of God (3)
the majesty of God (3)
the mercies of God (3)
v. the mercies of God (3)
God as Creator (2)
vi. God as Creator (2)
Anthropology
· Anthropology
the sinfulness of sin and our personal sin (9)
i. the sinfulness of sin and our personal sin (9)
the corruption and deceitfulness of the heart (5)
ii. the corruption and deceitfulness of the heart (5)
the fall in Adam and estrangement from God (4)
iii. the fall in Adam and estrangement from God (4)
iv. the vanity of man (4)
the vanity of man (4)
v. the value and immortality of the soul (3)
the value and immortality of the soul (3)
the frailty of the body (2)
vi. the frailty of the body (2)
vii. the uncertainty of earthly comforts (1)
the uncertainty of earthly comforts (1)
the sin of covetousness (1)
viii. the sin of covetousness (1)
ix. the contrast between God and man (1)
the contrast between God and man (1)
· Christology
Christology
the passion and death of Christ (8)
i. the passion and death of Christ (8)
the love of Christ (5)
ii. the love of Christ (5)
the person of Christ (4)
iii. the person of Christ (4)
the mystery and wonder of the gospel (4)
iv. the mystery and wonder of the gospel (4)
v. the natures of Christ (2)
the natures of Christ (2)
the offices of Christ (2)
vi. the offices of Christ (2)
vii. the life of Christ (2)
the life of Christ (2)
the states of Christ (1)
viii. the states of Christ (1)
· Soteriology and the Christian Life
Soteriology and the Christian Life
i. the promises of God (7)
the promises of God (7)
ii. self-examination for evidences of grace (5)
self-examination for evidences of grace (5)
the rich privileges of believers (3)
iii. the rich privileges of believers (3)
iv. the grace and person of the Holy Spirit (3)
the grace and person of the Holy Spirit (3)
the benefits of faith (2)
v. the benefits of faith (2)
sanctification (2)
vi. sanctification (2)
prayer (2)
vii. prayer (2)
the commandments of God (2)
viii. the commandments of God (2)
ix. the admonishments and threatenings of God (2)
the admonishments and threatenings of God (2)
x. the danger of apostasy (1)
the danger of apostasy (1)
xi. the small number of the saved (1)
the small number of the saved (1)
spiritual dangers (1)
xii. spiritual dangers (1)
xiii. love, joy, hope (1)
love, joy, hope (1)
xiv. the Sabbath (1)
the Sabbath (1)
xv. self-denial (1)
self-denial (1)
· Ecclesiology
Ecclesiology
the ordinances of God (5)
i. the ordinances of God (5)
ii. the Lord’s Supper (4)
the Lord’s Supper (4)
baptism (2)
iii. baptism (2)
iv. hearing and reading the Word (2)
hearing and reading the Word (2)
v. the joys and sorrows of the church (1)
the joys and sorrows of the church (1)
Eschatology
vi. Eschatology
heaven (10)
vii. heaven (10)
death (8)
viii. death (8)
judgment (7)
ix. judgment (7)
hell (7)
x. hell (7)
xi. eternity (5)[3]
eternity (5)[3]
h. Benefits:
Benefits:
Meditation helps us focus on the triune God, to love and to enjoy Him in all His persons ()—intellectually, spiritually, aesthetically.
· Meditation helps us focus on the triune God, to love and to enjoy Him in all His persons ()—intellectually, spiritually, aesthetically.
Meditation helps increase knowledge of sacred truth. It “takes the veil from the face of truth” ().
· Meditation helps increase knowledge of sacred truth. It “takes the veil from the face of truth” ().
Meditation is the “nurse of wisdom,” for it promotes the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom ().
· Meditation is the “nurse of wisdom,” for it promotes the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom ().
Meditation enlarges our faith by helping us to trust the God of promises in all our spiritual troubles and the God of providence in all our outward troubles.87
· Meditation enlarges our faith by helping us to trust the God of promises in all our spiritual troubles and the God of providence in all our outward troubles.87
Meditation augments one’s affections. Watson called meditation “the bellows of the affections.” He said, “Meditation hatcheth good affections, as the hen her young ones by sitting on them; we light affection at this fire of meditation” ().88
· Meditation augments one’s affections. Watson called meditation “the bellows of the affections.” He said, “Meditation hatcheth good affections, as the hen her young ones by sitting on them; we light affection at this fire of meditation” ().88
Meditation fosters repentance and reformation of life (; ).
· Meditation fosters repentance and reformation of life (; ).
Meditation is a great friend to memory.
· Meditation is a great friend to memory.
Meditation helps us view worship as a discipline to be cultivated. It makes us prefer God’s house to our own.
· Meditation helps us view worship as a discipline to be cultivated. It makes us prefer God’s house to our own.
· Meditation transfuses Scripture through the texture of the soul.
Meditation transfuses Scripture through the texture of the soul.
· Meditation is a great aid to prayer (). It tunes the instrument of prayer before prayer.
Meditation is a great aid to prayer (). It tunes the instrument of prayer before prayer.
Meditation helps us to hear and read the Word with real benefit. It makes the Word “full of life and energy to our souls.” William Bates wrote, “Hearing the word is like ingestion, and when we meditate upon the word that is digestion; and this digestion of the word by meditation produceth warm affections, zealous resolutions, and holy actions.”89
· Meditation helps us to hear and read the Word with real benefit. It makes the Word “full of life and energy to our souls.” William Bates wrote, “Hearing the word is like ingestion, and when we meditate upon the word that is digestion; and this digestion of the word by meditation produceth warm affections, zealous resolutions, and holy actions.”89
· Meditation on the sacraments helps our “graces to be better and stronger.” It helps faith, hope, love, humility, and numerous spiritual comforts thrive in the soul.
Meditation on the sacraments helps our “graces to be better and stronger.” It helps faith, hope, love, humility, and numerous spiritual comforts thrive in the soul.
· Meditation stresses the heinousness of sin. It “musters up all weapons, and gathers all forces of arguments for to presse our sins, and lay them heavy upon the heart,” wrote Fenner.90 Thomas Hooker said, “Meditation sharpens the sting and strength of corruption, that it pierceth more prevailingly.”91 It is a “strong antidote against sin” and “a cure of covetousness.”
Meditation stresses the heinousness of sin. It “musters up all weapons, and gathers all forces of arguments for to presse our sins, and lay them heavy upon the heart,” wrote Fenner.90 Thomas Hooker said, “Meditation sharpens the sting and strength of corruption, that it pierceth more prevailingly.”91 It is a “strong antidote against sin” and “a cure of covetousness.”
Meditation enables us to “discharge religious duties, because it conveys to the soul the lively sense and feeling of God’s goodness; so the soul is encouraged to duty.”92
· Meditation enables us to “discharge religious duties, because it conveys to the soul the lively sense and feeling of God’s goodness; so the soul is encouraged to duty.”92
Meditation helps prevent vain and sinful thoughts (; ). It helps wean us from this present evil age.
· Meditation helps prevent vain and sinful thoughts (; ). It helps wean us from this present evil age.
Meditation provides inner resources on which to draw (), including direction for daily life ().
· Meditation provides inner resources on which to draw (), including direction for daily life ().
· Meditation helps us persevere in faith; it keeps our hearts “savoury and spiritual in the midst of all our outward and worldly employments,” wrote William Bridge.93
Meditation helps us persevere in faith; it keeps our hearts “savoury and spiritual in the midst of all our outward and worldly employments,” wrote William Bridge.93
Meditation is a mighty weapon to ward off Satan and temptation (, ; ).
· Meditation is a mighty weapon to ward off Satan and temptation (, ; ).
· Meditation provides relief in afflictions (; ).
Meditation provides relief in afflictions (; ).
· Meditation helps us benefit others with our spiritual fellowship and counsel (; ; ).
Meditation helps us benefit others with our spiritual fellowship and counsel (; ; ).
· Meditation promotes gratitude for all the blessings showered upon us by God through His Son.
Meditation promotes gratitude for all the blessings showered upon us by God through His Son.
Meditation glorifies God ().94[4]
· Meditation glorifies God ().94[4]
i. Obstacles:
Obstacles:
Ignorance: Answer—learn through study and fellowship
· Ignorance: Answer—learn through study and fellowship
Busyness: Answer—set aside time daily to do it
· Busyness: Answer—set aside time daily to do it
Spiritual Lethargy: Answer—even when you don’t feel like it, do it
· Spiritual Lethargy: Answer—even when you don’t feel like it, do it
Worldliness: Answer—remember closeness to God is better than anything the world or worldly friends has to offer
· Worldliness: Answer—remember closeness to God is better than anything the world or worldly friends has to offer
Adverseness of heart of Heart: Answer—Confess your sins and ask for God’s assistance
· Adverseness of heart of Heart: Answer—Confess your sins and ask for God’s assistance
j. Application: Methods and Tools
Application: Methods and Tools
Methods:
· Methods:
i. Read passage aloud emphasizing different words
Read passage aloud emphasizing different words
Rewrite a passage or doctrinal truth in your own words
ii. Rewrite a passage or doctrinal truth in your own words
Joseph Hall Method:
iii. Joseph Hall Method
What is it (define and/or describe what it is)?
What are its divisions or parts?
2.What are its divisions or parts?
What causes it
What does it cause, i.e., its fruits and effects?
What is its place, location, or use?
iv.
Questions:
What are its qualities and attachments?
What is contrary, contradictory, or different to it?
What compares to it?
What are it’s titles or names?
What are the testimonies or examples of Scripture about it?
Questions:
When meditating on an event, an experience, a thing, an encounter, etc., and especially on a text of Scripture, ask:
What is true about this, or what truth does it exemplify?
· Tools:
Tools:
What is honorable about this?
What is honorable about this?
What is right about this?
What is right about this?
What is pure about this, or how does it exemplify purity?
What is pure about this, or how does it exemplify purity?
What is lovely about this?
What is lovely about this?
What is admirable, commendable, or reputation-strengthening about this?
What is admirable, commendable, or reputation-strengthening about this?
reputation-strengthening about this?
What is excellent about this (i.e., excels others of this kind)?
What is excellent about this (i.e., excels others of this kind)?
What is praiseworthy about this?
What is praiseworthy about this?Tools:
Tools:
i. The Church—its people and pastor(s)
The Church—its people and pastor(s)
ii. The Church Statement of Faith
The Church Statement of Faith
Baptist Faith and Message
iii. Baptist Faith and Message
London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689
iv. London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689
Baptist Catechism
v. Baptist Catechism
vi. Scripture Memorization
Scripture Memorization
Recommended Resources
e. Recommended Resources
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Don Whitney
i. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Don Whitney
Spiritual Disciplines within the Church by Don Whitney
ii. Spiritual Disciplines within the Church by Don Whitney
A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life by Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones
iii. A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life by Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones
iv. How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth by Douglas Stuart and Gordon Fee
How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth by Douglas Stuart and Gordon Fee
Grasping God’s Word by J. Scott Duval and J. Daniel Hayes
v. Grasping God’s Word by J. Scott Duval and J. Daniel Hayes
vi. Family Worship by Don Whitney
Family Worship by Don Whitney
IV. Conclusion:
Conclusion:
a. If your growth in godliness were measured by the quality of your Bible intake, what would be the result?
If your growth in godliness were measured by the quality of your Bible intake, what would be the result?
b. What is one thing you can do to improve your intake of God’s Word?
What is one thing you can do to improve your intake of God’s Word?
Will you discipline yourself beginning today to take God’s Word seriously and discipline yourself in memorizing and meditation on the Word of God for the sake of growing in godliness?
c. Will you discipline yourself beginning today to take God’s Word seriously and discipline yourself in memorizing and meditation on the Word of God for the sake of growing in godliness?
[1] Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991), 41–42.
[1] Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991), 41–42.
[2] Elliot Ritzema and Elizabeth Vince, eds., 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans, Pastorum Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2013).
[2] Elliot Ritzema and Elizabeth Vince, eds., 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans, Pastorum Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2013).
[3] Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012), 900–901.
[3] Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012), 900–901.
4 Calamy, The Art of Divine Meditation, 40–42.
4 Calamy, The Art of Divine Meditation, 40–42.
5 Watson, Sermons, 256.
5 Watson, Sermons, 256.
6 Bates, “On Divine Meditation,” in Works, 3:131.
6 Bates, “On Divine Meditation,” in Works, 3:131.
7 Fenner, The Use and Benefit of Divine Meditation, 3.
7 Fenner, The Use and Benefit of Divine Meditation, 3.
8 Hooker, The Application of Redemption, 217.
8 Hooker, The Application of Redemption, 217.
9 Bates, “On Divine Meditation,” in Works, 3:135.
9 Bates, “On Divine Meditation,” in Works, 3:135.
10 Bridge, Christ and the Covenant, in Works, 3:133.
10 Bridge, Christ and the Covenant, in Works, 3:133.
11 Cf. Oliver Heywood, The Whole Works of the Rev. Oliver Heywood, (Idle, U.K.: by John Vint for F. Westley, et al., 1825), 2:276–81.
11 Cf. Oliver Heywood, The Whole Works of the Rev. Oliver Heywood, (Idle, U.K.: by John Vint for F. Westley, et al., 1825), 2:276–81.
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