Teachers Study: "The Importance of Theology"
The problem we have today is most people, including Christians, do not know the reasons and importance of theology, including the role of scripture. People cannot discern when or how God works, what He has to tell us or what we should know until he tells us. The Lord tells us who He is and reveals His will to us through the authority of His word. John 5:39 and II Timothy 3:16. These scriptures testify to the importance and role and authority of the Bible, that the Bible is the supreme authority of faith, practice, and duty for all Christians. There is no higher authority either ecclesiastical or personal that can take the place of God's word. A conservative, strong position on biblical inspiration is imperative to the effective Bible teacher. Without this view of authority, we elevate ourselves above God and we become the means of faith and practice and not the Creator of the universe. The Bible is "wholly true." This is testified by the scriptures themselves, by the test of time, and even by science and higher criticism. Without the authority of scripture is like having a view of Christianity without Christ.
Remember to begin in prayer!
· Prayer 5 min
· Pick one of the options 5-10 min
· Read lesson and bible passages 10-15min (you can do this and discussions together)
· Discussion groups 15-30 min
· Going deep 5-10 min
· End in prayer and repeat application. 5 min
Total lesson time 45 min- 1 hr
Go over the following: Read John 3:16. (You can have youth say this in a round as loud as they can)
Group One say: Group Two say:
God "the greatest giver"
so loved "the greatest motive"
the world "the greatest need"
that he gave "the greatest act"
His only son "the greatest gift"
that whosoever "the greatest invitation"
believes in Him "the greatest opportunity"
should not perish "the greatest deliverance"
but have eternal life. "the greatest joy"
"Options"Get a hold of several dirty filters, such as from an auto repair shop or an old furnace filter. And get a clean filter, preferably one you can see through, such as a "glass" gas filter. You can do the same with various types of magazines, from teen
magazines, to Christianity Today.
Say: "A filter screens out what is bad and harmful. The filter to your air conditioner and heater at home filters out dust that many people are allergic to. These auto filters screen out contaminates so the car will get better gas mileage and last longer."
I once saw a car that was never tuned up or had any oil changes, in fact it had the original oil in it, which was sludge! The car was totally worthless. It was a two year old Lincoln Continental with only 30,000 miles on it! But the engine, transmission and many of the car's systems did not work. The car should have sold for over $20,000 and still be an almost new car! But this car ended up at an auction and sold for $2000 as scrap! When we do not filter out contaminates, we too can become scrap!
§ We have to learn how to screen out what is false from what is true!
§ Read Phil. 1:9-11; 4:8-9
§ What are some of the contaminates in your life?
§ What can you do to filter them?
§ What would your life be with a good filter?
Lesson: Step III "OBSERVE IT."(II TIM 2:15) ASK WHAT DOES IT SAY?
Now Begin a detailed study of the passage. You thought you already did? Actually you have just begun! Now Begin a detailed study of the passage and write down what you see in the chart on "Step IV" or in a notebook or diary.
§ Effective observation takes time and practice. So be patient.
Observation is taking a careful look of what is going on. And we have to know what is going on before we can act on a plan or action. A good police officer must know the situation before they can intercede correctly. Bible students must know the Word themselves before they can teach it.
Too many people like to dive into a decision without looking at the options and consequences. Too many Bible students will jump into teaching without fully knowing their subject, that is why we have so much bad teaching on TV, and so many false teachings and blatant heresies in the church.
Emotions and desires have been substituted for principle logic and study, greed and power have replaced honoring our Lord!
Like planning a road trip, you need to know where you are going; and then you can look back where you have been: Get Ready to CHART IT! That is to write down what you learn, so you can go back to it and see how you have grown and to review His incredible Word! This will be step VII.
OBSERVING IS: Before the process of interpretation, ask, "What does it say?" You must do this before you ask what does it mean and how to apply it to your life!
· If you do the opposite as many do, you will not go deep enough and allow God's Word to transform you before you respond to that change!
· When we try to do something for God before we are changed, it is like trying to drive a car manual instead of the car itself: When we are working with the plans only and not the finished product, we will end up accomplishing nothing!
Discussion HOW TO DO THE OBSERVATION:
(Take your passage, (chose a short book like II or III John or Jude or.) and go through it together or in small groups with these steps. Have the students highlight or circle what they find. It is best to give them several different colors of highlighters, and use different colors for different observations. )
1. Give the Book the "Looks."
· Look for a stated purpose.
· Look for repeated phrases.
· Look for the point.
· Look who is involved?
If you do not know what to "look" for, you will not find much!
2. Look for the time of events, the sequence, "once, then, now, will be, etc." Once you know what to look for a whole new world opens up to you! You will see the words come to you as marvelous revelations as the Holy Spirit comes upon you!
· Look for persons, places, event, and ideas.
3. Look for logical Connectives, i.e. Therefore, But, Since, So, Thus, Because, For, That, etc. (Conjunction junction what's your function?) This is very important because it tells us of a transition, summary or application from a logic statement or line of reasoning.
· BUT, Even though, Much More, Yet, Although, Then, and Nevertheless is a "Contrast," the ideas and information that point to a difference, that set themselves off from each other for comparison and emphasis.
· As, For, and So, refers to a "Correlative," that is a mutual dependency, a pair that is closely related to each other.
· Until, Now, When, Before, After, Since, Where and While are time or place references and, in grammar, called "Temporal Connectors." They refer to a time and/or place. Use a Bible map to see for yourself.
· Because, For this reason, For., and Since refer to a "Reasoning." They draw conclusions and inferences from the argument and/or information presented. They include causes, motives, justifications, explanations, ideas, acts, sense, and conclusions that result to name a few.
· Too, Also, As, Just, Likewise, And, So Also, and Like are "Comparisons." They communicate parallel ideas and facts that are similar or different.
· So Then, Therefore, As a result, Thus, and Then are Results. Usually a consequence, issue or effect that has or will happen. Or a boiling down of the point for an application, the Epistles are filled with them. See a "therefore," then ask what is it there for?
· That, So That, and In Order That, are also "results" but with more of a specific Purpose.
· IF is a Condition flowing from a logical argument. It usually starts off with IF and concludes a meaning with THEN. That the truth depends on the preceding statement or requirement and "If" is the "sound bite" referring to a conclusion that has a condition attached. "Then" is the consequence or conclusion of the argument. "If you touch a hot stove, then you will get burned."
Notice other important words!
REMEMBER: VERY EXTREMELY IMPORTANT IS THE CONTEXT!
The context is what is going on around the passage you are studying. If you take and read one verse without carefully studying the previous and preceding text, you will miss a great deal and possibly misinterpret what is being said. Some of the preachers on TV love to do this, that is why so many people are being led astray by false teaching!
4. THINGS TO OBSERVE:
· Verbs are crucial! If you are not sure of the meaning then check "Webster's." But beware the verb meanings are in English and may not correspond to the original meaning (That is why we check several translations). Check NOUNS in "Bible Dictionaries." The context will give you the clues!
· Define the meaning of the important words you are studying. Do not assume you know. Check it out, by looking them up!
· Notice the setting.
· Consider words used more than once, and repeated phrases.
· Compare passages/verses to similar verses i.e. "Scripture interprets scripture." Use a concordance or a "Chain Reference Bible."
· Notice the implications
· Notice what is being taught
· Notice the promises
· Notice carefully the underlining principle(s)
· What about the life, work, teaching, presence of Jesus Christ?
· Look out for types of "literary style." That is history, philosophy, drama, poetry, wisdom and law. The Bible is a collection of 66 books written over a 1,500 year period of time, each with its own literary style. Some books are "history" such as I & II Kings and I & II Chronicles. Some books are "Law" such as Leviticus and Deuteronomy. See appendix A
· Look at different translations (at least 3, such as NIV, NASB, and a paraphrase like CEV, NLT, or the "Amplified Bible." Get a "Parallel Bible," it has several translations side by side. Like looking at a diamond from only one angle is like looking at glass, you see nothing interesting or spectacular. But when you turn the diamond in the light you see all the facets and depth, so it is with scripture! Looking at various translations side by side is like looking at more facets, it brings out the "3-D" depth, and becomes clearer and easier to understand and then to teach!
"Application": (chose one)
A. Have students practice making an "emotional identification" into the text. That is to place yourself as a participant being active in it, as if it is your story, as if you are there. We do this naturally when we watch a good movie or TV show. We become a participant vicariously. It captures our attention and interest, as if we are there! Thus we will cry or laugh, because it touched us.
§ How do you do this when you see a really good movie or TV show?
§ How can you do this with Scripture?
Nothing is more interesting or spectacular than the stories in the Bible, so what is stopping you from being active in it?
B. Have students look up some of the verbs they found in a dictionary and compare the meanings to a "word study" book. You can borrow one from your pastor.
§ What is the difference and similar meanings?
§ How can we be sure what we read is what we read?