With the Summer Bible Study of 1 Peter a few weeks away we wanted to give you an opportunity to study something else. What you may ask… well that is up to you. Maybe you would like to study prayer, adoption, humility, or worship. We want to help you spend the first few weeks of summer doing a topical Bible Study of your choice.
How to do a topical Bible Study:
- Choose a topic. Something that interests you. Maybe it is a question you have… Maybe it is an area you want to grow in… Pray about it, ask God what you should study. Some topics to get you thinking: witnessing, missions, God’s word, wealth, integrity, love, marriage, priorities, fruitfulness, joy, the Holy Spirit, fear, faith, courage, anger, discipleship, thankfulness, purity, sexuality, poverty, peace, work…
- Tell someone about it who will keep you accountable to do it and who you can share your discoveries with.
- Find scripture passages. There are a lot of ways to find passages. You can use a concordance, cross-reference Bible, e-sword, online Bible search, ask a friend, ect. Look for the word, look for examples and stories where it is lived out or illustrated, look for it in the OT and NT. Look up related words and ideas. Dig until you feel you have a good idea of the Biblical landscape for your topic.
- Summarize or Outline. Remember, all scripture is God Breathed and useful, but at this point it is helpful to narrow down the passages you have found to about a dozen that are key to the topic. Some passages can be grouped together. Once you have things organized, dig in to the central passages. Read their context, study key words and ideas. Study hard until you feel you understand what these passages say and how they relate to your topic. Remember, they could completely re-define the way you think about the topic because we are not simply looking for evidence of what we already know, we are seeking to learn something from God. Write out a summary or outline of the Biblical teaching on your topic.
- List problems. Just because we do a topical Bible Study on a topic does not mean that no questions remain. After summarizing what you have learned it is often helpful to list questions what still remain. Questions don’t mean that you haven’t learned something, rather they mean that you are really thinking about the topic and seeking to understand it more fully. Noting these questions can help with future Bible Study and open discussion on the topic with friends.
- Seek Counsel. It is important to recognize that no matter how well you know the Bible there is always someone who knows it better. Often when studying difficult passages or topics it is helpful to seek counsel from other believers. Ask your pastor, ask a friend, ask me, listen to an online sermon. The one caution here is to be a Berean about it (Acts 17:11) and make sure that what is being said is in line with the Bible. Often these conversations can be a catalyst for better topical Bible Study.
- Memorize a key verse. For application it is often helpful to choose a key verse or passage and memorize it. This is something that might have to do with application, for instance if your study was on “using words well”, maybe Matthew 12:36-37 could be a key verse for application.
- Develop Convictions and Application. One of the best reasons to do your own topical Bible Study is that you can begin to shape your own convictions. Maybe you pray, read the Bible, and go to church because someone told you to or because its what everyone else does. Developing your own convictions means letting the scripture speak into your own life and coming to your own conclusions about how you should think and live in response to the Bible. Write down how the Bible’s take on the topic should shape your thoughts and actions. Make specific, realistic, and measurable goals for applying the truth you have learned.
- E-Sword Instruction Sheet
- http://thegospelcoalition.org/ Good Resources from Biblical Teachers
- Psalm 1:1-3Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospe […]