If we're really going to understand God's Word in a way that makes it the core of our being, we need to know without a shadow of a doubt that it is what God said. We don’t need secondhand knowledge, we need firsthand knowledge, and the way to get that is through inductive Bible study.
The Inductive Bible study method is an investigative approach to the Bible using three basic components: observation, interpretation, and application.
Observation teaches you to see exactly what the passage says. It is the basis for accurate interpretation and correct application. Observation answers the question, what does the passage say?
While observation leads to an accurate understanding of what the Word of God says, interpretation goes a step further and helps you understand what it means.
Application means you discover what the text means and you live it out. You find out what the Word of God says on any particular subject through accurate observation and correct interpretation of the text. When you understand what the Word of God teaches, you’re then obligated before God to accept that truth and live it out.
When it comes to the application of God’s word, it doesn’t simply mean taking action, like going out and feeding the poor. It’s first of all changing my mind so that it lines up with the Word of God, and then going out and living accordingly. All of that equals the one goal that God has in all of this, which is as we behold Him, we are changed from glory to glory, into His image.
That is the redemption process—to redeem me out of the slave market of sin, to cleanse me, set me free and transform me into the image of the Son. And that begins with the washing with water through the Word.
We know from Romans 12:1-2, that we are to renew our minds. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Most seem to want some kind of change in their lives, yet they don’t spend time in God’s Word. Lasting change from sin can only happen as you’re renewing your mind and walking in obedience to His Word.
Far too many think that studying the Bible is too hard, it’s too difficult to understand. I don’t have a background in higher education, I was a nurse. When I was a foreign missionary, I was asked to work with teenagers. I thought to myself, ‘they just need to know the Word.’ Around that time, someone sent me the Methodical Bible Study by Robert Traina and Irving Jensen’s Independent Bible Study. It was then that I began to see the importance of the context of Scripture. Eventually, God showed me how to write Bible studies. God did it through me, and He gets all the glory.
Now I find when I read through the Bible, book by book, the Holy Spirit begins to cross-reference the Word of God for me, bringing other Scriptures to mind, and then Scripture becomes the interpreter for Scripture.
Oh my friend, as this new school year approaches, decide what really matters. Stop and see how you’re spending your time. Today is a brand new day to begin again. Remember, studying and knowing the Word of God is more important than any kind of education you can get!
If we don’t know the Bible, we don’t know God, and we’re just tossed to and fro by any doctrine we’re presented with. I’m not going to know if a teacher is on target if I do not know for myself what God said. And that’s the purpose of inductive study.
We’ve got to understand and know His ways, which also helps us to understand the times we’re living in. During these perilous days, stay in God’s Word; study it, live it, and be a light in this dark world.
Precept Ministries International is here to help you know truth for yourself. There are many resources available to help you study the Bible and know God better. There are materials for children, students, and adults.
My passion for you is to know truth and walk in it!
Host, Precepts for LifePrecept Ministries International