Category Archives: Bible Study

Unity & Division: Two Sides of the Same Coin

The apostle Paul gives us instruction on the true meaning of unity and what it takes to maintain it in Ephesians 4. First, he says unity is created by God and maintained by God’s people (4:3). God creates unity through the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We maintain the unity God created.

The unity is real. There is only one God. There is only one faith. There is only one Lord…one Spirit..one body…one baptism, etc (4:4). God did not create our division. God unified the divided. Any division we see is the result of our effort, not God’s.

Like we say about marriage – what God has joined together, let no man separate. Division is a serious matter because we are monkeying with what God has worked so hard to establish.

How do we maintain unity? The answer to that is found in the rest of the chapter.

First, we recognize that God has graciously given us gifts through Christ (4:7) and that those gifts are to be used for the growth, maturation and unity of the body (4:11-16).

If we don’t use the gifts God has given us we will suffer from division. When God’s people fail or refuse to use the gifts He has graciously given, we will divide.

Second, we have moral maintenance. In 4:17-32 Paul reminds us that we can no longer live however we want. Then he gives us three behaviors that drive division and how we must convert those behaviors to positive activity that promotes unity. Speaking lies (which causes division and distrust) must turn into speaking truthfully. Stealing must turn into productive work, notice the focus – not so you can feed just yourself – so you can help those in need (unity)! Unwholesome talk (which promotes division) must be turned into healthy, encouraging conversation (unity). Last, forgiveness is also necessary for unity and we do it for each other because God first did it for us.


Tips for Building Your Own Theological Library

Many of you love to read. That’s partly why you are here. I imagine you probably also like to read about theology, ministry, the Bible, etc…which is also why you are here. Over the years there have been a few things I have found helpful when making selections of which books to buy for myContinue Reading

Introducing Discovery Bible Study – A Key to Growing Movements

In the last 9 months I came across an approach to studying the Bible that I want to make you aware of. It is called “Discovery Bible Study (DBS)” It has been around for quite some time and I have no idea how this slipped past my Bible study radar. Once I learned about it,Continue Reading

What We Look For When We Read the Bible Influences What We Find

I was once in a discussion about women passing communion on Sunday morning. One brother’s “gotcha” verse (that only men can serve the Supper/pass trays) was Acts 6:1-4, “In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked inContinue Reading

Recommended Books on How To Better Read the Bible

I love reading books about how to read the Bible. I guess I love that because I love meta-cognition, thinking about how we think about things. There are so many treasures in the scriptures and, as Bobby Valentine has written in the last two articles, the closer we come to understand things about their worldContinue Reading

Am I In Or Am I Out? Freedom From Being Neurotic About Our Salvation

There are a lot of people who are plagued by these questions. “Am I saved or am I lost.” “Am I in or am I out?” The odd thing is, the people I am thinking of are people who have faith, are baptized, have repented of their sin, attend church, love God, read the Bible,Continue Reading

A Must Have Discipleship Conversation – How We Read the Bible

Please watch the following video and let’s discuss in the comments. We have a major problem with how we typically read the Bible. We miss important meanings because we are looking for the wrong things. We find things that aren’t there because we are looking for the wrong things. Understanding how to read the BibleContinue Reading

My Simple Note Taking System in the Bible Margins

I hope you find this as helpful as I have. It is one simple thing to help organize the notes you take in the margins of your Bible

Video: Context, Context, Context. The Key to Biblical “Aha’s”

I cannot emphasize how important this is for followers of Jesus. I am creating these videos in order to give people an easier resource and actions to thoughts on how to study the Bible more effectively. Check it out. Subscribe if you think it is worthwhile because there are more videos on the way. ThanksContinue Reading

Video: Applying the Bible Study Method to the Parable of the Sower

I took the outline I gave in the last video and used the Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13 to show how it would work on a specific text. I have found this approach quite helpful. We need to be in the word. I often hear people talk about how they don’t have timeContinue Reading

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