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A Tale of Three Churches – Future – Bible Study

by on October 2, 2014

The study of the Bible has been the most rewarding part of my life. It can be that for you also.

There are many approaches to the study of the Bible. The one I have found to be the very best for most people is the O.C.I.A. approach. Many people find this method very useful and helpful. It requires no special “tools” although a concordance is helpful. The method is sometimes presented under different terminology.

Methodical Bible Study – a New Approach to Hermeneutics by Robert A. Traina is a very useful book that teaches the O.C.I.A. method of Bible study. Living by The Book by Howard G. Hendricks and William D. Hendricks is a less detailed/involved but still very useful book using the same approach.

Simply stated, the O.C.I.A. method is straight-forward.
• O. Stands for observation.
• C. Stands for correlation
• I. Stands for interpretation
• A. Stands for application

These are questions.
• O. What does this text say, what is the context and content of the text?
• C. What other Bible passages deal with the same subject matter?
• What is the intended meaning of this particular text?
• What and how does this text apply to my life, class, and congregation?

As these questions are asked and answered, the understanding of the Scripture begins to develop.

As we study, we pray for the illumination of the text by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Scripture and is the only real teacher of the Word. All other teachers are called by the Holy Spirit to be faithful instructors and shepherds of the Word. The resident Holy Spirit in the regenerated human heart and mind is the most dynamic power to control and guide individuals and the Church.

The Scripture can be studied very profitably in small groups. That is how the Mennonite Church began. That is how the Brethren began. Young people studying the Word of God and committing themselves to obey and to be followers of Jesus Christ was, and still is, the way to holiness and to building the Church.

That is just as available to us today as it was in the 1500’s and the 1700’s. We have the Scripture in our language. We have more time for study than they did then. We do not have the persecution that they did then. There is no reason that we should not be Spiritual giants.

Where are you investing your time and energy? Feasting on the Word builds Spiritual discernment, wisdom, and endurance. It builds self-control and Spiritual prosperity. It unifies us around the Truth of the Spirit of God. It bonds us together in the same body of Christ. We are sanctified and cleansed with the washing of water by the word (Eph.5:26).

The Scripture is the written Word. Jesus is the living Word. The sword of the Spirit is the ready Word that God places in our minds for times of temptation and confrontation.

Our early forebears responded to attack by quoting Scripture. Even the trained religious leaders could not confuse them because the early Anabaptists and Brethren were so filled with the Word and the Spirit.
That is our heritage. That is also our present and future if we will avail ourselves to that power. We have the power available. The question is, does the power have us? It is our only hope and what a wonderful hope it is. Christ, the living Word in you, the hope of glory. It has been the answer in my life.

The Word of God is our heritage. It is the only heritage that will endure through time and eternity. It is the only heritage that dare not be lost. It is the only real heritage that we can pass on to our children.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15).

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