Notes from Brother Jay

SOAP Bible Study MethodA disciple is defined in several ways.  The word comes to us from Latin and old French, which translates to “learner” in English.  Bill Mounce, a renowned Greek scholar suggests these meanings for “mathitís,” from the Greek New Testament; “disciple, student, follower; a committed learner and follower, in the NT usually of Jesus Christ.” When Christians use the term it almost always means the later.  And not just the Twelve we know about, but anyone who claims Jesus as Savior and Lord!

Disciples seek to know the Teacher, as well as the subject matter.  In Christianity these two overlap, as the Teacher is the subject matter.  The teacher uses a book given to us millennia ago which we call the Holy Bible, the Word of God, or the Scriptures.  Not a book for everyone, but for the follower, those who want to know Christ.

 

Logic would offer because we have the book, we can study it, and we should, since getting to know the teacher and the material are important.  We have many reasons for not doing this work, but if we call ourselves Christians, then studying the book goes with the territory.

 

First-hand study of the Bible can be intimidating, but that’s not really necessary.  While not ever simple, there are ways to make it meaningful without getting bogged down in theological particulars. One way is the S.O.A.P. method of daily Bible reading.  S.O.A.P. represents Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.  We look at a passage of Scripture, usually from a daily reading plan, with the expectation God, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, will reveal one verse to us.  He will “highlight” it in our hearts!  From there we copy the Scipture we’ve chosen in our notebook, we “observe what is happening and what is being said.  We look for ways to apply it to our lives today, and then we offer a prayer for this and all our other needs.

John Wesley famously said the Bible is twice inspired, once when it was written and again when we it is read. We just have to practice! The Bookmark you received today contains the essence of the plan.  Find a good daily reading plan, preferably one which will take you through the entire Bible, and apply the S.O.A.P. method as a devotional time.   It isn’t as much study as it is “listening” for Christ to speak into your life through His Word and The Holy Spirit.

Peace,

Brother Jay

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