Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, May 30, 2001
Dear Colleagues,


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Good Morning!

 As we grow in Christ, it is important that we advance from man-made Bible studies to digging into the word of God out for ourselves. A common method is “inductive” Bible study.  Hebrews’ comments are salient:

“…By this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

To begin, I would suggest that you select one of Paul’s smaller books (I Thessalonians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 or 2 Timothy, etc).  Do a background study on the book: Who is the author; why was it written? Learn the historical background, dates, key players, etc. Some Bibles  (Life Application, NIV Study Bible, etc) have summaries at the beginning of each book. A Bible dictionary can also be helpful.

Than take the first chapter, and work through it verse by verse. After exhausting your analysis, consult a Bible commentary. Following is a sampling from 1 Timothy:+


Personal Paraphrase

Questions and Answers

Cross References


Personal Application


Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,


Paul, one sent forth as Christ’s representative, by the commandment of God, the One who saves us, and Christ Jesus our hope,


  1. What does the word apostle mean?
  2. The Greek word apostolos comes from the verb apostello, “send forth.”




2Cr. 1:1


God my Savior:

Lk. 1:47

Titus 1:3


Christ our hope: Col. 1:27


  1. The name Paul comes from the Latin name Paulus, which means “little.”
  2. The name Timothy means “he who honors God.”



I must begin to see myself in the role of Christ’s ambassador who has been authorized and sent out with a divine message.  The authority of my witness will only be as effective as my awareness of my mission.

After completing the verse-by-verse analysis of the chapter, assign it a title and a key verse(s). Write a summary paragraph as to the thesis of the chapter. Repeat the process for subsequent chapters. When the book is completed, give it a title. 

I don’t want to be unkind, but mediocrity is a hallmark of the age.  Let me challenge you to set some high goals for your personal spiritual growth.   For example you might say that within the next 10 years you will have inductively studied _____of books of the Old Testament and _____ of books of the New Testament, giving, say 3 hours a week to study  (not to be confused with or substituted for your “quiet time.”)

 Michael Jordan once said “Aim at nothing and you are sure to hit it.”  (Or was it Saddam Hussein?)



My prayer is that you are having a great week!

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