Study to Show Yourself Approved

Each of us has what we call, close friends and family. These are the people we choose to share and experience the moments of our lives with: watching movies, attending dinners and conversing with almost every day. Yet, we also have distant friends and relatives, the ones we see on occasion at family functions or just in passing moments throughout our lives. The difference in the two relationships is the amount of time we spend with each.

How often do you read the Bible, pray, think and talk with God? Do you spend enough time with the Lord to consider Him a close relative or a distant friend? Just like any relationship, we can get closer to God by getting to know Him. The best way to do this is to spend time reading and studying His letter to us, the Bible. The Scriptures encourage us, “study to show yourself approved unto God…”1

Many of today’s popular ideas about the Bible are simply not true. It is a testament of how distant the relationship with God has become. As you examine the following truths written in Scripture, consider it a new starting point in your relationship with God as you renew your spiritual life by studying His word.

THERE WAS NO APPLE
Contrary to popular belief, Adam and Eve did not disobey God by eating an apple.2 In fact, they were encouraged to eat any and all the fruit they wanted in the Garden of Eden. The only exception was the Tree of Knowledge of Good
and Evil, which had nothing to do with apples but rather was associated with the evil one.

THERE WAS NO SNAKE
The serpent is the name of the character in the Genesis account that tempted Adam and Eve into disobeying God. This obviously leads to the confusion that the creature was a talking snake and an accomplice of the devil. However, in the original Hebrew language, the name for serpent is Nachash, which means a shining being or angel of light. Several biblical passages describe and identify this shining being as Satan himself.3

It is difficult to believe a snake deceived Eve. We can easily understand, however, her fascination with an angel of light that seemed to possess superior knowledge and was obviously a creature from a superior (not an inferior) order.4

SATAN, THE EARLY YEARS
The popular images of the devil show him with horns, a pitchfork and tinted the color red. Much to the contrary, the Bible describes him as the most magnificent angel God ever created.5 In fact, Scripture states that his beauty led to his downfall because it filled him with pride.6 Although fallen, the Bible warns believers that the devil and his angels maintain their magnificent beauty.7

THE DEVIL IS STILL IN HEAVEN
Well, at least for the time being. There are many images in popular culture depicting Michael the Archangel standing over Satan. The belief is that Michael was responsible for throwing him out of Heaven after his fall from grace. However, several biblical passages describe the devil not only in heaven, but also speaking with God.8 The Bible also warns believers about the spiritual battle all Christians face with the dark powers that still have access to higher places.

Michael still has a role in ejecting Satan, it just hasn’t happened yet. In Revelation 12, shortly before the end of the world, God sends Michael and his angels to eject Satan and his angels from Heaven.

DID YOU KNOW?
The first question in the Old Testament came from God seeking the sinner, “Where are you?”9 The question makes way for need
of a Savior.

The first question in the New Testament came from the sinner seeking the Savior, “Where is He?”10

THE LORD'S WORDS
The first recorded words of Jesus were at the age of 12. “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?”11

When we compare his first words with His last words, no language can compare its fullness of meaning, significance and importance. “It is finished.”12 What was finished? The Father’s business, which He came to be about, was finished.

BY THE WAY
Jesus Christ is married. In Scripture He calls Himself the bridegroom and the nation Israel the bride.13 We are all invited to the wedding feast, you can RSVP by reading Matthew 22.

THE WRITING ON THE WALL
This saying actually has its roots in an Old Testament story. A pagan king made a feast and used the sacred objects taken from the holy temple in Jerusalem. During the drunken banquet the king and his guests were horrified to see a supernatural hand write the king’s death sentence on the wall.14 The next time you hear someone use this expression, “Didn’t you see the writing on the wall?” You can respond, “I certainly hope not!”

ONLY THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SEE GOD WHEN THEY DIE
Not true. The good, the bad and the ugly will see God again. The Bible describes how the spirit of each person returns to the Creator immediately after death.15 Why? Every person must face their maker and give an account of their life–for better or worse. Where the person is sent next is entirely dependent on the choices they made. One thing is certain, the acceptance of Jesus Christ as one’s Savior will result in eternal life.16

We often look to God in times of emptiness, frustration, crisis and worry. When the honeymoon is over and the bills come in the mail, the Word of God is the food for our spiritual nature. Nothing else can sustain it. Just as with our physical life; it cannot sustain itself and support must come from somewhere, so it is with our spiritual life. We cannot live on our own feelings, experiences or the enticing words of men. These may excite and interest us, but they cannot feed, support or sustain our true spiritual life. Jesus said, “He that eats of Me shall live by Me.”17

Just as food must be eaten to become part of us to give us strength, so it is with Jesus, the “Bread of Life.” When we feed upon the Word of God, we will be nourished and strengthened and grow spiritually. Then we will be able to experience what the prophet Jeremiah exclaimed:

“Your words were found and I ate them and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.”18

 


 

  1. Timothy 2:15
  2. Genesis 2:16-17
  3. 2 Corinthians 11:3, 14-15; Revelation 12:9;Ezekiel 28:13
  4. God’s condemning words to the serpent seem also to suggest a snake when he states, “Upon thy belly thou shalt go and dust  shall you eat.” It seems to indicate the snake was originally a creature that could walk and was now condemned to slither. The Bible actually describes these terms as figures of speech. Going on the belly meant submission (see Psalm 44:25 and Psalm 72:9). Eating dust was a way of describing how deceitful ways become great disappointment (Proverbs 20:17). God was prophesying Satan’s eventual and ultimate defeat.
  5. Ezekiel 28:12-15
  6. Ezekiel 28:17; Isaiah 14:12-15; 1 Timothy 3:6
  7. 2 Corinthians 11:3 and verses 14-15
  8. Job 1:6 and Chapter 2:1; Ephesians 6:11-12
  9. Genesis 3:9—The Serpent did not ask Eve a question in Genesis 3:1. Many scholars agree it wasn’t a genuine question, but was intended to frustrate Eve with God’s command.
  10. Matthew 2:2
  11. Luke 2:49
  12. John 19:30
  13. Hosea 2:16, 19; Jeremiah 3:14 it is a general belief that the Church is the Bride of Christ. Yet the Church is already in Christ as noted in Colossians 3 which is arguably a better position than Israel.
  14. Daniel 5:1-5 and 25-29
  15. Ecclesiastes 12:7
  16. Romans 10:9
  17. John 6:57
  18. Jeremiah 15:16
Fall 2011
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