How to Study the Bible 12
1. Although God spoke in the past to the fathers by the prophets, Jesus is His spokesman today
2. According to Hebrews 9:15, the New Testament is the Lord's Word.
3. To rightly divide the Lord's Word (2 Timothy 2:15), we must understand "how the New Testament
I. THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHES BY "DIRECT COMMANDS"
A. Direct commands are instructions that God has revealed in a direct manner.
B. Direct commands may be grouped into two categories.
1. One category consists of "general commands."
a. In general commands we are told what to do, but we are not told exactly how to do it.
b. The Great Commission is an example of a general command (Matthew 28:19-20).
2. The other category consists of "specific commands."
a. In specific commands we are told what to do, and we are told how to do it.
b. An example of a specific command is found in Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16.
II. THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHES BY "PRINCIPLES"
A. Many subjects or issues are not specifically addressed in the Bible; however, the Bible reveals a number
of principles that will settle any issue that may arise in any culture at any time.
1. Jesus presented a far-reaching principle when He said that His followers must seek God's kingdom
first (Matthew 6:33).
2. Many issues can be settled by the principles revealed in passages such as:
a. Matthew 7:12
b. Romans 12:1-2
c. 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
III. THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHES BY "EXAMPLES"
A. An example is a "pattern" that is revealed in the Bible.
B. Caution: Instruction through examples relates to authorized practices.
C. To illustrate,:
1. observing the Lord's Supper is authorized in Matthew 26:26-29 and other passages, but we learn
when it is to be observed from the example revealed in Acts 20:7
2. Jesus washed the apostles' feet in John 13, but the Bible does not authorize this practice in worship.
IV. WHEN STUDYING THE NEW TESTAMENT WE MUST OBSERVE THE "SIGNIFICANCE
A. The New Testament is silent on many practices in that it does not specifically condemn them; however,
this does not mean that we are free to participate in them.
B. God has given us everything we need to know (2 Peter 1:3).
C. We need to be concerned with doing that which the Lord has instructed us to do in His Word.
1. Colossians 3:16-17
2. James 1:25