Before you begin your Bible study,

Be sure you are in fellowship with God and filled with the Holy Spirit by naming your sins privately to God the Father.

"If we confess our [known] sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our [known] sins and to cleanse us from all [unknown or forgotten sins] unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9, NASB, emphasis added)

You will then be in fellowship with God, filled with the Holy Spirit, and ready to learn Bible Doctrine from the Word of God.

"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in [the filling of the] spirit and [biblical] truth." (John 4:24, NKJV, emphasis added)

Comprehension of the Word of God is a gift that can only be appropriated by grace orientation to the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, . . . He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all [things]" (John 14:26, NASB, emphasis added)

The Bible clearly lays out three requirements that must be met before we can expect to understand God's Word:

  1. We must be believers in Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:14, NKJV)
Jesus declared to the leading religious leader of His day that apart from spiritual birth man is blind to the things of God: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit"…We must be born again (John 3:6, NKJV).
  1. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:12, NKJV)
Only the Spirit of God knows the thoughts of God. As a believer we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but when we sin, we break fellowship with God and cease to function in the power of the Spirit. When we rebound, i.e., confess [name or cite] our sins, God is always faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, NKJV). The moment we confess, we are restored to fellowship with God and are again under the control of the Holy Spirit, our Teacher and Revealer of truth [Bible Doctrine], and, thus, able to learn. Rebound is the key to executing the spiritual life.
  1. We must approach in faith. (Hebrews 11, NKJV)
Only when we approach in humility, with child-like faith [grace orientation], will the Word of God make sense to us (Matthew 18:4, NKJV; Hebrews 11:3, NKJV). Where we find Scripture at odds with our ideas or desires, we must submit to the authority of the Word. Intimacy, understanding, and power are reserved for those who are willing to do God's will (John 7:17, NKJV).
 

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