Notice of New Blog

We are putting all our posts on our website now, and we'll be blogging there exclusively. An explanation about this can be found in the Intro to that new blog called Given Grace.

Please come see us at: (which will re-direct to our website) or come directly to:

Would love to see you there!

We are in the process of deleting posts on here (some will be re-posted on the new blog).

Learn to Discern

Testing Premises (the process)

a. take whatever is being taught

b. make it a premise

c. test it against what the Bible actually teaches

d. use proper hermeneutics and exegesis

e. come to a biblical conclusion about the premise
(the point of testing it)



1. write the teaching / premise out (fully, or an accurate pith of it) at the top of a paper

2. use reliable Bible study tools to gather Bible passages that use the key words and phrases found in the premise

(i.e. use tools like a Bible concordance, cyclopedic index, topical Bible, theological books, reliable online Bible study articles on the subject from - -, etc.)

3. keep alert for related words and phrases that pertain to the premise and help open up the subject

4. write down small portions of all Bible verses you find and their addresses

5. carefully and prayerfully discern what the Bible teaches on the subject by studying the verses you have gathered (what do they a.c.t.u.a.l.l.y. say?)

6. come to a biblical conclusion about the premise:
does the Bible teach the premise, or not?

7. renew your mind with what God's Word actually teaches

note: you are looking for God's truth
so strive to test premises without a bias (one way or the other)
see what God's Word says

note: sometimes there is one definitive verse
that confirms or refutes the premise
more often there are many verses that bring a biblical conclusion

note: an excellent book that teaches how to test premises:
A Call For Discernment (A Call To Discernment older editions) by Jay Adams

A Better Understanding of Sin

(series based on Jay Adams' A theology of Christian Counseling)
(condensed and modified in wording and format)

Old Testament Hebrew word... Amal

(literally) labor, sorrow

sin has made life a burden
sin has brought misery, pain, heartache
the 'problem of evil' is bound up in this idea
trouble, travail, weariness are elements of amal

Biblical Antidote: righteousness simplifies and lightens living
(believers are clothed in the righteousness of Christ)
we take His yoke upon us, learn from Him, find rest for our souls
His yoke is easy, His burden is light

A Theological Doctrine

Bibliology - Bible Interpretation

Prompter: Bibliology - Bible Interpretation (2 Tim 2; 2 Pt 1)



Bible Fact: We must accurately handle God's Word, interpreting it correctly.

- Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15)

- prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Pt 1:20b-21)


Simple Definitions:

* Interpretation: (from 2 Pt 1) (Greek epilusis) the explanation, the exposition, the application [from epiluo - to solve]

* Handling Accurately: (from 2 Tim 2) (Greek orthotomeo) to make a straight cut, dissect (expound) correctly, rightly divide, cutting as if by a single stroke (versus hacking repeatedly at something)

Point: Scripture did not originate or spring from men (the prophets), but from God the original Author as He moved them to speak (and record) what He desired.

Point: therefore, the interpretation of Scripture did not come from the authors (the prophets), nor does it come from ourselves (our own interpretation), but is to be in accordance with the Author's (God's) intent.

Point: therefore, we must use proper hermeneutics (rules of interpretation) and exegesis (drawing out of the text what it actually says and what it actually means) to correctly interpret Scripture.

Memory Verse

A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.

Serve the LORD with gladness;
come before Him with joyful singing.

Know that the LORD Himself is God;
it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
and His courts with praise.

Give thanks to Him; bless His name.

For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
and His faithfulness to all generations.

(Psalm 100)

Jehovah Compounds

Jehovah Nissi

the LORD is my Banner (Ex 17:15)

this kind of banner is usually associated with the military and battles / war

as I am under God's banner I am given victories (often miraculous)



banner = a standard, a military ensign, a flag - sign - symbol on a pole
it has an insignia attached (declaring who's command we're under)
it is to be focused upon (during battles) and God (through it) gives us hope

Moses built an altar and named it 'Jehovah Nissi'
when God gave the Israelites victory over the enemy

God leads us into battles today for us to fight
(they are orchestrated for His glory and our good)
He gathers us to Himself (as our Commander) and under His Banner
we prepare (and are prepared by God) to march into battles to defeat enemies
and (accurately and persuasively) declare God's Gospel (good news)
He gives the victories

these battles test our hearts to see if we'll stand in the fear of God

JESUS (the prophesied Messiah) is our Banner (ensign)

based on Ex 17:15; Ps 60:4; Is 11:10

(see explanation of 'Jehovah Compounds' in Thoughts and Helps above)

Creative Treasurings

Bible Verse Collections

collect and list many Bible verses
that catch your attention during your Bible reading and study time

give each verse a title
include the Bible address
keep it to one main point or thought per line



note: these can be annotated (shortened)
(these are not memory verses so they do not need to be verbatim)

note: use additional helps as desired: underline, bold, italic, font size, color, etc.

note: refresh yourself with these Bible Verse Collections often

sample: Bible Verse Collection I
(simply list the verses in the order they come in the Bible)

Seek First God's Things  (Mt 6:33)
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness
and all these things shall be added to you.

Tend Your Own Logs First  (Mt 7:5b)
First take the    LOG   out of your own eye
and then you will see clearly
to take the   speck   out of your brother's eye.

sample: Bible Verse Collection II
(gather into themes - many verses on the same subject)

Theme: Our Thought Life

Set Your Mind on Things Above  (Col 3:2)
Set your mind on things above
not on the things that are on earth.

Take Every Thought Captive  (2 Cor 10:5)
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing
raised up against the knowledge of God
and we are taking every thought captive
to the obedience of Christ.

sample: Bible Verse Collection III
(add greatly simplified helps gleaned during Bible studies)

ASK: Ask, Seek, Knock  (Mt 7:7)
Ask [and keep on asking]... and it will be given to you
Seek [and keep on seeking]... and you will find
Knock [and keep on knocking]... and it will be opened to you

Engrafting Scripture

Pray Defined Scriptures

use Bible verses as part of your prayers to God

look up the simple biblical definitions
of key words in the verses
(using bible dictionaries like Strong's, Zodhiates, Vine's
- and not regular dictionaries)

pray the verses with portions of the word definitions



verse: casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.
(1 Pt 5:7)

word being defined: cast (Strong's #1977 epirrhipto)

to throw upon (lit or fig) cast upon, fig. in regard to a concern or care,
to cast off / upon in filial confidence
[from #1909 epi = on + #4496 rhipto = a sudden motion, to fling... with a quick toss - thus differing from #906 ballo = violent, intense... thrust]

simple biblical definition: cast = a quick flinging motion (upon God)
- not taking a long time, nor using violence or intensity

note: this verse is connected with humbling myself
under God's mighty hand (vs 6a)

personal reflection: the humility commanded (vs 6a)
will be exhibited by actually doing as God has said
and casting the anxiety upon Him (vs 7) (doing it!)
His care for me provides the motivation


Lord, I cast upon You - here it comes... with a quick flinging motion,
all my anxiety - these disabling cares and worried thoughts
that are disturbing me and distracting me away from You. Done!
Thank You, Father, that You care for me - with Your keen interest
and loving concern. :)

Worth Remembering

(song) I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto me and rest.
Lay down O weary one, lay down,
your head upon my breast."
I came to Jesus, as I was.
So weary, worn, and sad.
I found in Him my resting place,
and He has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
the living water, thirsty one,
stoop down and drink and live!"
I came to Jesus, and I drank
from that life-giving stream.
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in Him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's light.
Look unto me, thy morn shall rise,
and all thy days be bright." 
I looked to Jesus, and I found
in Him my Star, my Sun.
And in that light of life I'll walk,
'til pilgrim days are done.

(words by Horatius Bonar - published 1846)
(public domain)

Gospel Aspects

(new series - Gospel Aspects)

(the believer rejoices and says...)

Jesus laid down His life for me!



Jesus said:

- 'I am the good shepherd;
the good shepherd lays down His life
for the sheep.'
(Jn 10:11)

- 'For this reason the Father loves Me,
because I lay down My life
that I may take it again.
No one has taken it away from Me,
but I lay it down on My own initiative.
I have authority to lay it down,
and I have authority to take it up again...'
(Jn 10:17-18)

- '...I lay down My life
for the sheep.'
(Jn 10:15b)

note: these are different aspects of the gospel
to personalize and meditate upon

note: italics in the above Bible verses
are added for emphasis