I cover a lot of topical studies, which leads me to share a lot of scripture references or otherwise known as “proof-texts.” However, it is important that as you cross-reference you know how to read the Bible properly. While I share portions of scripture, or references, I highly encourage you to do your study and keep me accountable. If I misuse scripture, let me know your concerns so I can look at scripture. We cannot build our faith on one or two scriptures when it comes to our understanding. We need to know the full story.
We need to know:
- Why books of the Bible were written?
- Who was the audience?
- Who was the author of the book?
- Where is the location of the book, author?
- What is the significance of wording in the Hebrew and Greek?
- What can the Christian of today learn from the text (and the text may not be about us). Ex. we are not David fighting Goliaths, but David and Goliath is a type and shadow of Christ defeating sin.
- What are some life applications for today?
- Most importantly, how does the text point back to the truth of Christ and the Gospel message?
Expository Teaching & The Lie False Teachers Will Give
Expository preaching means a godly pastor will preach a book of the Bible. Meaning he will preach through the entire book from chapter one to finish. In doing so, he preaches on the context of scripture to help the congregation, or those listening, understand what the scripture is about.
If a pastor claims he is reading through the Bible, verse by verse, BUT he rambles on to the point you can’t remember the original verse and/or inserts meaning that is not related to the actual context of scripture – he is a liar and deceiver, and should be marked and avoided.
He is not trustworthy and these teachings are extremely dangerous. People like this will “preach” verse by verse, but they will insert their own doctrine of demons and brainwash their listeners as they “preach.” The fruit of this is revealed when people cannot explain the Gospel, who Christ is, and over symbolize a lot of scripture (usually related to the false doctrine) that is fairly understood to be clear. These teachers often have a twisted understanding of Revelation, the end-times, etc. Often, the Anti-Christ or Satan will be more of a focus for these teachers than actually teaching the Gospel and Christ.
So, how do you know someone is trustworthy when you are new to reading the scriptures?
How To Cross-Reference
First, begin reading your Bible. When you are reading through a book of the Bible, begin at chapter one and read through the whole book. If you begin reading the Bible, and you feel like you are not understanding what you are reading because you are not seeing what your preacher is saying, then it’s very possible it is not YOU who is struggling with scripture here, but your teacher. False teachers can twist scripture so bad that unless you have their voice whispering their doctrine in your ear, the scripture will not read as they say.
You need to start hearing (using audio) and reading the scripture on your own. You also need to learn how to use cross-references. So, in many Bibles you may notice that at the bottom of a page, or in the middle of a page, there will be little notes that say the chapter and verse number of the book you are currently reading. Beside the verse number, there will be abbreviated names of books in the Bible with chapter and verse references. If you see these cross-references, it means that in another portion of scripture there is a similar theme, idea, topic that is being referenced. These cross-references can help you better understand the context of scripture because you will be able to see similar themes.
Let’s look at an example that shows the importance of cross-referencing.
In Romans 3, there are a lot of scripture references that tie back, especially in the Old Testament, to sin and wickedness, and how no one is good on his or her own. These references can explain just how bad sin is and what sin does to an individual, and her relationship with others and God.
Going back to Romans 3, if you had read through chapters 1-2 of Romans, you would have noticed more descriptions of what sin does to the individual and how sin separates us from God; which leads us to the book of Romans in general. We see a great need for the Savior. We cannot atone for our sins. But Christ did. Going forward in Romans, not only is the need for the Savior explained, how Christ saves the sinner and transforms her, but then we receive instructions on how Christians are to live.
Scripture is a whole package. The word of God truly feeds us, not only on how we should live, but understanding the whys and hows of the world and our Creator.
It’s ok to disagree on some aspects of scripture and how we should interpret. However, there are core beliefs all Christians share, and so when we have teachers go against these truths, we have a major problem because they are presenting a false Christ and a false Gospel. No one can be atoned by a false Christ. See: Got Questions: What is Christianity and What Do Christians Believe?
We need to know why we believe, and we need to know what scripture says of these beliefs.
Biblical scholars can help here. There are a lot of things many people will agree on and this helps build a trust for commentary. I would recommend the John MacArthur Study Bible or the R. C. Sproul Bible.
Teachers that I would recommend regarding scripture (I will never promote or support a woman preacher). Note: I may not hold to all positions that are not core to salvation as these teachers, but these teachers are solid in understanding history and context:
- R. C. Sproul
- James White
- John MacArthur
- Charles Spurgeon
- Chris Rosebrough
- Voddie Baucham
- Steve Lawson
If you would like to see my full list of godly male preachers, and godly women teachers – check out: People I Recommend
Posts I’ve Done on Bible Study:
- 3 Ways To Study The Bible Better
- Why We Need To Read The Bible In Context | Bible Study Tips & “Translation” Cautions
- Bible Study Tips | The Four R’s Of Bible Studying
- Bible Studying Tips | When Going Over 1 Chapter Of The Bible
- Importance Of Bible Study (UnAshamed)
- How To Mediate On God’s Word (The Right Way) & Why It’s Important
- Are We Blaming God For Choosing To Be Spiritually Malnourished?