How to Become a Godly Woman Through Knowing Truth for Yourself
NOTE: This message was transcribed from Kay's Chattanooga breakout session.
Kay Arthur: When you study the Word of God inductively, you remove the middle man. You learn to go to the Word of God yourself and discover what He is saying. To do that, you basically use three skills.
The first skill is the skill of observation. Observation is asking the question: What does it say?
Now, I’ve taught this all over the world, so I’ve learned to use body language. I use body language because when you’re working through five different translators at a time, it takes a little while.
Observation is like this: Putting your hands up like they’re your eyeballs. Observation is looking at the Word of God. I usually draw eyeballs coming out of the head. Observation: What does it say? Now, if had more time, I’d make you do it because then you would remember it.
I was teaching in Japan, and this woman wanted to have lunch with me after it was all over. I thought, “This is going to be interesting. We don’t have an interpreter; they’re gone.” She speaks Japanese, no English. I speak English, no Japanese. But we sat down to have lunch, and she said, “I go.”
If the camera were here, you could appreciate it more. What she was saying is, “I’m going to go, and I’m going to observe. I’m going to find out what does God’s Word say. Then, from observation, I’m going to get interpretation.”
Interpretation is the second part. Interpretation is: What does it mean? So the finger up beside the head, pointing to the mind. It means that you’re going to think.
One of the things that Nancy was talking about yesterday is that we need to think through things. It is absolutely critical that we learn to think according to the Word of God.
So if you’re going to think the way God thinks, you’ve got to know: What does it say? What does it mean? This is the skill of what? Observation. And from observation, you move to what? Interpretation, and that is what does it mean?
I think of Jackie Gleason. Most of you are not old enough to remember him—some of you do. We’re showing our age. Jackie Gleason was just famous when television came out. He was a big man, and he would say, “And awaaaaaay we go!” That’s application.
I found out what it says. I know what it means—and that doesn’t leave me just deadpan. It motivates me to live for the Lord. So application is for me living out truth. But application is also another thing, and sometimes women miss this. Application is not necessarily always doing something. Sometimes application is merely a change of mind.
It’s saying, “Oh, I used to believe this. I see that I’m wrong from the Word of God. I’m going to change my mind.” So application is sometimes changing your mind, and many times, when we change our mind, it affects our direction.
So basically, inductive study begins with the skill of what? Observation. And that is discovering what? What does it say? And then, interpretation—what is that? What does it mean? And the application: How am I to live this out?
Application is not you sitting in the Sunday school class on Sunday morning and reading the text and going around and giving your opinion of what it means. That is not application, and that is not the way you need to study your Bible. We need to know: What does it say? What does it mean? And how am I to think, how am I to live, how am I to act as a result of that?
Now, all of that—observation, interpretation and application—equals transformation. Transformation is being changed into the image of Jesus Christ so that you become more and more like Christ, more and more lovely, as the loveliness of the Lord is on you.
The best way to study a Bible is book by book. Years ago I was listening to Christian television and listening to heresy and watching the people just wave their hands and praise the Lord to something that was from the pit of hell, but they didn’t know it. The person had taken the Scripture. They had twisted it to their own destruction. They had distorted the Word of God, and the people just saw it in the Bible. He read a verse and then misinterpreted it, and they’re praising the Lord.
I thought: “They don’t know the Word of God. They don’t have a grasp of the whole counsel of God.” The whole counsel of God is: What is God’s plan from Genesis to Revelation?
They don’t know the books of the Bible. How many books are in the Bible—shout it out loud? Sixty-six. How many books do you think God wants you to know? Sixty-six. How many do you—you don’t have to answer this one out loud—but how many do you know?
One of the things, and I have to tell you honestly, that I get upset with women is they’re saying, “I don’t have time to study the Bible.” I get upset because it’s the most important thing that you can do, and if you have time to read a book, whether it’s Nancy’s book on Lies that Women Believe and other books that are marvelous—I’ve written books, and others have written books.
But if you’re even just using a devotional for your quiet time, and that’s it, and you’re reading one verse and then reading what somebody says about it, and many times they don’t say a lot about it; they don’t exegete the verse for you. But if that’s what you’re doing, and you have time for any other book, and you don’t have time to study the Bible, what are you going to say to God when you see Him face to face?
“I prefer the writings of a finite human being over Your God-breathed Word. I had time to do this; I had time to do that; but I didn’t have time to study Your Word.”
One of the things that just gets to me is when I hear people say, “Oh, don’t study Precept now. Wait until you’re older. You’ve got young children.” When we started, we all had young children. I even had one in my old age.
God expects you to hang on His every word. Every word is God breathed. So, for you to say, “I don’t have time.” Or for you to say, “It’s too hard.” I believe that you ought to just take that statement and go before the Lord and say, “Lord, what would You think if I said this to You when I see You face to face?” Then you and God resolve that and talk to Him about it.
So it’s best to study the Bible book by book because a book has a purpose. Every book of the Bible has a specific purpose.
Now, I’m not going to tell you how you study a book of the Bible because we don’t have time in this seminar, but I will tell you this: When you go online, you can see where we are teaching. You can see how to study a book of the Bible, how to study inductively, how to lead a Bible study, how to do Greek word studies, etc. All of that is part of getting to know God and going deeper and deeper into His Word.
Whenever you study any portion of a book of the Bible, you really need to understand its context—what is its setting. In interpretation, context rules. Context is king—King Kong-text. (Laughter)
A group in Hollywood decided that we should have inductive study courses for children. We have a course on how to study the Bible for kids, but we also have a video tape, “How to Study Your Bible for Kids.” In that it will tell you about observation, interpretation, application.
It has songs that the kids sing, and they absolutely love it as they go to Max and Molly’s Tree House. So you learn how to search out truth from the Word of God. This tells you a little bit about it, and you can buy it for your kids and use it for yourself.
In that you meet Commissioner Context, so when you study the Bible, context rules, context is king. So if you’re looking at a verse, you want to see the context of the verse. If you’re looking at a chapter, you want to see the context of the book, or the segment of the book that you are in.
What we’re going to do now is look at Hebrews chapter 11. If you have your Bibles with you, you may want to open your Bibles for just a minute to Hebrews chapter 11, because what I want to do is put you into context. I want to show you very quickly the setting of this chapter. We’re going to look at Hebrews chapter 11, and what we have handed you is a typical “observation worksheet.”
Now we’re going to look at Hebrews 11. Context is king. What is context? It is the what? Setting of a book. So in Hebrews chapter 10, he says in verse 32: “But remember the former days when after being enlightened you endured a great conflict of suffering.”
So when we look at this, what we learn about the recipients is that they have suffered for the gospel of Jesus Christ. We learn how they suffered, and then we see in verse 35, he says, “Don’t throw away your confidence which has a great reward.”
By the time you get to this place in Hebrews, you know that these people are tempted to drift away. You know that these people are in danger of not pressing on. You know at the end of Hebrews chapter 5 that these people were supposed to mature, and they have regressed. Whereas they should be mature enough to be eating meat, they need milk again because they have gotten slothful in their study of the Word of God. So he’s writing to them, and he’s telling them, “Don’t throw away your confidence.”
Verse 36: “You have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what was promised.”
Then he says in verse 37: “For yet in a very little while, he who was coming will come and will not delay.” He’s talking about the second coming of Jesus Christ, and by now you’ve seen all of that in the book. Then he says, “But my righteous one shall live by”—what?—“faith. My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back [from living by faith—listen carefully] my soul has no pleasure in him” (verse 38). You’re to live by faith.
Then he says, verse 39: “But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction.” He’s talking about hell there. “But of those who have [what?] faith [to the what?] preserving of the soul.” Now, from there he’s going to move right into Hebrews 11. So what he has told us is that, “You have endured suffering. I want you to keep on enduring; I don’t want you to shrink back. My righteous one lives by faith.” And he’s just quoted Habakkuk 2:4 when he says, “My righteous one will live by faith.” Then he tells them that we are to have faith to the preserving of our soul.
Now, let’s read Hebrews chapter 11. I want to read the first six verses. If you don’t mind, we’ll read them out loud together. Reading out loud helps you memorize Scripture. So let’s start.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.
By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it’s impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who see Him.
Verse 7. We’re going to stop there, but verse 7: “By faith, Noah . . .” Do you see that? “By faith, Noah . . .”
When you read the Word of God, you want to learn to examine, to interrogate the text. You do that by asking the five W’s and an H. The five W’s and an H are—who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Whenever you read the text, you want to ask: Okay, who is this about? Who are the people that are mentioned, if people are mentioned. Who. What: What is this about? What are the events or what is the teaching? Who—what—what’s the third thing? When. You want to discover: When is something happening? If God tells you when something is happening, then you want to mark it.
Take your card right here, the card that was in your bag that you got. You will see under the cutouts it says, “Mark references to time with a green clock.” Many times, what I will do is just use a green circle. Anytime I see a green circle, I know it’s telling me the third W—who, what, when—tick, tick, tick. So it’s telling me when.
Then the next W is where. So we have who, what, when, and where. You’ll see right underneath that, it says, “Double underline in green all geographical locations.” If it says earth, if it says heaven, if it says Jerusalem, if it says Babylon, double underline it in green.” These are God-breathed words, and God wants you to hang on His every word. God wants you to know Him. God wants you to understand Him. God wants you to know how you are to live.
Man Jesus said, quoting Deuteronomy, when He was tempted by the devil after fasting 40 days, the devil said, “Command that these stones be made bread.” What did Jesus answer? “It is written, ‘Man does not live by bread alone but by [what?] every word that [what?] proceeds [or comes] from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
So He has just told you that the Bible is every word that has come from the mouth of God, so you want to pay attention to every word. You ask the five W’s and an H. Let’s say it again: Who, what, when, where, why. So you want to know why did God say this, why was it done, why did it happen, or why will it take place? So let’s say it again: Who, what, when, where, why, and how.
You begin with prayer, and then you read the text. As you read the text, you’re going to ask the five W’s and an H. You’re going to look for the answers to those questions as you read. You’re going to train your mind so you see who.
Now, did you see any “who’s” in these first six verses? Any who’s? All right, Abel is one. Good for you. Who else did you see? Men of old. Good. Very good.
All right. We’ve seen Abel; we’ve seen men of old—who else have we seen? Yes. We’ve seen Cain. Good. And we’ve seen—oh, God. Is God a person? Oh, yes. Listen, this is the way you build your systematic theology.
Now, take your little bookmark. Do you see a triangle? Normally when I mark my Bible, I try to use just colors or color combinations, but sometimes I use symbols—like I use the circle for time. I double underline for where. This triangle is a good symbol for God. So let’s take that triangle, and let’s go down. Where is the first time you see God? In verse 3. So take your triangle there and put it over God.
Now, why would I choose a triangle? Because it’s God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. If you doubt that, when you study the Bible inductively, you’ll get over it. You’ll have a change of mind. So, you mark God.
We show you also how to mark people. Many times, what I do is I always color the author of the book one way in an epistle. I always use blue. That’s my personal code. Then I color the recipients of the book, of the epistle, of the letter, in orange. So in here, if I saw a reference to the recipients, which I did in Hebrews 10, I would be color coding them so that I can look down and see and have it marked. You could do it in verse 3 also: “By faith we understand.”
This is one of the things that helps with reading it out loud. When you read it and you hear, you’re incorporating another learning tool. So did you hear any word that was repeated in what we read? Faith. That’s right! Good! Why don’t you take your little rectangle there and put it over faith. Where’s faith first used? In the first verse, yes.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for.” Then, if we were marking faith—you heard it over and over again. When you hear a word over and over again, it is a key word. So as you read the text, more and more truth is going to come to the top. More and more you’re going to see things that you never ever saw before. It’s going to be so exciting, and they’re not weirdo things. They’re there, but you just haven’t discovered them. So when you see repeated words, God is trying to make a point.
You have to remember that the Bible was an oral book. There weren’t printed copies of the Bible until the 1400s. The Gutenberg Bible was the first Bible to ever be printed on a printing press. So up until then every one of them had to be handwritten, hand copied. They had to be absolutely perfect. They had a whole system that they went through to make sure they didn’t make any mistakes.
So the people didn’t have their own copy of the Word of God like you and I have now. The Bible was read to them. So what you see is you see the people hearing. Now, if I want you to hear something, and I don’t want you to miss my point, I’m going to repeat my words. Right? I’m going to repeat it again and again and again. Or I’m going to repeat it in a chapter, or I maybe am going to repeat it in a segment of the book, a group of chapters that go together, or I’m going to repeat it throughout the book. This is what you see in different degrees in different books of the Bible.
So when you see that key repeated word, you want to mark it. Now, I’m going to read to you, and every time I come to a reference to faith—now, listen. Not just the word faith, but a pronoun for faith, or a synonym for faith, then I want to mark it the same way. So if you have a colored pencil, color it. Otherwise, pretend that your pen is a colored pencil, and underline it.
Every time I come to faith, you’re going to say faith.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who see Him (Hebrews 11:1-6).
So in reading the text, you have discovered a key repeated word. You’ve got it colored. Your Bible looks great.
You say, “I’m not going to mark my Bible. It is a holy Book.”
It is. It is a sacred Book. It is. It’s God’s Book. You are right. And God wants you to know it, and this will help you to know it.
So, when you go through, you want to mark your key repeated words, and then you want to make a list of what you learned. So in your right-hand margin of your observation worksheet, what I want you to do is take a minute and list what you learned about faith through verse 6. Just take a few minutes and make a list of what you learned about faith. As you look at it, the right-hand margin is bigger. You can do it wherever you want to, but I would prefer you to do it there if you want to make me happy. No, I’m kidding. You just have more room to write.
If you come to anything that tells you where or when, mark it. I’m not saying it’s there, but I’m just saying to mark it. You don’t have to rewrite the text. Just put down the main sense of what you learned faith is
Okay, Stephanie, honey, what is the first thing you wrote down about faith?
Stephanie: It’s the assurance and conviction of the unseen.
Kay: All right. It’s the assurance of what?
Stephanie: Things hoped for.
Kay: Good. Number one: It’s the assurance of things hoped for. Now, what is the verb there? Faith is. So what is it telling you? It’s telling you what faith is. It’s defining faith for you. It’s showing you what faith is—faith is—and the verb there is very important. Faith is—what? The assurance of things hoped for. Is there another thing that faith is? Number two is faith is the conviction of things not seen.
So, if I have faith, does that mean I have what I ask for? No. It means I’ve asked for something, and I am convinced it’s going to come, or I am assured of something. So, faith is.
Now, what’s the next thing? All right, Amy.
Amy: Men of old gained approval.
Kay: All right. Men of old gained approval how?
Amy: By faith.
Kay: All right. So I see that there were people, and we pointed out this kind of people. They were men of old, and through faith, what did they do? They gained approval. So do you see the difference between what faith is and then how faith is used?
Then what’s the third thing that you see about faith? Are you willing to do this? Okay, thank you.
Woman 1: We understand that the world was prepared by the Word of God.
Kay: Oh. So break that down for me.
Woman 1: It gives us an understanding of how God created the world and we have faith that that’s what He did.
Kay: Oh. By faith we what?
Woman 1: Understand.
Kay: Understand. By faith we understand what? Just exactly what she said. That the worlds were prepared by the Word of God.
Oh, are any of you evolutionists? You don’t need to raise your hand. Do any of you not believe that God created the word? Don’t raise your hand. How did He create the world? By the what? By the Word of God.
So what I have seen is two definitions of what faith is. Right? I’ve seen that faith is the assurance of things hoped for. It is the evidence or conviction of things not seen. So I’ve seen two things of what faith is, and the second one, I see what faith does. What does my faith do? It gains approval just like the men of old gained approval.
When I get to verse 3, I see “by faith” I—what?—“understand that the worlds were prepared”—how?—“by the Word of God.” Did I see it? Did I see the worlds prepared by the Word of God? No. Was I there? Was anybody there? No, just the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When you study Genesis 1 carefully, they’re all three there, but that’s what I understand. So, by faith I gain understanding about creation.
Now, what’s the next thing that we see?
Woman 2: By faith, Abel offered to God a better sacrifice to God than Cain.
Kay: Alright. “By faith, Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain.” So I’m going to learn something about Abel, and I’m going to learn something about Cain when I delve into it deeper, but what do I learn about what Abel did versus Cain? How did Abel live? He lived by faith, and he made a—what?—a sacrifice—how?—by faith.
Now, what’s the next thing I learned about faith?
Woman 3: It talks about God testifying about His own gifts through faith.
Kay: Yes. Now, watch. Who, though he’s dead, is speaking?
Woman 3: Abel is speaking.
Kay: Abel is speaking although he’s dead. How is he speaking?
Woman 3: Through faith.
Kay: Through faith. And how is he speaking through faith? Go ahead.
Woman 4: He offered a righteous gift of what is acceptable to God from us.
Kay: Yes. Right. By faith, Abel offered what God said to offer, and through faith, though he’s dead, he’s still speaking because he lived by—what?—he lived by faith.
Okay, so then you would come to verse 5: “And by faith, Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death.” Whoa! That’s quite a statement. “Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death.” So I’ll write it down. You may not understand it, but write it down because you’re observing the text, and truth is going to surface more and more and more.
I’m going to show you the next thing that we would do: Verse 6: What do I learn about faith from verse 6? Jan?
Jan: It’s impossible to please God.
Kay: Yes. “Without faith it’s impossible to please God.” Whoa! “Without faith it’s impossible to please God.” Did you get that? So you’ve just learned that if you don’t have faith, you— what?—cannot please God.
Now, “he who comes to God must”—what?—“believe that”—what?—“He is.” The word believe and faith are the same root word. This is a verb—pistao. The word for faith is pistas. So it is the same word in essence.
So let’s read that out loud again: “Without faith it’s impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Now, what would I want to mark? Who would I want to mark here in verse 6? God. So you just do a quick triangle. “Without faith it’s impossible to please”—whom?—God, “Him. For he who comes to God”—triangle—“must believe that He is”—He who?—God—“and that He is a rewarder”—who is the He there?—God—“of those who seek Him”—Him, who?—God.
Okay, so let’s just stop and say that you were making a list on God. We’ve made a quick list on faith. Now let’s say you were just marking God, and you were making a list of what you learned about God. From verse 3, what would you put down about God? You would start a new list now. God—what?—“He prepared the world”—how?—“by His Word.” What does that mean? “So that what is seen was not made out of things which are”—what?—“invisible.”
So what did you just learn about God? How did God create the world? He just spoke. He said, “Let there be,” and it was. “Let there be,” and it was. “Let there be,” and it was. God simply spoke, and it was. You talk about power. If the Word of God is that powerful and that significant, and it is coming from the mouth of God who is the creator, had I better pay attention? Absolutely! How important is it to hang on His every word?
What else do you see in verse 4 about God? Yes. He’s talking about Abel’s gift versus Cain’s gift. What was that gift? It was a better sacrifice. Who offered it? Abel. To whom? God. So what do you learn about God? God requires a sacrifice, and there are some that are better than others. What does it say? “Through which he”—Abel—“obtained the testimony that he was righteous”—God—doing what?—testifying about His what?—gifts. So God requires a sacrifice. He gets a sacrifice from Abel, and He testifies about Abel’s gift.
Okay, now you say, “I don’t understand the depth of all of this.” I wouldn’t expect you to—not yet. But you’re learning the Bible precept by precept. You’re getting one truth and then another truth and then another truth. You’re doing it by observing the text. You’re asking the who, the what, the when, the where, the why, and the how. You’re looking for who—who are the people? What do you learn about them?
What you do is you begin to put these things down. You may never have read Genesis yet. You may have become a new Christian, and you walk into a Bible study and it’s on Hebrews. You’re reading this chapter, and you don’t know who Abel is, and you don’t know who Cain is. You don’t know when He’s talking about men of old—who are those men of old?
So you don’t understand, but you begin to get truth, and this is the way you learn: You take what is stated—and you make sure that it’s the Word. You take what’s stated, and you begin to write down what you learn about each thing.
You say, “That takes time.”
Yes, it does, but these are God’s Words. These are alive. These are powerful, as Hebrews 4:12 tells us. “They’re sharper than any two-edged sword. They discern the thoughts and the intents of the heart.”
For instance, suppose you’re sitting here, and you’ve always been taught that evolution is the way that it happened. Perhaps you’re sitting here, and you have been one of these people that has pooh-poohed creation. You’ve said, “That’s ridiculous. Science tells us”—by the way, science doesn’t. Supposition tells us, but science doesn’t tell us that we evolved, that we came from a lower form of life. We were just a blob and then all of a sudden—then we had eyes and a mouth and eventually we could walk and talk—from goo to you by way of the zoo. I got that from someone else, but I thought it was clever. (Laughter)
Okay, so you’re beginning to learn. You’re beginning just to put down facts. Then what’s going to happen is you’re going to study this book, and maybe God will draw you then to Genesis. When you study Genesis and you study Hebrews, then you begin to see these characters that He’s talking about in this chapter, and they take on a whole new dimension. Then you have an understanding that you wouldn’t have otherwise simply from going through and observing the text.
So, this is what you do:
Number one: You begin with prayer when you study inductively.
Number two: You read the text, and you ask the five W’s and an H.
Number three: As you read the text, you’re going to see key repeated words or phrases, and you begin to mark those.
Number four: You look for a list. You write down the things that you learn. You may not understand them—that’s okay. You write them down. Then, as you make those lists, you note expressions of time. You note geographical locations, and you watch for contrasts and comparisons.
All these things are taught to you in several books that are out on the book table. Some people have ended up having a ministry with Lord, Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 days. In 28 days we go through 2 Kings chapter 22; we go through the book of Jonah, and we go through the book of Jude. It will blow your mind. You can take this and have a ministry of just teaching it to others.
We have God, Are You There? Do You Care? Do You Know about Me? This is used in many, many languages around the world. It is self-contained. It’s the whole gospel of John. We teach you how to observe the text. We teach you about parables and similes, metaphors, and allegories—all that you meet in the Gospel of John.
You begin to discover the purpose of a book—because the interpretation to the book is always interpreted according to its purpose.
So we teach you all those things. This has been used in the “Hood.” In fact, two of my African-American sisters challenged me and said, “We need a book for the Hood.” So I wrote it, and it turned out to be a book for the nations on top of that.
We also have a How to Study Your Bible over there. Then we have for the children, How to Study the Bible for Kids. Through this inductive study course, we teach them how to be inductive detectives.
The most important thing that we have is an Inductive Study Bible. That Inductive Study Bible is the Bible that I use. It’s a true study Bible because it does not have commentaries on the text. If you get a Bible with a commentary on the text, it’s what that person believes the text is about, or that group of persons. But this teaches you how to study the Bible for yourself.
At the beginning of this Bible, there is this incredible timeline of the history of the Bible that shows you where every book of the Bible is, how it relates to the others, who the foreign powers were, who were the prophets, what was happening in the Northern Kingdom, the Southern Kingdom. This is fabulous. This is in the Bible, but I keep an extra one beside me when I’m studying.
So we have those tools there. We have another tool that I want to tell you about that is a study for teenagers. This is our Inductive Bible Study Curriculum. We have teachers’ guides to go with this. They’re using them in Christian schools. We take them through a book of the Bible.
Now, that’s just a general overview of how to study inductively, and I’ve gone through it very, very quickly. But I want to show you something. As you look at that, and you begin to make the list, you’re going to see that the text divides itself. Your list tells you what faith is. You see what faith does. You see what faith does in your relationship with God, etc. So you begin to sort out that list, and as you do, you’re learning these different things about faith.
The most important thing that I want you to see about faith today is verse 6: “Without faith you cannot”—what?—“please God.” If you’re going to come to God, you must believe that He—what?—He is God, and He is a—what?—rewarder of those who seek Him.
Now, let me ask you a question: Do you think you can seek God without studying the Bible? No. You’re trying to get to God in a way that God has not ordained. Faith comes—and this is from Romans 10—“faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of”—who?—of Christ, by the Word of Christ, by the Word of Messiah.
So if you’re going to please God, and if you’re going to live in a way that is pleasing God, if you’re going to know what pleases God, you’ve got to know His Word. How did Abel offer a better sacrifice? How did he offer it? By faith. In other words, God had told him what to do, and he did it. You go back, and you see that Cain was told what to do, and he wouldn’t do it, and consequently, sin was crouching at his door.
As you go through, you would then begin to mark the men. So next to verse 4, in the opposite margin, right by verse 4, write Abel. Then next to verse 5, write Enoch. Then next to verse 7, what would you write? Noah. Then what would you do?
Scripture interprets Scripture. The best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture. So what you would do (and we show you how to do this in How to Study the Bible) is you would get a concordance, or you would go and use your study tools on the computer, and you would find out where Abel is mentioned, where Enoch is mentioned, where Noah is mentioned.
Just watch what you learn about Noah. “Noah, being warned by”—whom?—God, so you want to mark it. Noah being warned about things—what?—“not yet seen in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household by which he . . .” This is where I would start marking these men—but by which he, Noah, condemned—what?—the world—“and became an heir of the righteousness which is”—what?—“according to faith.”
What did you just learn about righteousness? It is according to faith. What is faith? It’s the evidence of things hoped for. It’s what? The evidence of things not seen. It’s the way men gain approval. As you read it, you’re going to see that if Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain. God had to tell him.
So you’re beginning to see that faith is my response to the Word of God. What you learn here is that you become an heir of righteousness. You are changed. You become righteous by what? By faith. You start making a list, and you’re going to see how important faith is.
Now, I’ve got to show you this just real quick. Look at verse 8. By faith—what?—Abraham. The next verse is about Abraham. Then next verse is about Sarah. So you would write Sarah there.
Then you would go on, and you would look at verse 13. It’s “they.” In verse 14 it’s “those.” In verse 15 it’s “they.” In verse 16 it’s “they.” So you would want to find out who the “they” is, and then in verse 17, Abraham’s mentioned again.
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac.” Do you remember where that is? What book of the Bible is it? Genesis what? Genesis 22: “Take your son, your only son whom you love, and offer him up as a sacrifice” (verse 2). That’s God’s command to Abraham. “Take your son, your only son whom you love.” You go back to Genesis 22, and you’d see him offering up Isaac.
Now, watch: “Your only son”—now, keep reading: “By faith, Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac” (Hebrews 11:17). He who had received the promises was offering up his—what?—only—what?—begotten son. So what you’ve just learned is that this is Abraham’s only begotten son. Yes, he had Ishmael, but he had Ishmael by another woman, by Hagar. He had Ishmael out of disobedience, out of a lack of faith. It says it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants will be called.”
God made a covenant with Abraham. It’s in Genesis 15; it’s in Genesis 17. Genesis 22 is when he is offering up his son, but God makes a covenant with Abraham saying that in Isaac his descendants would be called. In other words, He’s making a covenant with promise. Now, watch. It goes from Abraham, and it goes to Isaac, and from Isaac comes the covenant promise that in Isaac his descendants will be called.
In other words, from Isaac, it’s going to go to Jacob. From Jacob, it’s going to go to the nation of Israel, etc. It’s going to come to you and to me through Abraham, the son of Abraham, the son of David, which is the Messiah.
Now, watch what it says: “He considered . . .” So you have to stop and say, “Who is the he?” And the he is Abraham. “He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead from which he”—Abraham—“also received him”—Isaac—and this is why you watch your pronouns.
Do you know there’s no other place in the Word of God that gives us an insight into what happened that day on Mount Moriah when God said, “Abraham, take your son, your only son, whom you love.” He took Abraham by faith. It’s the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. He was told through Isaac, through his son, that covenant promise would continue, and through Isaac all the nations of the earth would be blessed.
He takes his baby, who is Isaac through whom the promise is going to come. God made him a promise. God doesn’t break His promises. He takes Isaac, and he lays Isaac on the altar. He takes the knife—only Isaac is looking at him—and he gets ready to plunge in the knife out of obedience.
What does he know? What does he believe about Isaac? God is going to have to raise him from the dead. “I will put him to death like You said, but God, because You watch over Your Word to perform it, You have to raise my son from the dead.” And God saw this, and God stopped him, and He says, “Now I know that you love Me since you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me. You put him on an altar. I know, and it’s just as good as if you put in the knife because you are walking by faith, and I am raising him from the dead.”
Only in Hebrews do you get that insight, not in any other book of the Bible. You might just go right over it if you’re simply reading the text to get your five minutes in a day, or your ten minutes in a day. But if you will stop and hang on God’s every Word, if you will see the who, the what, and the when and the where and the why and the how; if you will find out who is speaking, what is he saying, or who is doing this, or why are they doing it . . . Who is this person? What is happening? What are the circumstances? What is the event? What is the topic? When is it happening? Where is it happening? Why am I being told this? Why is this going to happen? How is this going to happen? You are going to get to know God in a way that you have not known Him before. And as you get to know God, precious ones, as you do this, you are going to be changed more and more into the likeness of God, and you’re going to have a faith that will be unshakeable, that will be immovable, so that you will be abounding in the work of the Lord.
Now, I told you about the tools. But I want you to meet two people here, and then I want you to meet Sally and Holly afterwards. They can tell you about how you can learn to study, how you can go deeper, how you can dig deeper. But just know this: A true woman is a woman who lives by faith. Why? Because without faith it’s—what?—impossible to please God. Those who come to Him must believe—what?—that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
First of all, I want you to meet Janna. I want you to tell them one quick story about what’s happening with children as a result of this. Janna is just a gift from the Lord. She takes what I’ve written, then she puts it in for the children. She and I get together, and we read through the whole text, and this is the way we do the inductive study courses for kids.
Janna: Well, I’m seeing kids know God’s Word like I’ve never seen it before. Right now the kids I’m teaching at the ministry are learning how to pray. They are blown away by the fact that they didn’t know. One little girl told me this week, “I all of a sudden realized”(all of these weeks, all we’ve done is talk about God, and the focus has been on God, and just this week is the first time we’ve done anything that had anything to do with us) “that prayer is supposed to be about God.”
Kay: That’s the study on prayer.
Janna: Yes. It’s Lord, Teach Me to Pray for Kids. That’s what they are doing. They are just blown away because all these years, when they’re little they’ve been praying, “Give me . . . I want . . . Help me . . .” Now they see that prayer is all about worship and our focus is to be on God. We’re supposed to give Him our allegiance, our loyalty, our devotion, and then our submission.
Kay: What about the books of the Bible that they’re studying? Those are topical, but most of our books are . . .
Janna: Most of them are on books of the Bible. We have all of Genesis . . .
Kay: Just tell them what’s happening as a result of those, of studying a book of the Bible. What happens when they study a book of the Bible?
Janna: They know the book. They know Revelation. You might think, “Oh, Revelation is hard.” These kids can tell you the entire timeline of events that are going to happen in Revelation. They know the book like you would not believe just from taking it—even little kids. I had an assistant sit in my class and weep because the kids could tell you what was going to happen, and not just tell you, but tell you the details of what they had learned.
Kay: Thank you so much. They do the same with Daniel. Now, that’s Janna Art. This is Linda Kathe, and Linda is teaching a book that I’ve written called The Truth about Sex, but she is also teaching in the prison.
Linda: I took this book to our youth in our church one year, several years ago. I read this book three times before I put it down, and I cried the whole time thinking, “Why didn’t somebody teach me this when I was growing up in church?” Ladies, I’m 58 years old, and I was 42 when I accepted Christ in the back of my UPS truck. I wasn’t in a church. Anyway, I read this book, and I thought, “Why didn’t somebody tell me?”
The youth that I taught . . . We were at a conference, a weekend retreat, and those girls (today, two of them are going to be missionaries) discovered for themselves what God said and how to dress. They were wearing short skirts to church. They were sitting on the front row and doing this study. They realized they are not to defraud their brother and cause their brother to stumble.
When we went to church that Sunday morning, they were putting their coats over their legs to hide their legs from the pastor. So they learned from this study.
I recommend this book to everyone in here because, if you have a teenager, let me tell you, they are sexually involved at nine years old in our churches today.
I took this to the prison, and the girls love it. It’s a wonderful book.
Kay: We have to quit. Janna’s up here. You can talk to her about children. Sally, you can talk to her. If you’re involved in Precept, we want to talk to you. And if you want to talk about the prisons or teaching the kids about sex or how to study the Bible, we want to talk to you. Let’s pray.
Father, thank You now, and Father, I pray that You would use this to drive us to Your Word, these simple, simple instructions. Thank You that the people that know their God will be able to stand firm and take action. In Your name we pray, amen.
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