Wednesday, 20 March 2013

How Do I Understand the Meaning of a Bible Passage?

40 Days In The Word – Part 5
Robin Burley     March 17, 2013

            Observation: What does it say?  
            Interpretation: What does it mean?
            Correlation: What other verses explain it? 
            Application: What will I DO about it?

JOHN 15:1-17

Problem Verse:
Vs. 6 “If anyone doesn’t remain in me, he’s like a branch that’s thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”


1.   Consider the Historical Context
 Chapters 13 to 17 = Jesus’ final words of comfort to his disciples before his arrest.
Vs. 11 “I’ve told you these things so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete!”

2.  Define Key Words
            “Love” = mentioned 9 times “Fruit” = mentioned 9 times   
        “Fruit” & “Fruitful” = 45 times in New Testament
            What is meaning of “fruit” in this context?

3. Interpret  Unclear Verses With Clear Verses
   Vs. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 (NIV)

·      BEARING FRUIT is produced by remaining in Christ

   Vs. 8 “This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

·      BEARING FRUIT brings glory to God

Vs. 11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

·      BEARING FRUIT will give me complete joy

4. Look for the Most Obvious Meaning in the Text
   Vs. 7 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you!” 

·      REMAINING IN CHRIST PRODUCES answered prayers

   14:13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
·      Answered prayer brings glory to God!

   16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete!”
·      Answered prayer GIVES ME COMPLETE JOY!

   Vs. 16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name!”

   I BEAR FRUIT BY asking in prayer


My prayer for bearing fruit this week:

Memory verse: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock.”  Matthew 7:24

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