Teaching the Bible
I take the privilege of teaching the scriptures very seriously. And while I do believe that the scriptures are, for the most part, easy to understand, the fact that there are so many differences of opinion over the bible proves that the scriptures are also easily corrupted. Not all opinions can be right and since there exist so many opinions, we can only assume that we are swimming in a sea of doctrinal corruption. From our youth we are conditioned by teachers, tradition, and culture to read into many subjects our inherited doctrinal prejudices.
So in light of this, as a teacher, I am constantly striving to keep myself from allowing corruption to creep into my teachings. I have made a lifelong effort to root out my own inherited prejudices and also to crush the inner desire to read into the bible an interpretation that pleases my own intellect and desires.
I do not say this in order to inspire in you feelings of confidence, misdirected towards me or my teachings. My first teacher was a con-man so I loath confidence tactics. The best intentions do not guarantee the best results so it should not impress you that I do say these things. You have to be diligent and actually measure my performance. For with what measure you mete... I'm telling you this, because it is what we all need to do when we approach what we call, "God's Holy Word."
Too often people treat this book as if it were God's "handy" word. Handy for abuse of power, handy for forwarding questionable theories, handy for excusing bad behavior, handy for oppressing the weak-minded. The bible is a tool for many evil men, and is easily manipulated. There is no more powerful weapon that a word from God, and from man's first sin, God's word was in question. "Hath God said?" So we need to give the proper weight of respect deserved by a book we dare call "God's word." It is not to be taken lightly or handled lightly. Because it will crush many fools who have handled it recklessly.
I began teaching the bible back before I had any reasonable right to do so. I was 20 years old and I thought I knew a lot, but knowing many things does not mean you understand anything, and I understood very little indeed. When I look back at the way I approached the bible, I now clearly see that I was allowing the things I thought I knew to direct my understanding of what I thought the bible was saying. When the scripture said something that seemed to contradict what I thought I knew, I would search for alternative explanations to what the bible said. It took me a few years to realize that I ought to start searching instead for alternative explanations to what I thought I knew (and what I thought I knew was mostly what was taught me by others).
Sometimes, what we learn from one bible passage seems to contradict what we learn from another. And the problems start when we think we already know which one is correct, before we have weighed all the evidence. Sometimes one interpretation must be thrown out in favor of another. Failing to understanding how to determine the correct interpretation is the reckless path to heresy. It does take a broad knowledge of what is in the bible to be able to make the correct judgments.
When I was younger I was conditioned to read the bible in particular way, ignoring things that were important, and reading strange ideas between the lines. I thank God I was delivered from that mentality. There is so much sitting on the surface of the bible that only needs someone to declare it boldly for us to wonder how we overlooked it.
II Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Let us be truly radical in this corrupt generation, let us pursue that, or die trying. Because there are few things worth dying for, but my doctrine is one of them. I will gladly die for that, because I have not been sent as a teacher to fill your heads with talk about corruptions of science or speculations about genealogies and prophecy with the bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other (or a history book).
I teach the bible to help the listener learn how they might obtain the promises of the New Testament and become more like Christ. That is my main focus. That is what we are all supposed to be working toward. That is what the work of salvation is. If you have not been taught how to be a Christian, then you are sorely lacking indeed.
I suppose my view is a little simplistic, for some. If it were a simple matter to walk even as Christ himself walked, I might understand, but it is not easy to do, I know few that even dare to claim they are close. We think we know all that there is to know about "being good." But we know precious little about how to actually do it, just look around at this so-called "Christian" culture.
We know that salvation is by grace, God is the author of our salvation. This fact has been abused and has led many today to live their lives careless of the righteousness which we are expected to pursue by the power of God which is given us through Christ. We have been given the power to overcome sin in the flesh. Not necessarily all at once, though some problems may go away in an instant by the hand of God, but others can take time, I know these can also be overcome, and yet other sins may lie hidden in out hearts. But the fact remains that as Christians living in expectation of salvation, we are expected to pursue righteousness in this present world, so says the Apostle Paul.
Titus 2:11,12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
And from experience, I know that from the first moment we believe, we do not suddenly find ourselves filled with perfect Christ-like virtue and perfection. But I also know from experience that we can make progress, we can surely grow. That is all I'm looking to help people do, that is my work.
Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
But to obtain that growth we must seek it. Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, right? And by continuing to seek and to ask we may obtain.
To many, these are unrealistic expectations. That is a good example of letting what we think we know dictate the way we read the scriptures. Lets lay aside whether we can obtain to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ in our lifetime, I know for a fact, from experience, that we can grow towards that end. That is what my teaching is about. I don't care if people say we cannot attain such things, the bible promises these things to us and I will not be dissuaded from pursuing them.
Join me in that pursuit by listening to these free bible studies.
I am not currently producing new studies, but I do have plans to finish John and move on to Revelation and the old testament prophets. Due to financial strains, I have had to put all my efforts into my new album, "the Book of Revelation." If you value these studies please buy the album, even if the music does not interest you in order to support this ministry. If the Album does well I will have more time for ministry.
Series #2 The Gospels
Matthew (Completed, May 9, 2010)
Mark (Completed May 28, 2010)
Luke (Completed July 4, 2010)
John (Suspended due to Revelation)
Series #1 The New Testament Epistles
(Times given in hrs:mins:secs)
This series was my first teaching experience on the internet (though, for better or worse, I have taught the bible since 1993). I learned some important technical lessons in this series. In the early studies there is, some sniffing and coughing which I later learned to eliminate. I apologize for any annoyance this may incur; later (2010) studies are sniff free. I also learned to identify unnecessary digressions and mark them for editing. In the future, I hope to improve on this initial work. In the next series (the Gospels) I use what I learned in this series to improve the overall quality of the work.
Romans 12:12:56 (March 25th 2009)
I Corinthians 22:51:17 (June 23, 2009)
II Corinthians 11:30:22 (March 12-27, 2010)
Galatians 6:24:02(April 11, 2009)
Ephesians 8:28:07 (April 11, 2009)
Philippians 4:30:21 (April 15, 2009)
Colossians 4:50:26 (April 17, 2009)
I & II Thessalonians 4:31:32 (March 31, 2009)
I Timothy 5:45:29 (April 21, 2009)
II Timothy 3:28:22 (April 21, 2009)
Titus & Philemon 3:01:41 (April 21 2009)
I put my name and face here, because I expect to be held responsible for what I do and say in the Name of Jesus Christ.