Using the Bible as a Guidebook


Why is the Bible Essential to Be Christ-Like?

        Paul says to church in Ephesus, “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.)” (Ephesians 3:3-4)  Using the Bible as a guidebook is essential to our lives and our walk with God. I believe there are so many things we can glean from the Word of God if we take the time to read and study it as well as apply it to our lives. God has allowed the direction we need in life straight from the bible, anywhere else would not be of God. Even preachers and ministers leading and guiding us on our spiritual walk use the bible as their core foundation and the scriptures within. God used men like Paul to set the grounding for future churches. By studying the word of God, we can slowly begin to comprehend the mystery of Christ. Although we can never fully grasp the knowledge and greatness of God, we can certainly obtain understanding. We are called to be servants of the Most High. To truly please God, we have to follow his commandments. To follow his calling, we, as Christians,  must be Christ-like. The best way to grow as Christians is to pray and study our Bibles and the scriptures within.

How to Use the Bible as a Guidebook

               To truly get all the food (if you will) you need from the Bible, you must be able to dig deeper into the scriptures than just simply reading words and understanding what is written. You must understand the “principles” and how you can apply them to your situation. First, you must use observation. According to The American Heritage Dictionary website, the word observation means a “…detailed examination of phenomena prior to analysis, diagnosis or interpretation.” (American, 2011) We must take the scripture, verse, chapter, etc. that we are reading about and look for key things such as writer’s terms (a phrase or group of words used to show a concept or idea), emphasis (when the writer or speaker expresses the importance of an idea or message), structure (how the verse is set up and laid out), and, finally, repetition (when a author repeats a phrase or word often). We need to take notice of these things before we can truly understand the principle that is relayed in scriptures.
The next step in using the Bible as a guideline is interpretation. We must be able to interpret for ourselves the passages we are reading. We must always pray (consult with God) and he will help give us a revelation and understanding of what we are reading. Also, it is important to use cross-references by finding other scriptures that back up what we are reading. Lastly, we must use application. After getting an understanding of scriptures, we must apply what we have read to our lives. We can do this by asking ourselves questions on how the passage we observed and interpreted can affect our walk with God, our relationship with others, how it affects us, and how it affects our response to the enemy. These are important questions to ask ourselves when applying passages to our life issues.
                                               Analysis of a Biblical Principle

I have chosen the principle “compassion” to discuss. Compassion is important to me because I was raised by a very compassionate, Godly mother who taught the importance of having compassion on others – especially as a Christian. Christ showed compassion to every person, even those who came against him. That is why if I have a deep desire to be like Christ. I want to show my reader how to get principles from scriptures and understand how it applies in more ways than one. The scriptures I have chosen for reference are:

• “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
• “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. (Zechariah 7:9-10)
• “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” (Romans 12:15)
• “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34)
• “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17)
• “When Jesus had lifted himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thing accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, no man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:10-11)
• “Behold, we count them happy that which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 511)
• “So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.” (Matthew 20:34)
• “Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat; and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.” (Matthew 15:32)
• “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.” (1 Peter 3:8)

The principle I gleaned from these scriptures is to be like Christ is to have the traits of Christ. He gives us many different examples on how to be Christ-like in the Bible. What I observed from scripture is that there are two different kind of examples that Christ showed us. He preached and taught on compassion in a few of the scriptures I listed. Then, in others, he demonstrated how to have compassion. I noted that in most of the scriptures I selected, Jesus shows someone mercy and uses it as an example on how we must be toward one another. Even when it came to the stoning of Mary Magdalene, Jesus taught the accusers that each individual has sinned and how it is necessary to show compassion even to those who are undeserving. This is because, while we all have sinned, God showed us mercy. Christ emphasizes on the importance of this many times.
I also noticed that, often, the atmosphere in these scriptures was urgent. Many of the situation examples in these scriptures are involving someone in desperate need. Whether the individual in need of mercy was dying, blind, begging, or starving, the extension of compassion remained consistent. In each moment Christ never hesitated to have compassion. It is used as a lesson to his followers to do the same. Although we cannot perform miracles, we must show mercy to the best of our abilities. By looking at multiple scriptures on compassion, I have interpreted that, no matter the situation, we must show compassion. That does not mean you must save someone’s life in order to show compassion to another person. Compassion is showing mercy and kindness towards someone’s suffering. I repeat again the statement, “To be like Christ is to have the traits of Christ.”
                                            Application of the Biblical Principle

Jesus came to earth with the purpose to die for our sins. Yet, while he was amongst us, he taught us a lot of great lessons on how to be Christ-like. He showed compassion so that his disciples and followers to come would know how to apply it to their own lives. Showing compassion on others will help our walk with God. It is required of us to show the same attributes as Christ. By doing that, it will build our faith. It is also a testimony to the world of our Christian walk and it will be a way of witness to compel others to come to God. An example of this could happen at work or at school that, when someone is suffering and hurting, showing them compassion in any way will make you stand out where others fail to. Someone might say, “Well they deserve what they got”. Even if they did, showing the love of God is much more important. In essence, it will help your relationship with others and show Christ through your actions. A kind, Godly heart is rarely overlooked by others.

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