This Sabbath in our monthly Congregational Bible Study we will be considering a member's questions regarding some of the details in 1 Corinthians 10:2-3. Finding answers from the Scriptures will be our first priority in the study, but this passage also provides an excellent platform from which to teach some effective Bible study skills.
There is a folksy proverb, attributed to Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie in her 1885 novel, Mrs. Dymond, in a slightly different form. The modernized form goes like this: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." So, in giving the answer to the member's question, I also plan to take the opportunity to teach some Bible study skills that can help many of you to be fed for a lifetime of spiritual growth.
There are two teaching/learning skills I want to share with you during the Bible study. First, I plan to explain and then illustrate a biblical principle that can help us to understand many important passages in the Bible. This principle is found in 1 Corinthians 15:46 - "However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual." Also, I want to demonstrate a teaching/learning method that can help us navigate complex topics so that we can search out the truth of God's word. This method is based on the principle in Isaiah 28:10, "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little." I use both of these skills quite often in my personal study, and find it enjoyable and productive.
Let's go back to the "Give a man a fish" concept just a bit, and consider it from a literal perspective. Think of being hungry. We eat and are filled. But soon we are hungry again, and need more food. Now consider the "teach a man to fish" concept again. If we have learned to catch fish, we can eat and we can help others to be fed. Switching to the figurative, I hope to help you learn to "fish." I hope to help many to learn good, productive Bible study skills, so that for the rest of their lifetime they will be able to "search the Scriptures," "prove all things," and "rightly divide the word of truth." I'm looking forward to your questions and comments as we open our Bibles together this Sabbath.