“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Today for our third Friday of the month Bible study tool, I want to talk about concordances. A concordance is a tool that lists all the uses of words in the Bible. You might be familiar with the Strong’s Concordance that listed every word in the King James version of the Bible and its usage. It was a very thick book.
Today many paper Bibles have a small concordance in the back of the book, but many of us may read our Bibles electronically on our phones or a kindle or on the computer. On the internet there are various websites that have concordance tools that you can use.
“For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
God’s Word is living and active and can teach us a lot of things. Unfortunately, our brains don’t often remember everything that we have read or looked at, and there are topics that the Bible teaches about that perhaps we have never studied.
I labeled this weekly thought concordance google as I often in my own studies may use a search engine on the internet to help me save time in finding a passage or a verse or a topic. The verse I started with is a case in point. I remembered it was in Timothy but didn’t remember the exact reference. So, I typed what I remembered of the verse and several links to 2 Timothy 2:15 popped up.
That verse reminds us that we need to rightly handle the word of truth. So be careful not to simply pull out verses out of the context of the letters and books in which they were written. There are many times in my studies where I may be looking up a verse or a topic only to read the context and conclude that what I thought doesn’t fit the context of the passage. When that happens I don’t try to make Scripture fit my thoughts but continue to study.
Doing a word or a topic study can be valuable. I can find out how many times the Bible mentions “Melchizedek” for instance or the topic of the “Lord’s Supper,” but I still need to be involved in the worship and study of the church so that I can learn Scripture and doctrine in context.
Take advantage of the many electronic means that we have to study God’s Word. You are probably either reading this on a phone or a computer screen right now, so you have access to many avenues of study. Use those that help you to grow in your faith (like a simple verse or word search) and avoid those that lead to websites that may lead you to places that may either teach a false gospel or distort the truth of God’s Word.
And as always if you have any questions about the Bible and what it teaches please ask me or one of the Elders of the Church we would be happy to visit with you more.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn and oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules. I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word! Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your rules. I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts. Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.” Psalm 119:105-112