EFFECTIVE BIBLE STUDY STRUCTURE AND DELIVERY (BY DR. P.O. OYEDAPO)

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1.0 INTRODUCTION
          Preachers and teachers of the word are sent to say to blind eyes, “See”, to deaf ears, “Hear”; to dead hearts, “Live”, and even to a Lazarus rotting in that grave… “Lazarus, come forth!” Therefore, there is no limit to what God can accomplish through effective Bible study. Of His own will He begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures (James 1:18). Christ Himself declared: “The words that I speak unto you are spirit and life (John 6:63). The word of God must be life – imparting and life-developing in our Bible study programmes.
2.0 BIBLE STUDY DEFINED
         It is critical analysis and appraisal of the word of God handled with a view to unfolding, elaborating and enforcing the scriptural truth. It is done to regenerate, revive, restore and refocus Bible students. It is much more than preaching the gospel and teaching the word in order to catch the eyes and tickle the ears of intellectual world-lings.
3.0 BIBLE STUDY STRUCTURE
      Consider these five parts of a study:
3.1 The Theme – Title or identity of the subject of the Bible to be discussed.
3.2 The Text – Portion of the Bible to discussed.
3.3 The Introduction or Preamble – An overview of the discussion.
3.4 The Discussion – Main divisions, subdivisions or points.
3.5 The Conclusion
4.0 BODY OF THE STUDY
     A competent Bible study outline should exhibit the following characteristics:
4.1 Unity – The study as a whole.
4.2 Order – The parts of the sermon.
4.3 Proportion – Appropriate length of the parts of the study.
4.4 progress – How each major point moves the study forward.
5.0 S.A.V.E.A: Apply SAVEA to your study to make it effective.
5.1 State the point: The audience should know the point you are making.
5.2 Anchor the Point: Where is the point (Authority) found in the text or the Bible?
5.3 Validate the point: Explain why you have drawn this particular point from a text.
5.4 Explain the point: probe the meaning of the point. Use your study or illustration to explain the  point often referred to as “frame of reference”.
5.5 apply the Point: Apply the point right there in the discussion or immediately later.
6.0 Anytime a Bible study leader starts to lead a discussion, generally speaking, three major things should be achieved – Introduction, Body and Conclusion of the study. There are several ways to develop the three movements (Introduction, Body and Conclusion) but all should exhibit unity, order, proportion and progress.
   An example of a Bible study structure is as follows. For instance, taking a subject “Church Growth and Functioning”.
  7.0 THEME: Church Growth and Functioning – Ephesians 4:1-32
  7.1 Topic: (Thrust of the Theme) Divine plan for church growth and functioning – Ephesians 4:7-16.
  7.2 Introduction: Introduce why Church has to grow and the people to grow her and for what purpose as Christ intended (for example the coming glory).
  7.3.1 Lord’s Responsibility as Church’s Undertaker – He gave gifts to men (vv 7-10) and he gave gifts of men (v. 11). Explain the five-fold ministry.
  7.3.2 leader’s responsibility: To explain the Church
           – Equipping the saints (v. 12a)
           – For the work of ministry (v. 12b)
           – To the building of the body (v. 12c)
           – How long: Until the Church resembles Jesus in unity, in maturity, in nature.
  7.3.3 The Led’s Responsibility: To enable the Church vv 14-16.
           – No longer as unstable children (v. 14).
           – No longer as stupid children (v.14).
           – But to be mature (vv. 15-16).
           – To grow up in Knowledge (v. 15).
           – To grow up in service (v. 16).
  8.0 CONCLUSION
      This is for reflection, appraisal, questions and answers in order to personally apply what has been studied and pray for grace to obey God.

       KEEP GROWING IN GOD’S PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE.