Thursday, April 13, 2006

Structural Diagramming in Bible Study!

We continued our Wednesday Bible study last night in the book of Philippians. We began by creating a structural diagram on 1:27-30. This was the first time we had done something so "academic" in this group of people. Everyone loved it. As we diagrammed the passage on a white board, people could visually see Paul's intended meaning in the passage. We even spent time discussing Paul's use of politeuomai instead of peripateo in verse 27. A harder issue that we tackled was the use of the neuter demonstrative pronoun touto at the end of verse 28. What is the "that" that Paul is pointing back to? There were several options given. What do you think?

After finishing the diagram and discussing the argument, we talked about how this passage applies not only to our lives individually, but also to our life as a body of believers. The passage is clear: it has been given to us to suffer on behalf of Christ not for evil things we do, but to suffer unjustly for the fact that we follow Christ and obey Him. However, we do not suffer alone. In our suffering we are to live worthy of the gospel by standing firm in four ways: in one Spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel, in no way terrified by our adversaries. Notice the emphasis on unity among the body in this passage.

It was a great evening helping people see the joy of digging deeper into the Scriptures and training them to dig in themselves.

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