Today, a word about Bible Study. When we truly long for the sweet presence of our Lord Jesus as we open the Book of all books, and we are willing to listen and to be absorbed in the Holy Spirit’s heart and mind, then and only then will we be able to catch the Spirit’s breath as He writes upon our hearts.
This Book is a book to be tasted, smelled, touched, heard, and felt. This is the beginning. For these are natural senses. The Holy Spirit will reveal new ones for us in Himself. When we only approach the text with an attitude of mental learning and proof texting our own conclusions or those of others, we will miss most of what is written. I write this, shaking in my boots (so to speak), as I am a Bible student for most of my life. I was raised with a love and admiration for the book and its truth and power in a life. However, all that is learned with only the mind, is not what the book is about. One must learn much more than facts. One must learn Him!
You see, He is the point. The Book contains much about the lives of people and their relationship in Him. But they are not really the point. He is. Whenever we boil our reading and searchings down to trying to get help with this or that (application), we probably have missed the deeper riches of the passage. The Book is about our Father, His Son, the Holy Spirit – and then us as we are learning to relate in God as one-with as prayed in John 17 and as accomplished through the cross/resurrection/Holy Spirit poured into those who are His.
Yes, our minds must be engaged, but the mind is on a “renewal track” (Romans 12:2) and must always be subject to the Spirit. The Spirit-Word is always the key to that renewal. However, as the mind renews, we find it becomes submissive to the Holy Spirit and is used as a power tool in His hands. Without this submission, then the Holy Spirit is hampered in getting the full understanding of the mysteries of Christ available to us.
A scholarly approach always misses the mark. It can give us further information, but it can’t get us to where we need to be in reference to that information. Only a submitted heart with the Lord can begin to embrace Him in every moment so the true knowledge of His hidden mysteries will be understood and lived within.
The Holy Spirit is our teacher. So as we willingly submit ourselves into His able hands to teach us His own word, we move into a realm of “seeing” with the eyes of faith. This sight begins to unfold for us what is needed in the moment. The role of faith can not be overstated nor taught. It is the power and confidence that unlocks and unveils the truths written in the Book.
There is no “how-to” for this. It is individually accessed and worked with and through. So you will find yourself in uncharted waters – but they are so sweet. Give it all a try. Allow the Holy Spirit to revamp your time with Him in the Word. I promise you, He will not disappoint. It make take some time because He is not in a hurry. So relax and rest and allow.
Well, dear Readers, it was six months ago when I felt led to begin another study here on Mannaword. Well, my plans for my time did not work as I had thought they would, so that beginning blog was the only one I have written in that study. I am feeling prompted to make some adjustments in that beginning study and to then continue as I can. It is my hope to have a study here at least one time each week, (more if time allows) and follow through with my original plans using the book of Titus.
Each study will be from Titus, and I normally work verse-by-verse in a book – even when I teach it in person, so that is the pathway I will follow unless (and until) the Holy Spirit leads otherwise. I will be free with Him in the study, so it make take us elsewhere, but then I plan to return. So do follow along and study with me.
I am reprinting that first study below to start us again. I will adjust it if needful as the Holy Spirit is constantly teaching me – each time I open the book, (you know – The Book), so be certain and read it as it may not quite be the same and besides that, if your like me, then I don’t remember what was there then. Anyway – Holy Spirit, thank you for teaching us and leading us forward into your heart with your Word. Thank you for the fellowship of oneness in You as we trust you to teach what needs to be seen and known in this hour. Thank you!
We all need new beginnings occasionally, so beginning again here is not unheard of. During the course of the years I have at times blogged almost daily and at other times – hardly at all. But I believe it is time to once again begin to put writings and teachings here for those who wish to accompany me on this journey of life for the time period.
New beginnings are always welcome as long as there’s life, so I choose in my heart to give life to this old blog – thus pronouncing it now my new blog! Don’t you just love the name “Mannaword?” I believe the Lord gave that to me when (2005) I first tried to find a name I could use to have a blog. We are returning to its original purpose – “Biblical understandings in snippet form.” So when I write here we will be working with the written Word of God – The Holy Scriptures – and we will let the Holy Spirit breath them and release their light and truth for us.
Now for post #1 in a new study. We will be allowing the Holy Spirit to breath life into us through the words of Titus. This book is not high on Christian agendas to read, occasionally I will find a leader acquainted with it, but other than that, its treasures remain hidden to most. A few years ago I was teaching it in our Bible Institute and I had some young leaders in the class. They had not read it at all. As I have watched the Body of Christ become less literate in the Word than at any time in my life, I believe it is time to study it together here. If you enjoy the study, do send the link to your friends and those who might enjoy studying with us. Each post will be brief, so it won’t take very long to read and begin to digest what is written.
As you may know, the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to one of his leaders and sons in the faith, a man named Titus. I would urge all my students not to get into arguments regarding the authorship, nor about Titus. It seems the “scholars” are replete with theories and may be a delight to some minds, however, to the average Bible student such things just get in the way of faith. So let’s just receive what the book says about Titus and all the Holy Spirit wrote to him. This is usually referred to, along with 1 & 2 Timothy, as the Pastoral Epistles. That is OK as long as we understand that it would have been expected to be read and studied by those who were its recipients in pastoral care.
“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is aftergodliness;” Titus 1:1 KJV
(I will use the KJV for two main reasons, it is free to print without difficulty of copyright, and I have found it needs less correction as other translations as I study the Greek text to see what is here in that language. There are several manuscripts of the Greek that I have access to, so I will check most of them as we begin our work. Anyone can research the Word this way whether they have formally studied the Greek or not. Here are my online resources that will give you access to more knowledge than you can possibly hold. http://textusreceptusbibles.com/ – here you want the Analysis for each passage. This is the main text the scholars had available for the KJV. https://thebible.org/gt/index – this is a bit more complicated but you can develop your own parallel Bible and have the Greek as one translation with the analysis of the passage at the bottom. https://biblehub.com/ – this site is a complete Bible program online. You will want to click the interlinear, or any other data you might want. Anyway, I pray this helps all who wish to dig deeply). I checked all these links and the first one is not presently active as its server is down. I will check on it again in a few days.
So you can now check out my study and conclusions. It is expected that you will do so as we journey. Please leave questions, comments, or other data in the comments and we can dialogue about the passage.
Now back to verse 1. The word “servant” or slave as some newer translations give it is the word for “bond-servant.” If you wish to read the Old Testament description of such a servant, please read Deuteronomy 15:7-18 to discover this practice. Basically, Paul is saying that he is a servant by choice. He is not saying he is a slave that has no choice, but he is a “love-servant” by his own choice. This is what we become in our Lord Jesus when we understand true submission to Him and choose to be led by the Holy Spirit in doing as the Lord Jesus says. Anything, less will end in massive frustration. So if we find ourselves frustrated as we serve others, we must check our submission level to our King. We also must check to see in whose strength and power are we serving. I’m not saying we never tire, but there is a “good tired” that is the result of following the empowering of the Lord, and a “worn-out tired” that is the result of flesh effort. (This is a subject all on its own, but we won’t follow it now – maybe later).
He is a servant to Him and he has been appointed as one sent by Him. The word “apostle” simply means “one sent” and is used to designate those in the body who do the work of an apostle as “one sent.” Yes, we do have those in the Body today, but I fear that many who say they are such, and have such a title on their website or cards etc… simply want placement over others and pronounce it over themselves. When others with authority to give the title or anyone else, say that a person is an apostle – then there may be some validity to it. To use it as a title that others have not given is a risky busy in the Holy Spirit. I have known several who would qualify to be known as such, but none of them gave themselves that title and some even actively refused it. So when we receive these words in Titus, we are receiving the Words of great authority that the Lord has sent to Titus and then to us.
I think this is quite enough to think through for this first post. I had thought we would finish the verse, but the remaining part of the verse will have enough for another post, on another day.
Lord, thank you for new beginnings, and even in these few words we have looked at in this post, we have seen the need to keep our hearts in tune with yours, our individual persons in right relationship with the Holy Spirit in our own thoughts, and we willing receive your authority in the words spoken.
What a wonder the printed Word if God is when we receive it and allow it to have life and breath! I’d love to hear from you. May the Lord’s blessings be on you today.