Studying Bible Characters
Why Study Bible Characters:
Studying the lives of those who have gone before us . . .
. . . helps us know how to walk the walk
(1 Cor. 10:1-13; Heb. 11)
- We find much instruction for our own lives as we study these real people, so we are not ignorant about the kinds of heart attitudes and actions with which God is pleased. We learn from both the positive and negative aspects of their lives.
- We find warnings so we do not fall into the same temptations as they did but rather learn how to escape.
- We find examples to follow of what to do and what not to do so we can see the implications of truth applied to life.
. . . gives us hope
(Rom. 15:4; Heb. 11:39-40; James 5:17)
- We encounter real people, just like us, who experienced God working on their behalf, and can therefore learn from them for our lives today.
- We learn that they did not always see immediate results but were able to trust God to be faithful and therefore can rely on His promises.
- We serve the same God and can therefore count on Him to help us.
How To Study Bible Characters:
When studying the lives of those who have gone before us, . . .
. . . do pray
- As with any kind of Bible study, you need the Holy Spirit's help to understand.
. . . develop profiles
- Look at the whole of their lives and ask how they responded in different situations.
- Identify character traits. List both strengths and weaknesses.
- Determine the effects of their backgrounds and environmental influences.
. . . discern the principles
- Some of the particulars of their lives may be specific to their situation so you may not be able to literally apply everything to your life.
- By determining the general principles that come out of this study, you should always find something to apply to your life.
. . . discover the primary Person
- The Bible is about God, not Jonah, David, Paul, and all the other Bible characters.
- The bottom line in doing a character study, then, should be to learn more about the Primary Person, or Primary Character, in the Bible. What can you learn about God as a result of this study?
In the Walk the Walk As Those Who Have Gone Before Devotional Guide you will work through thirty devotional guides where you will encounter real people living out their faith. The people who were chosen for this study are those of whom Scripture specifically states that they walked with or before God.
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