Friday, November 3, 2017

TEACHING STRATEGIES-B .Min -By-GAOLATLHE ALEC NTSIME


Truth and Mercy Institute of Advanced Ministry












COURSE: BACHELOR OF MINISTRY






ASSIGNMENT: TEACHING STRATEGIES



SUBMITED BY: GAOLATLHE ALEC NTSIME



COUNTRY: BOTSWANA



TO: DR. DANNY ABALDO - DEAN




DATE: 04 September 2017




INTRODUCTION

And the brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. They, when they arrived, went into the synagogue of the Jews. And these were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily to see if those things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and quite a few of honorable Greek women and men. Acts 17:10-12.

I would like to open my presentation with these inspirational words from Elmer L. Towns, “teaching is not talking and learning is not listening”. Teaching is the tilling and dressing of the ground for sowing; the preparation and guidance of learning activities. No one is taught until they have learned and the only sign that they have learned is their active involvement in the learning process. The way the teacher studies determines how he will ultimately teach, that is for him to get his students involved in the learning of the Word of God, he must be the first one to get involved. If the teacher is actively involved then the students will have no difficulty following on in the footsteps of their mentor, just as the disciples of Jesus Christ did not have difficulty walking on His footsteps because He actively showed them how to walk the spiritual walk. The main role of the teacher is to open the student's eyes of understanding of what they are studying, that they may be enlightened by the revelation of the Word of God. We should also remember that the greatest teacher is the one who acknowledges and walks with the Holy Spirit. We are vessels by which the greatest teacher who knows all things, Holy Spirit reveals Himself to others (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is the one vested with power for creative and active teaching and therefore the ability and success of any Bible teacher revolves around how they relate with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher, but He is also a guide. Later that same evening Jesus added, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13, 1 John 2:27).

This writing will discuss two important levels of teaching strategies which I have identified as preparation and presentation. The preparation level encompasses the teacher’s planning and general approach to teaching, as well as decisions about the content and organisation of a lesson. This also include the actual training and learning of the teacher often times called Bible Study. The Word of God say to study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15. This means one should be diligent or make an effort or promptly and earnestly (spoudazō) exhibit or proffer (paristēmi paristanō) himself, properly acceptable (dokimos) before God. A teacher (ergatēs) that is not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, because he expound correctly (Giving everyone, that is, the Jew, the Gentile and Church, his rightful portion of the Gospel); the divine message; subject of discourse (Logos) of the truth (alētheia); verity of God without offence ‘aproskopos’; a stumbling (1 Corinthians 10:31-33, 2 Corinthians 6:3). The efficiency and effectiveness of a Bible Study determines the efficiency and effectiveness of the Bible teacher. The presentation level is the actual classroom teaching. The effectiveness of the presentation level is total reliant on preparation or strategic planning. Ineffective preparation will render the presentation poor and this cannot be corrected by the level of anointing or even the giftedness of a teacher. Paul cautioned Timothy to stir up (anazōpureō), to rekindle the gift (charismah; a religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty: - (free) gift) that is upon him and not neglect it (1 Timothy 4:14 & 2 Timothy 1:6).




PREPARATION

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (1 John 2:27)

Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)

The key to better Bible teaching is dependent upon the preparation or strategy/planning level. If not effectively done at this level it may result in problematic deliverance or presentation. Preparation is about excellence of both the presenter and the message. God has given each believer the capacity to understand His Word and to discern truth. We should never doubt our capacity to glean truth from scripture, for we have the Holy Spirit indwelling in us, teaching us. We have the mind of Christ. The first step in meaningful Bible study is prayer, fervent prayer that God will open your mind and your heart to receive with meekness His implanted word that is able to save your soul (James 1:21). Prayer helps rid one's mind of preoccupation of wrong ideas and ideals. It removes all prejudice that can hinder the flow of God's knowledge, plans and purposes. Prayer is a weapon that protects a believer from the enemy that will try to snatch the truth he learned from his heart (Matthew 13:19). To those who study it with purpose the Bible provides wonderful words of life. Those who ignore the Bible will just see it as one of the books they had no interest for, but in the end it will judge them (John 12:48). The starting point of gaining knowledge from the Bible is to read it, interpreting the scriptures to make them consumable to the human soul and spirit. Interpreting the word means to find out the meanings of unfamiliar words, comparing scripture with scripture, considering the context and purpose of the words as laid out by the author in order to properly understand the intention of the message. At this I would like to assert that in my view the best interpreter of the Bible is the Bible itself, thus we have to let the word tell us what it is saying.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22

To hear his words and not do them is to be like the foolish man who built his house on the sand (Matthew 7:26). Therefore having properly interpreted the message the next step is now to put it to good use. The knowledge gain from this study enables a believer to discern between evil and good (Hebrew 5:14), truth and error, the faithful teacher and the false (1 John 4:1). Most of God's people are destroyed by their lack of proper knowledge (Hosea 4:6) and failure to put to good use the knowledge of God made available to them. Let us all resolve to actively read, interpret, apply and use God's precious Word all the days of our lives. In one accord with the psalmist let us sing, "Thy testimonies are wonderful; Therefore doth my soul keep them. The opening of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple" (Psalm 119:129-139). Our knowledge of our God is derived from the Bible; it is our holy guide for worshiping and serving Him. We live our daily life by its precepts; and it is our fountain of hope for a better life after this one. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to all us. When we understand this principle we begin to understand the Bible. Since we believe God is who He is, then what is true of God should also characterize the Book that describes Him. God is the Source of this revelation (Deuteronomy 29:29). Christ, the Son of God, is the central theme of the Bible (John 5:38). The Holy Spirit is the divine Author of Scripture (2 Peter 1:20, 21). Therefore, the Bible is the revelation of God, Christ is the message of the Bible, and the Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible.

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5

Effective Bible Study involve the use of study tools or Bible helps some of which include a Bible Concordance: this help provides an alphabetical listing of the main words in the Bible with the immediate context of each word; A Bible dictionary: unlike the ordinary dictionary this one gives the definitions of Bible words as they were used in the original context of Scripture. Word study books go beyond the basic Bible dictionary in defining words used in the Bible. They provide the Greek or Hebrew word and various meanings given to the same word. Another study help is a Bible encyclopedia, and this one lists various Bible subjects and words in alphabetical order and defines them. But it provides a more extensive discussion than a dictionary. We also have a Bible Commentary which provide comments on the scriptures. A commentary is very helpful in explaining passages that are difficult to understand. A Bible atlas or geography contains maps and information about the lands of the Bible. It enables you locate and understand the geographical setting in which the incidents in the Bible happened. A topical textbook is a book which organizes the Bible under major topical listings and gives the verses where these topics are discussed. A Bible handbook is usually a one volume summary of selected information about the Bible. It contains helpful maps and charts, definitions, information on Bible times, and summaries of the books of the Bible. For those who are computer literate and have access to the Internet, it is a wonderful resource for Bible study tools. This are just some of the handy tools for helping us to better understand the scriptures and the list is not exhausted.

The Lord gave the Word: great was the company of those that published it. (Psalm 68:11)

He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. (John 8:47)

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

The Bible clearly reveals that a man may be educated, learned, cultured, and even religious, but the understanding of Scripture will be hidden from him until his spiritual eyes have been opened by the new birth. A man who is not born again may study the Bible as a religious book but his studying it will not bring understanding because the thing therein are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14 & 1 Corinthians 1:18). From the moment you accept Jesus as your Savior and experience the new spiritual birth, your mind will begin to understand spiritual truths in God's Word. After being born again the steps one must take to discover and gain the knowledge of God include maintaining a teachable attitude and spirit, accepting the Word and integrating Him into our live and spirit, really listen to what God is saying to you through His Word. Listening requires changes in living where indicated, commit oneself to searching the truth from the Word in order to gain wisdom from Him. Lastly conduct a systematic search on the Word until you find the hidden treasure in the Word. This should be a priority of every believer’s daily life. Set aside a special time to meet God at a special place and start the meeting in a special way. In short let this be a memorable moment that will always be remembered.

Proper Bible study will enable effective interpretation and this should be based on the rules of interpretation. These include the rule of divine authority which implies that the Bible has the final authority because it is the ruling of the Almighty God (2 Timothy 3:16 & 2 Peter 1: 19-20). The second is the rule of literal interpretation which means that the Bible should be taken to mean what it says unless otherwise indicated by the context. The third rule is contextual consideration meaning that every piece of scripture should be studied in relation to the verses which precede and follow it, as well as in relation to the rest of the Bible. Contextual study must answer the questions of who is speaking. What is he saying? To whom is he speaking? Why is he saying what he is saying? And when was it said? Fourth is the rule of first mention. The first time a word, phrase, object, or incident is mentioned in the Bible, it gives the key to its meaning anywhere else it occurs. Fifth rule is repetition and it implies that every time a word, phrase or event is repeated indicate emphasis. The last rule is cumulative revelation. The full truth of God's Word on any subject must not be gathered from an isolated passage. The cumulative (total) revelation of all the Bible says regarding a truth must be considered. The psalmist said “The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.” (Psalm 119:144). And this should be a prayer to all of us and our students.


PRESENTATION /TEACHING

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16).

The goal of your personal Bible study is not merely the acquiring of new knowledge, neither can it be limited to the benefits you realize in your own life. The ultimate aim of your personal Bible study is to share insight with others and see the Scriptures change their life. Teaching the Bible is three facet, it is made up of preparation; teaching begins long before anyone arrives in the classroom. A teacher begins to teach when he or she begins to study and prepare the lesson. Then there is guidance; the teacher cannot make pupils learn. All the teacher can do is guide the pupil through learning experiences. Learning is something pupils must do for themselves. The teacher can motivate pupils to learn by planning experiences, planning the sequence of experience, and planning for outcomes. This means the teacher is guiding pupils in learning experiences. And lastly learning experiences; Teaching is not telling: it is guiding pupils through experiences designed for their learning. Listening is not learning. When pupils experience the truth of God’s Word, they learn its lessons. Effective Bible teachers are those who are able to provide an environment in which the students learn and apply the Bible. The ideal teacher is like a guide: a fellow participant, an instructor, people-oriented, and views himself as a servant. Good teachers have knowledge, enthusiasm, and interaction with their students, empathy, and the ability to challenge their students in their thinking and in their spiritual walk. An effective teacher has a passion for people, for the truth, for study and learning, to share what he has learned, for practical application of what is taught, and a passion for God. I believe that understanding the characteristics of an effective teacher will help strengthen my teaching as I strive to model my behavior and character according to these admirable qualities. With God's help, I will prayerfully focus on these characteristics before, during, and after my teaching sessions.

Effective Bible teaching occurs when a teacher "bridges the gap" from what a passage meant to the original audience to what it means to us today. In order to properly teach what the Bible means for us today, a teacher must properly understand the Bible and its different types of writing, known as a genres. The Bible contains a variety of writing styles: stories, poems, theological expositions, proverbs, satire, visionary writing, epistles, and parables. Therefore, stories must be taught as stories, poems as poems, and theological exposition as theological exposition. I believe that understanding both the divine and human aspect of the Bible will help strengthen my teaching as I strive to properly interpret the Scriptures according to its genre and then proclaim a contemporary application for us today that allows God to teach us and transform us as we get to know Him and His Word. “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13). It is the responsibility of teachers to teach sound doctrine, but the purpose of teaching doctrine is not only to teach doctrinal truth. The goal of doctrinal teaching is to help students adopt the Christian lifestyle most appropriate to sound doctrine (Titus 2:1). Remember how the people who heard Jesus teaching marveled at His doctrine (Mark 1:27). Therefore it is appropriate for us to emulate Him by teaching with authority and excellence. “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:28, 29).


CONCLUSION

For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. Ezra 7:10

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Acts 20:20

In conclusion again I reiterate teaching is not talking and learning is not listening. Let the learning and teaching involve the active participation of those who are being taught. This is ineluctable because the Word of God must continue be taught in both large and small group settings. This involves questions and answers, and practical dialogue together around the Word with practical applications that hit people where they live. Believers must be trained in such practical aspects as how to study their Bibles, how to pray, how to witness, how to walk in the power of the Spirit, etc., that they may, in turn, be able to train others (2 Timothy 2:2-3). As believers within the body are built up in the Word, trained for ministry, and exercise their gifts, they should naturally be able to meet many of the counseling needs within the church and save many souls who will otherwise be lost due to the turmoil of this evil times (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Believers must be taught and encouraged to build bridges and develop relationships with the lost. People must learn to help their neighbors, show mercy, and, according to their ability, given to those in need to demonstrate the love of Christ and build bridges for the gospel (Luke 10:33). In order thoroughly fulfill this obligations an in depth study, interpretation and understanding of the Bible is inevitable and this calls for extensive preparation to ensure success. All this is impossible without the close companionship of the principal teacher, Holy Spirit of the Living God.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Diane, E, Learn How to study the Bible, 2009, Xulon Press, USA.
  2. Harvestime International Institute, Creative Bible Study
  3. King James Concordance, E-Sword
  4. Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionary, E-Sword
  5. Towns E.L, How to create and present High Impact Bible Studies, 1998, Liberty University.
  6. Towns E.L, How to study and teach the Bible, 1997.
  7. Waddey J, Effective Bible Study: How to understand and apply God's Word, 2011, Sun City West, USA.
  8. Warren R, Bible Study Methods, 2006, Zondervan, Michigan, USA
  9. Wilhoit J.C & Ryken L, Effective Bible Teaching, 2012, Baker Publishing Group, Michigan, USA

INTRODUCTION TO EXPOSITORY TEACHING AND PREACHING- B. Min by-GAOLATLHE ALEC NTSIME


Truth and Mercy Institute of Advanced Ministry












COURSE: BACHELOR OF MINISTRY






ASSIGNMENT: INTRODUCTION TO EXPOSITORY TEACHING AND PREACHING






TOPIC: AN EXPOSITION OF PSALM 1



SUBMITED BY: GAOLATLHE ALEC NTSIME



COUNTRY: BOTSWANA



TO: DR. DANNY ABALDO - DEAN



DATE: 11th April 2017
INTRODUCTION

And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth. Deuteronomy 28:1.

And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Deuteronomy 28:11.

But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Deuteronomy 28:15.

This Psalm is widely associated with David’s life and reign both as King and Prophet over Israel. It serves as a preface of the theme of the whole book of Psalms. Its subject is rather general and basic, the Psalmist talked about two subjects that are predominant throughout the book of Psalms. It is mainly about how the righteous are being blessed and the scornful and wicked suffer misery. From since the time of Adam and Eve man’s life has been set on negative and positive, good and bad, righteousness and wickedness, inner life and outer life, and the Psalmist summarizes all this. Throughout the Bible God calls on people to align their standards with His will and His Word and those who do good to obey His Word are promised prosperous lives Deuteronomy 6:25. Those rebelling against His course can expect punishment or painful judgement (Deuteronomy 7:10). In this Psalm reveals the instruction between good and evil and their benefits thereof. It sets before the reader life and death, a blessing and a curse, with the purpose of encouraging us to follow a righteous course that will lead to a prosperous life and sink down into perdition but rather that saints may ascend into glory. The Psalm seems to be divided into two opposing characters of life, one desirable and another undesirable. It presents to us two ways to life one’s life. The way of righteousness and its benefits and the way of wickedness and its miseries.


PSALM 1.1

Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of sinners, and has not sat in the seat of the scornful.

Three things are mentioned in this scripture that a man must do in order to be blessed which are actually one. Firstly blessings go to a man who has not advanced, or educated himself, in the “counsel” (either the opinions or the advice) of men who are unconscious of the existence of God. Secondly a man who has not adopted for the standing, establishing, and rule of his life, the ways, customs, or principles of the men who, whether conscious or unconscious of God’s being, disobey His commands. And lastly who has not, in teaching or ruling others, permitted his own pride or egotism to make him intolerant of their creeds, impatient of their ignorance, or unkind to their failings. According to this above scriptures the blessing is conditional to righteousness or perfect alignment to the will of God. In order to be blessed one had to live a godly way of life not polluting his/her life with ungodly counsel, or association. The Hebrew word for blessed (barukh) actually means to have joyous and prosperous life. God's intention and desire to bless humanity is a central focus of his covenant relationships. For this reason, the concept of blessing pervades the biblical record. Two distinct ideas are present. First, a blessing was a public declaration of a favored status with God. Second, the blessing endowed power for prosperity and success. In all cases, the blessing served as a guide and motivation to pursue a course of life within the blessing. Traditionally the word blessed was used to show appreciation to God for good things He personally provides for us throughout each day. This is in accordance to the writing that say our heavenly father knows the very number of the hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30), and if we recognize and acknowledge He unlimited grace as being sufficient for our every need then will bless Him daily and He in turn will continue to bless us and protect us.

It is interesting to note that the word translated blessed (barukh) is related to the Hebrew word for knee (berekh), as is the word for blessing (b’rakha), thus implying a close relationship between worship or humbling oneself or kneeling before God in recognition of His Majestic power in providing for the very needs of His creation and receiving personal provisions or blessings from Him. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).” And this are the very words of Christ “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:4).” This means that the blessings of the Lord is dependent on the humility of the man. A man may become profane, by natural stupidity. He may become sinful, by natural weakness. And he may become insolent, by natural vanity. But he only becomes unjust, or unrighteous, by resolutely refusing to see the truth that makes against him; and resolutely contemplating the truth that makes for him. The word which we translate ungodly signifies such as are unsettled, aim at no certain end and walk by no certain rule, but are at the command of every lust and at the beck of every temptation. The word for sinners signifies such as are determined for the practice of sin and set it up as their trade. The scornful are those that set their mouths against the heavens. These the good man sees with a sad heart; they are a constant vexation to his righteous soul.

PSALM 1:2

But his delight is only in the Law of Jehovah; and in His Law he meditates day and night.

Man must have some delights, some supreme pleasure. His heart was never meant to be a vacuum. If not filled with the best things it will be filled with the unworthy and disappointing.”(Spurgeon)

If a person delights in something you don't have to beg them to do it or like it. They always do it by themselves and do it perfectly well too. We can measure our delight for the Word of God how we hunger and thirst for the Word. This book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it by day and by night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall act wisely (Joshua 1:8). Not the Law of a natural man as in Adam for though he was given a simple law by which to abide he stumbled and fell. Not even the law that was given to Moses it is written that though was perfect it perfected no one but the law of grace and truth brought about by He who is the beginning and the end of all things and that is Christ. This also being called by Paul the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2), that is written in the hearts of the regenerate man who delight after the purposes and plans of the inward man of the Spirit (Romans 7:22).

The word 'law' used here means instruction or doctrine as in Greek 'hugiaino didaskalia' or sound doctrine instructed to Timothy, Titus and the churches by Paul (2 Timothy 4:3, Titus 2:1) and this is more than just salvation teachings or preaching, it's about an everyday culture of giving glory to the Father that is in heaven and His Word. This is the man who like the first apostles continues steadfastly in sound doctrine, in fellowship, in the breaking of the bread and in prayers and this releases the power of God in many wonders and signs (Acts 2:42-43). A godly man does that why is good and cleaves to it, submit himself to the Word of God and man Him his way of life even as it is written “Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8) and my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Meditating in the Word of God day and night should be understood to mean diligently reading and serious consideration for it, with employment of thoughtfulness and deep study of Him in order to bring forth understanding and sound spiritual meaning. Paul says But we all, with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18. This is so that man may fully furnished and it may be said of him, “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men, it having been made plain that you are the epistle of Christ, ministered by us, not having been written with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not on tablets of stone, but in fleshly tablets of the heart (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)”. The man of God knows very well such a thing that you meditate upon day and night that you become. Holding fast to the Word of Life that we have received ensures that we do not believe in vain and become shaken by false doctrines and imaginations, which are the number one enemies of our faith.

PSALM 1:3

So they grow strong, like a tree planted by a stream-- a tree that produces fruit when it should and has leaves that never fall. Everything they do is successful.

A tree that is planted by the steam has continuous provisions of the source of water and so is a man who continuously ponders the Word of God, he is continuously fed with the living waters. Jesus Christ said make shall not live on bread alone but by the Word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). The man grows strong in his faith because he has the comfort of the creator of creation as his confidence. This is truth with a man who has God as his source, even as it is said about Abraham, “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.(Romans 4:20-21). The life of a righteous man is marked by strength and stability. “But those who trust in the LORD will become strong again--like eagles that grow new feathers. They will run and not get weak. They will walk and not get tired.” (Isaiah 40:31).

The righteous bear fruits such as the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) because they are the branches of the true vine and God is their husbandman. As the righteous continue to bears good fruits the Father is glorified because His purpose for our lives are fulfilled (John 15:1-8). The fruits come naturally because they are planted upon rivers of living waters. There is no barren tree in the Fathers orchard because those that bear not fruit He prunes and those that bring forth fruit He takes good care of them. The trees that lack water become dry and ultimately dies but it is not so with the tree by the river bank. It is ever green and lively and bearing fruits in its season. The righteous man does not die because he is daily fed with life and has life eternal (John 10:10). Through the life of a righteous man God bring forth something good and prosperous because the man is in line with the plan of God (Jeremiah 29:11). Even during tough times when there seems to be no way God makes a way for the man who has pot his trust upon Him (Isaiah 43:19, Psalms 91:1-2).

PSALM 1:4

But evil people are not like this at all; they are like straw that the wind blows away.

Sometimes it seems the ungodly have all the goodness of life however it is not like that because their life is just temporary, it is fake prosperity that will disappear like mist in morning. They are like flowers that glow bright in the morning but is not even remembered by the ground it stood upon in the evening. They will be uprooted because they are not the plantation of our Father (Matthew 15:13). They quietly continue with their immorality and neglect God. This scriptures liken them to chaff which means they are worthless, dead, unusable, and unserviceable, without substance and easily carried away. They are doomed to be carried away by the winds with their terrible blasts into the fire in which they are to be utterly consumed. On the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone; and a horrible tempest shall be the portion of their cup (Psalm 11:6). Prophet Isaiah describes the destruction of the wicked to be like the burning of the briers and the thorns with smoke lifting upwards into the winds (Isaiah 9:18).

These are light and vain because there is no substance in them, no solidity, they are easily driven to and fro by every wind, and temptation because they are not steadfast. The wrath of the Lord will drive them away in their wickedness, as the wind does to the chaff. This verse flatly and absolutely denies any correspondence of the characteristics and life of the wicked with that of the righteous. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked. Isaiah 57:20-21. They are restless and without hope in their unsatisfied and agitated state moving forward vainly in search of peace, satisfaction, security and significance and finding none.

PSALM 1:5

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

The idea in this context is focused on the ability to withstand the judgment of God, they face the Lord in the judgement throne but will by no means withstand the test (Matthew 22:11-12). They will be weighed in the balance and found wanting because they are destitute of spiritual vitality (Daniel 5:27). These are the true and final tests of character. At present judgment is partial and uncertain, and at present society is mixed; but the time of judgment and separation is coming very soon, in fact, signs of the coming of the day of the Lord's vengeance are visible (Joel 2:30-32). They shall stand before the judgment throne in shame and disgrace and their course will be found wanting. Great fear will lay hold of them there and they shall not stand their ground for they will be found in contempt.

The righteous shall go to heaven and no sinner will ever be able to inter there. In the general assembly of the first born there shall not by no means be admitted any unrenewed soul. Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to him whom you obey; whether it is of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness (Romans 6:16). For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done through the body, according to that which he has done, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). But the ungodly man shall not stand in the same place with the righteous, not in His right hand with Christ but in the left, for it will be time to separate the sheep from the goats. The wicked will not stand with confidence, with intrepidity and without shame as the blessed man will (1 John 4:17).

PSALM 1:6

The righteous are guided and protected by the LORD, but the evil are on the way to their doom

The righteous can have peace because a loving God in heaven knows their way and will protect and preserve them. The Lord is constantly looking on their way and though it may be often in mist and darkness yet the Lord knows it. He saved us and called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace. He gave us this grace by means of Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but now it has been revealed to us through the coming of our Savior, Christ Jesus. He has ended the power of death and through the gospel has revealed immortal life. (2 Timothy 1:9-10). Unto the righteous God has given the gifts of salvation and righteousness through the obedience of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10). The righteous carves his name upon the rock, but the wicked writes his remembrance in the sand. The way of the ungodly shall lead them to total destruction.

To sum it all up the Psalm teaches a godly man to beware of the opinions of the practical life and of company and association of the sinful men. It shows how meditation upon the Word will assist us in keeping aloof from these evils. The Psalmist present the Word of God as the delight of the believer unto prosperity and perfect in Jesus Christ. The man of blessedness and spiritual stability is one whose life is built on and bathed in the Scriptures. This is because of the nature of the Bible as God inspired, inerrant and infallible Word to man and due to its total sufficiency to meet every need of a person's soul. In fact as Peter teaches in 2 Peter 1:3, it contains all that man needs pertaining to life and godliness or truth and righteousness. As for the congregation leaders the instruction has not yet changed so, preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine (2 Timothy 4:2).



BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Expositor's Bible Commentary, 2014 E-Sword
  2. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the whole Bible, 2014 E-Sword
  3. Holy Bible, King James Version, 2014 E-Sword
  4. Holy Bible, Modern King James Version, 2014 E-Sword
  5. Holy Bible, Good News Version, 2014 E-Sword
  6. Holy Bible, Easy to Read Version, 2014 E-Sword

WOMEN IN THE BIBLE-B . Min -By GAOLATLHE ALEC NTSIME


Truth and Mercy Institute of Advanced Ministry












COURSE: BACHELOR OF MINISTRY






ASSIGNMENT: WOMEN IN THE BIBLE



SUBMITTED BY: GAOLATLHE ALEC NTSIME



COUNTRY: BOTSWANA



TO: DR. DANNY ABALDO - DEAN




DATE: 01 August 2017






INTRODUCTION

Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; But a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her works praise her in the gates” (Prov. 31:30, 31).

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
(1 Cor. 2:12-13)

Since the earliest days of fellowship, spiritual gifting has been evident in the ministries of many outstanding women who pioneered and directed a wide spectrum of ministries. It is not uncommon for a married woman to minister in partnership with her husband. Occasionally, husbands work at secular professions to support the active ministries of their wives. Many women chose to forego marriage to better fulfill the ministries to which the Lord has called them. Courageous women serve on mission frontiers at home and abroad as missionaries, evangelists, church planters, pastors, educators, and in other roles. While the history and practice appear to demonstrate that God blesses the public ministry of women, debate continues as to the proper role of women in spiritual leadership. The intention of this writing is to investigate both the positive and negative impacts of women in the Word of God and in doing this I will look into the two types of women revealed in the book of proverbs which are the strange woman and the virtuous woman. As much as the woman (Eve) is blamed for bringing sin into the world, it should also be noted that goodness came to the world through a woman (Mary).

To the casual Bible reader, the Strange Woman is the Harlot seen in the Book of Proverbs. She is considered to be a harlot in the natural sense, as someone to avoid. In many ways, this strange woman can prevent even a strong man from walking in The Way. The "strange woman" is any woman not instructed in the laws of God, as were the women of Israel, and consequently who tend to practice and encourage idolatrous promiscuity. From the many Scripture passages that speak of the harlot and the strange woman, we begin to see the prophetic or 'now' meaning to the verses, as a message for today, to be given as a warning to the Bride. A Christian man or woman should be a virtuous person; we cannot attain this Character unless we abide in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the source of all virtues. He will help us to struggle and to achieve; just never give up. Go in your way, depending on His help and mercies and say with Nehemiah, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build” (Nehemiah 2:20).

A STRANGE WOMAN

Who is the strange woman?

For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. However, the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted of it. (Proverbs 2:21-22)

“The lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword" (Proverbs 5:3).

The strange woman refers to man’s concupiscent nature, or, we might say, man’s lustful nature when it is disordered. She is the part of man that is too interested in and attached to earthly sensuality and, in particular, sensual pleasure; a part of us that not only enjoys such pleasure, but craves it, desires it, and schemes to get it. The strange woman corresponds to what might be called one's inner harlot or, in contemporary slang, one's inner "slut." It is this same nature that made Eve look at the forbidden fruit and see that it is good for food and that it pleased the eyes and it will make her look wiser (Genesis 3:6). The Bible warns us not to fall into the trap of this nature as it is one of the devil's devices for separating man from God. The trap here is to make a person see the difference between good and evil, then desire to do good by his strength and fail because it was never the plan of God that man should be self-righteous but that man's dependency for goodness must be of God. Adam fell into this trap by comprehending an estranged woman, and as a result, all humanity became cursed (Genesis 3:17).

This strange woman can also be viewed as the false bride of the apostate, and this can include a nation, church or even a whole generation of the lost who are in the house of the Lord, remember Matthew 10:6. Counsels of the ungodly encompass all manner of vain, useless thoughts that run through our minds: schemes, plans, vague, pointless daydreams, and the like. Paul says to the Corinthians “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds ;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). The problem is not in the flesh or in the physical but in the spiritual which is vain thoughts, evil imaginations and spiritual wickedness that is invisible to the natural eyes but is detectable to the senses of the flesh. The ways of the sinners, in contrast, refers to outright sinful thoughts. Moreover, we occupy the seat of the scornful when we engage in hateful, cynical, and inappropriately critical thoughts about others and the world. These are indeed some the greatest obstacles we face on our spiritual journey. The strange woman sensuality beckons and cajoles. She says, "Let's just make this one exception" or "this time won't count as a sin", or "we'll just follow a tempting thought little ways, then stop before it is a sin", or "let's just do this enough to relax, but no more.”


What is the character of a strange woman?

All who go into her do not return, nor do they take hold of the paths of life, so that you may walk in the way of good and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. However, the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it. (Proverbs 2:19-22).

The Word says the tongue of the strange woman flatters and is rebellious and leads into a path of destruction. It can cause a queen to lose her throne (Esther Chapter 1) and to die a shameful death (1 Kings 21:23, 2 Kings 9:10, 22, 30, 36). Everyone who submits to the flattery of this woman shall be removed from the face of the earth and cast into utter doom (1 Kings 21:25 & Revelations 2:20). The world as the “adulteress” tries to establish a long time affair with the born again believer to cripple their spiritual walk. Sometimes this can be done by causing the Christian to lose hope because of being overtaken in a fault and continuously stumbling concerning a particular sin or weakness. The world as the “strange woman” (or a harlot, or whorish woman) on the other hand, tries to convince Christians through various deceitful and erroneous means that they must be misunderstanding what God has said or wants them to do because everything else seems to point to the opposite. In studying Hosea Chapter 2, one discovers that the root of evil was (and always has been) a divided heart. The people were guilty of spiritual adultery. They had been unfaithful to God by loving other gods. In reality, all sin is spiritual adultery, unfaithfulness to the lover of our soul. As Jesus said concerning Satan: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44) In the same way that Satan used the serpent, he uses the word. “For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil, But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” (Prov. 5:3-5) These scriptures show us how tempting it is to submit to the trap of the strange woman and become a victim of doom (Jeremiah 2:10-13). The ways of the world may seem very good and sweet but the end of that road is an eternal pain, and that is where the strange woman sensuality.

Looking at the whole bible one would realize that the strange woman is not necessarily the feminine character but the spirit of an evil companion, remember that the woman was created to be a companion for the man in Genesis chapter 2:18. When we study Proverbs 7 this is what is revealed; the woman leads the naive to her "house" (verse 8). The house is not merely the physical dwelling place but a place of worship or even the body of Christ. Remember the scriptures say that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and He is also called the Christ. Thus the expression of this scriptures does not necessarily refer to the physical house but the spiritual one which is the soul of a man. The woman seeks for simpletons at "twilight" (verse 9). This is the time of the evening sacrifice. Moreover, this reflects that temptation targets times that we have dedicated to worship our Lord. This is because whosoever is behind this temptations seek for himself the lordship position in our existence and thus, he has to first destroy our companionship with our Lord by stealing our time of worship. Verse 14 explicitly mentions sacrifice. Because the strange woman has paid her vows by offering a peace offering, she can offer meat. At the time of the evening sacrifice, she is seeking someone to share with her in the table of demons. It is important to note also that the perfumes used in the bed (Verse 17) are part of the ingredients of the special anointing oil that was used only for consecrating the tabernacle and priests (Exodus 30:22-33).

It is written that God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Therefore we must note that these are the very things that the evil one will seek to pollute if he is to be able to separate man from God. That is why the spirit of a strange woman activates the man sensuality to earthy and fleshy possessions and virtues (Revelations 2:20). The main trick here is to make one see his inability to have companionship with God by revealing two things, that God is perfect and therefore commutes with the perfect and that no man can ever be perfect before God. This is done by stealing and twisting the truth about man's companionship with God (Romans 10:1-3) and drawing us as far as possible from the truth through false doctrine and idolatry (Romans 1:25). Therefore given this the Word of God commanded every Christian to “Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14).

How do we avoid the strange woman?

Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattered with her words.”  (Proverbs. 7:4-5)

Wisdom is mentioned as one of the antidotes to heal the evil nature or even avoiding being ensnared by this nature. The book of proverbs and other books in the Bible warn us against a lack of wisdom (Proverbs 4:7). Besides following the codified laws and instructions of God, we are also told to take it to the next level, looking beyond the phrases beginning with "thou shalt" or "thus saith the Lord." We must go beyond just basic knowledge. God gives us the instruction to understand the command for the principle behind it so that we can apply it widely beyond a specific incident. Understanding the principle, then, allows us to be wise. The basic definition of wisdom is "the right application" or "the right action" based on what we understand. This is echoed in Psalm 111:10, "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments." To be protected from these strange women, we need to have an understanding of godly principles and then act accordingly. To gain this wisdom and understanding, we must fear and obey God. To put it briefly, we need to have a good relationship with God. If we have the right relationship, we will begin to see things as He does; the things that are "strange" to Him will also become "strange" to us. It is important that everyone should know how to be faithful to his covenant in sanctification and honor before God. It is important to ensure that we are rightly connected to God by His plans, purposes, and principles. Proverbs 19:14 tells us that a prudent (sensible, understanding) wife is a gift from God. When we apply this to the New Covenant church, it reiterates that it is God that chooses who will be a part of the Bride for His Son. God the Father will be faithful to provide a wife that is prudent, sensible, etc., for His Son.


VIRTUOUS WOMAN

Who is the virtuous woman?

The word virtuous implies the virtue of earnestness, or strength of character, rather than of simple chastity. This refers to the worth of a good wife to her husband, the manual labor that she does, her fulfillment of physical and spiritual responsibilities to those who need her, her ability to provide for her family, and her wisdom in caring for herself so she can share her strength with others. The woman of Proverbs 31 shines like a bright beacon of virtue, responsibility and good sense. She gets up in the morning and gets things done. In the time of Solomon, this involved making fabric and sewing clothes, but verse 27 certainly applies directly to us today, taking care of our responsibilities is a characteristic of wisdom. A good, wise, supportive, trusting wife is a blessing to her man. A woman who partners with her husband, who is reliable and looks out for his interests, gives a man a security that is greatly lacking in the world. She knows how to use her skills to provide for her family, and she is not afraid to go and interact with the business world. She knows how to use her strengths to her best advantage, and she fully realizes how valuable her efforts can be. She knows that, as a partner in her marriage, she has a tremendous influence on her husband’s ministry. She can integrate her life, both domestic and professional with her ministry in such a way that her husband has the freedom to serve. As one studies this woman he is reminded of various women of this nature in the bible; women like Miriam, the sister of Moses who led the congregation of Israel with songs of praise unto God after seeing God crush the army of Pharaoh at the Red Sea (Exodus 15:20-21).
What is the character of a virtuous woman?

Virtuous is described as being good, righteous, worthy, honorable, moral, upright, and honest. Not surprisingly these are the same characteristics that God requires of you, like his daughters. When you become virtuous, society honors you, and God himself will surely bless you. Queen Esther fasted, prayed and risked her life for the nation of Judah, and in return, they were delivered, and she became one of the greatest women of the Bible in a time and territory where a woman was regarded as weak. Ruth is the other woman who displayed such virtue in her marriage that the whole book was written in her name. She became a living example of a woman of Proverbs 31, even to the extent that God blessed her with another Godly husband after the death of her first husband. Even though she was a Moabite (A gentile nation that worshipped idols), after the death of her Israelite husband she regarded not her freedom to return to her parent’s people but rather she purposed in her heart that she will not go back to idol worshipping after she had seen the real God (Ruth 1:16). Elsewhere in the Holy Scriptures, Ruth is a portrait of purity, honorable speech, and awareness of proper dress. Her actions, her words, her faith, and attitude are all models of a virtuous woman that should be a role model for Christian females today. The instruction of a virtuous woman is characterized by kindness and steadfast love. She is a godly mother and good teacher. In love, she wants God's highest and best for her children. Women have a valuable and crucial teaching ministry, both to the children and their community (Titus 2:3-5). At this juncture I am just thinking was is just David who instructed Solomon to seek for wisdom? It may not be recorded in the Bible but bearing in mind that it is the mother who lays the foundation for instruction I am compelled to recognize the role of Bathsheba in the upbringing of the man bestowed with such unequaled wisdom and wealth.


How to maintain a virtuous woman?

To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. Proverbs 1: 2-4.

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1

Virtuous womanhood can only be maintained through submission to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, for the Word of God says He shall lead us into all truth (John 16:13). It the Holy Spirit who gives us godly wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and good judgment. If fact virtue is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. This means that the first thing one needs to become a woman of virtue is companionship with the Holy Spirit. Moreover, when one has received the Holy Spirit, He will work out goodness and wisdom from the inside of him. If one submits to the Holy Spirit then she shall know how to respond to everything that comes to her ways because, He is the Spirit of knowledge and knows everything even the mind of God; For the scriptures say who can know the mind of God except the Spirit that which is of God, and the word says, but we who have submitted to Christ are fit to instruct God because we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:11-14).

CONCLUSION


It certainly seems like a long list of hard to attain virtues but it is clear that no woman will be all these things all at once to a noticeable degree but this is something that all women and men should attain, and it will likely take the rest of our lives to achieve. Generosity is a reflection of one's heart. The more generous we are, the less selfish we tend to be and the kinder we are, to all people. This is important for women because ultimately women will influence their children. If the mother is kind, then her children will grow up to be kind and generous and vice versa. The most important thing in a marriage and life is our commitment to God. Moreover, if we do not have that close relationship with God, we will not have as happy and as loving a marriage as God wants us to have. I must say one of the reasons I believe the woman of Genesis Chapter two was created was that man should fellowship, and that is why she had to be identical to man. However, it is the same thing also with the man of Genesis 1:26, he had to be created to be like God because he was created to have fellowship with God. A break away from this protocol will create a vacuum that cannot be filled be anything else. Jesus Christ says to abide in me, and I in you and you shall bear fruits (John 15:4-5), and now this seems to be the only ways to perfection.


BIBLIOGRAPHY


  1. King James Version Bible, E-Sword
  2. King James Study Bible, Barbour Publishers, 2011, Ohio, USA.
  3. Women: A Biblical Profile, Harvestime International Institute.
  4. Christian_Reflection@baylor.edu, 1989, The Centre For Christian Ethics, Waco, USA