How to Study


In this day and age, a Christian can go to a bookstore and find a mass of resources regarding, “how to study God’s Word”.  Without a doubt, many of these can provide insight in connection with many things regarding God’s Word, for instance: geography, measurements, cultural characteristics, and the like.  Yet, these are more study aids and resources about things in the Bible than books on “how to study” the Bible.  There are books that provide steps to study the Bible, steps designed to provide you, if followed, with an understanding of any given passage.  There are also systematic theology books that compartmentalize doctrines for you.  Commentaries are also a main source for many as they study God’s Word.  The question becomes with all these “how to’s” and resources to understanding the scriptures, is this how God tells you to study HIS WORD?

When a Christian, with honesty of heart, asks this question and desires a godly answer the very thing they are seeking, “how to study”, will be found in God’s Word.  There are some vital issues concerning “how to study” found in God’s Word itself, which He Himself provides for us.  One of the biggest issues is set forth in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  The apostle Paul was the only one that God gave the instruction to study, as well as, “how to study”.  The reason for this is because due to God’s purpose and ministry to Paul demanded for those who would study His Word to separate or divide some things from other things.  If Paul wasn’t in the Bible there would be nothing to “rightly divide” one from the other.  Due to the nature of the ministry God gave Paul and “the hidden wisdom” contained therein, as well as, the diverse nature of the information given to Paul compared to the information previous to him starting in Acts 9, it is necessary to “rightly divide the word of truth”.  Therefore, Paul is the sole receiver of God’s instructions to “rightly divide”, because of the ministry given to Paul.  Without going into great detail let me provide a general summary of what is involved in “rightly dividing the word of truth”. 

The right division of God’s Word recognizes God’s two-fold plan and purpose through the ages or time.  This two-fold plan and purpose is broken into three separate time periods or what God through Paul calls – “time past”, “but now”, and “the ages to come”.  God’s two-fold plan and purpose involves two entities of His workmanship: 1) True Israel (believing Israel), and 2) The Body of Christ.  These are two different, separate, and unique entities of God that He planned to not only create, but utilize for His plan and purpose of His universe.  In “time past”, God formed and Fathered the nation of Israel into existence starting in Genesis 12 with Abram.  The majority of space to follow, in the Bible, is given to His program with His nation Israel – Genesis-Acts 7.  God communicated at this time through prophecy, or, what He made known through the mouth of all His holy prophets “since the world began.” (Acts 3:21)  However, in Acts 9 God did something unexpected and un-prophesied; He put on hold His prophesied program, raised up a brand new apostle, the apostle Paul, ushered in this dispensation of grace in which we live, and committed to Paul “the mystery of Christ”, that which God kept secret since the world began (Eph. 3:1-12), as well as, all the instructions, commandments, and information we need to understand today.  This Dispensation of Grace started with Paul (Acts 9:1ff; 1 Tim. 1:15-16) and will end with the rapture of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 15:51ff; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).  The time in which we live is referenced by Paul as “but now”.  The information is not of a prophetic nature; therefore, you cannot understand what Paul was given by the information contained in Genesis-Acts 7, because it was a “mystery” and “unsearchable”.  Paul was given “the mystery of Christ”, that which God hid in Himself since the beginning of the world (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:1-12).  After the rapture of the body of Christ God will resume His prophetic program with Israel and fulfill all His plans, promises, and covenants with her and the world through the believing remnant of Israel, as they pertain to them (Roman 9:1-4).  This time period Paul references as “to come” or “the ages to come”.  The context and information used at this time is found after Paul’s epistles in Hebrews-Revelation.  This time includes the tribulation and great tribulation periods, the millennial kingdom, and great white throne judgment.  Lastly, “the ages to come” also involves “the mystery of His will” or “the dispensation of times” (Eph. 1:9-10) which will take place after the great white throne judgment where He will “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him” (Eph. 1:10); in other words, God will gather:  the world through Israel on this earth with that of the body of Christ in the heavenly places, together under the imperial headship of the Lord Jesus Christ.  God will have thus “…having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”  (Col. 1:20)

It is needful therefore that we “rightly divide the word of truth”.  Recognizing and acknowledging God’s two-fold singular plan & purpose to reconcile all things back to Himself.  This two-fold singular plan & purpose to reconcile all things (things on earth and things in heaven) back to Himself is recorded on the pages of God’s Word and demands we study in like manner.  Recognizing these differences in our study, keeping them separate where need be, and also acknowledging the similarities between God’s two programs is all part of “rightly dividing”.  This takes “study” and being “a workman” resulting in whether we are and will be “approved unto God” or not.  For further consideration of this essential issue, if God specifically gave the apostle Paul the instructions to “study” and how to study, one could logically and naturally expect Paul to be doing this very thing in his epistles.

Look Up,
Pastor Josh Strelecki

Why Paul?

The one question that every blood bought believer in the Lord Jesus Christ must ask themselves is "Why Paul"? Why did the Lord, after already having 12 apostles (from the Nation of Israel) commissioned by the "Great Commission" to take His name and His Word out unto the gentile nations (after Israel believes FIRST...Mat 10:23, Luke 24:47), commission this OTHER man named Paul to take His name to the gentiles (Mark 16:15, Acts 9:15)?

The Bible makes it clear that all the confusion amongst Christianity today can be attributed to the fact that the church the Body of Christ does not recognize the separate, distinct, and unique apostleship, ministry and message of Paul. My use of "our" and "your" when it comes to Paul's Apostleship is one that I take from the Apostle Himself.

In Romans chapter 11:13, Paul states, "For I speak to you gentiles, inasmuch as I am THE apostle of the gentiles, I magnify mine office". Note that he does not say that he magnifies or exalts HIMSELF, but his God given OFFICE as "our" Apostle. A quick study of the first few verses of Paul's 13 epistles Romans thru Philemon will show the student of scripture that Paul begins each and everyone of them with "Paul an apostle by the commandment of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" or something very similar to it. It was the will of God to make Paul our Apostle. The question is why?

Well, when Paul, as Saul of Tarsus was saved on the road to Damascus, PURELY by God's grace thru faith alone (Acts 9), he was the leader of the world's rebellion to what God was doing in the earth thru Israel (Acts 8). According to the Jewish, Old Testament
prophetic scriptures to the Nation of Israel, at the time when both the religious leaders of the Nation of Israel (in which Saul was the leader), along with the rest of the world/nations both rejected God, His Son The Lord Jesus Christ, and His Holy Ghost, God would no longer offer His longsuffering and forgiveness, but pour out His wrath without mercy (Ps 2:1-4, Ps 110).

This is where we were in history when Stephen saw the Lord Jesus Christ STANDING at the right hand of God the Father, when He was said by the prophets, to sit down UNTIL He made His enemies His footstool. In Act 7, the leaders of Israel rejected God again and stoned his prophet Stephen, a man full of the Holy Ghost (the unpardonable sin of Mark 3:29). When they did this, they laid there clothes at a young man's feet named Saul (Paul), as to honor him, and killed God's man Stephen. God now, according to prophecy, would pour out His wrath on a Christ rejecting nation/world. But instead of pouring out His wrath, he did something that the prophets did not foresee, that is, He poured out His GRACE instead! It is this dispensation of Grace, that has been going on the last 2 thousand years, that Paul was raised up to proclaim to the nations/gentiles.

Look for example at Ephesians 3:1-6, "For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was committed to me for you-ward, how that by revelation He (Christ) made known unto the MYSTERY...which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men..." It was this revelation of the Mystery of Christ that God kept hid til it was revealed to our Apostle to be given to us. Nowhere in the Old Testament did God EVER reveal that He would save gentiles WITHOUT going thru the Nation of Israel. Any mention of gentile salvation in the Old Testament was thru Israel's RISE, not their fall! But when Israel rejected God's Son, thus their salvation, God had a secret plan called the Mystery of Christ to fulfill His purpose. It was this hidden message that He gave to our Apostle Paul to give to us. This is what Paul means when he says in Ephesians 3:8, "...The UNSEARCHABLE riches of Christ...". It is these riches about God's Son that can not be searched out and found written in the Old Testament!

Paul calls it in Rom 16:25-26, "The preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the Mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest". In 1 Corinthians 2:6-9, Paul says that God kept it secret in order that Satan would not know it and try to stop it. Not only has God saved gentiles without the nation of Israel, but it is also thru this preaching of the Mystery of Christ that God has reclaimed the gov't of heaven (usurped by Satan...Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Job 15:15), as he will reclaim the gov't on earth thru believing Israel someday (Genesis 1:1, Romans 11:25-26, Ephesians 1:9-10, Colossians 1:16-17). Paul says in Romans 15:15-16, that HE is the minister of Jesus Christ to us gentiles. In 1 Cor 4:14-17, Paul says that we as gentiles ought to follow him and his teachings of Christ. In 1 Cor 11:1, he says we ought to follow him as he followed the Lord.

In Gal 1:11-12, he says that his preaching of Christ was not from man, but from Christ Himself. In Gal 2:6-9, he teaches Peter, James, and John (the head apostles to the Nation of Israel) HIS info, and they stopped the "great commission", which was NEVER to go to gentiles UNTIL Israel was saved FIRST! But Paul says in Romans 11:11, that thru Israel's FALL, salvation has gone to us gentiles. God's dealings with the world has changed from the Jewish "Gospel of the kingdom" preached by John the baptist, the Lord during His earthly ministry to Israel, and the 12 Jewish apostles (Mat 10:5-6, 15:23-24). The gospel for today, that Paul calls "my gospel" (Rom16:25), is the "Gospel of the Grace of God"...Acts 20:24.

By the way, Paul did not even QUALIFY to be an apostle under the great commission because one had to be with them from the beginning of John the baptist's ministry all the way thru to the Lord's ascension (Acts 1:21-23). He also committed the unpardonable sin...blaspheming the Holy Ghost speaking thru Stephen!

No, Paul was a separate, distinct, unique apostle sent to us gentiles. Look at Col 1:25-26, Paul says that he is the minister of God for this present dispensation of the Grace of God (Israel was under the Law...Romans 6:14). In 1 Timothy 2:5-7, Paul says that he is the
preacher, teacher, apostle of the gentiles. In Titus 1:1-5, Paul says that his message is a "due time" testimony of Christ in which he is the preacher, as opposed to everyone else.