There are currently three books in this series by Emmanuel Oladipo. Each book has been split into chapter by chapter resources for you to use in Bible study or as a preaching guide. We have also included the author's introduction to the series below; this offers background and context for the series.
The Word of God is not always easy and straight forward. Even St Peter tells us that some of the writings of St Paul were hard to understand! (2 Peter 3:1518). Working with its human writers, the Holy Spirit is the Author of the Bible, (2 Peter 1:21). We depend on Him to explain it to us. Even then, however, our human capacity is too limited to grasp fully all that He seeks to teach. This is why we must always be ready, particularly those of us who are leaders, to admit that we do not know it all. There is always room to learn from another child of God who helps to throw fresh light on Scripture, and this includes those passages with which we are very familiar.
This is true not only for us as individuals. It is also true for Churches and denominations. Just as no one person has a full understanding of everything in the word of God, there is no one Church or denomination which knows it all! Each one emphasises one aspect or other of Bible truth, unaware of any blind spots we may have. As the proverb puts it, "We see the back of other peoples' heads. Others see ours." That is why we have to learn from one another if we are to achieve a balanced understanding of God's word.
This is only one of a series of studies on different topical subjects. The idea is to take a careful look at all the main Bible passages which deal with each particular theme, thus getting us closer to God's full revelation on the subject. There is a brief comment on each passage, to bring out its clear and obvious meaning. Conscious of the diversity of understanding within the Church, the author gratefully acknowledges the Christian leaders and teachers from different backgrounds who kindly went through the manuscripts and gave him the benefit of their wisdom.
St Paul lays on us the charge to handle the word of God correctly, (2 Timothy 2:15). We trust that all readers will find that the approach here lives up to their highest expectations of due care and integrity.
These studies are offered to God's people in a spirit of humility. One drawback of a publication such as this is that it is one directional! It need not be so. Does a reader feel that a significant passage on any topic has been omitted? Or that a text is wrongly applied? Or that the comment offered is unjust? Please feel free to write back through the Publishers. All such comments will be carefully examined. If they are found to be valid, a revision will be made in subsequent editions.
We embark on these studies with the confidence that we are doing it in partnership with all Bible-believing Churches. Different Church leaders could have very good reasons for setting up policies that may be different from the conclusions at the end of our study. We have no doubt that they will be prepared to explain in full to any of their members who care to ask. It is an exciting adventure to explore God's word in the power of His Holy Spirit. Thank you for joining on such a highly privileged journey!
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