By definition a cult is something that calls itself Christian but isn't.
At the moment though we are still looking at Bible Study Methods.
In this posting I would like to expose you to the 4P Method.
- Principle of Conduct
- Problems Related to the Principle
- Profit ( or loss) I can expect
- Plan of Action
So to use this method, grab a piece of paper or two and divide it into four equal columns. Listed about is what you should put on the top of each column. Some principles are easier to see than others. In First Thessalonians 5:22 we can read "Abstain from all appearance of evil" Okay, that one is an easy principle to see. But we look over at Paul's principle in first Corinthians 8 which tells us to not eat meat offered to idols. These principles are not easy to apply.
The first step would therefore be to set down your principle for living in the first column. You may find several in one verse. You will find many in Romans 12:2.
Ask "Is there a principle in this chapter I can apply to my life?" Record the principle in your own words.
Ask "In what way could this principle be related to a problem I am facing in my life?" This goes in the second column. Don't limit it to one if you find it relates to many areas in your life.
In the third column you will record the application and this is what you can meditate on.
Definitely in the fourth column you have what you will be doing with this principle you have mined out. You mustn't be vague. "I will apologize to Bill tomorrow at work (if I see him)" "I won't be late to church on Sunday." No, no. Be specific. Be definite.
Okay. Now we look at a variation of the analytical method known as the ABC Bible Study Method. This one is useful for discipleship and in followup.
This one can be used with first John. Make a chart of your findings.
You fill in your chart in reverse order, D through A.
- The D section stands for "digested" Read the passage through and summarize it. You can use one word for about every four.
- The C section stands for "cross references" Look for parallel passages for each verse. It can be related to a word, an idea, or general teaching.
- The B section stands for "best verse" You should be able to pick a verse as best. This is subjective
- The A section stands for "application" Try to find and make several applications from each passage you study.