Some of my favorite Bible studies are studies that go through the life of a biblical character. I love to learn about Abraham’s faith, Joshua’s courage, David’s humility, and Nehemiah’s leadership. The stories are often gripping and application for my life abounds. However, I often see Bible teachers use lessons about our favorite Bible characters in unhelpful ways. Here are a few ways we can get the most out of studying people in the Bible.

Understand that no character in the Bible is perfect except Jesus.

When the Bible endorses or commends a character, it does not mean that it is endorsing everything that person did. For example, although David was a man after God’s own heart, the Bible condemns his murder of Uriah and adultery with Bathsheba.

Don’t make everything in the character’s life symbolic for your life.

It’s tempting to try to determine what your “Jericho wall,” “red sea,” or “lion’s den” in life might be, but try to resist. Instead, find the theological truth of the character’s life and apply that to your life. Emulating the principle of the character’s story is much better than attempting to apply a one-for-one correspondence for elements within that story.

Determine the character’s quality not merely by the acts they performed.

Sometimes the Bible explains what a character did assuming you know that the law said not to do that. Find interpretive clues about that character by identifying comments within the narration, specific laws regarding that act, and comments made by New Testament authors.

Connect the character’s life to the grand narrative of the Bible.

The character is included in the pages of Scripture because that individual has some part in furthering God’s plan for redemption. Seek to understand how their life, acts, and faith contribute to that overarching biblical plot.

Identify the character’s strengths and weaknesses in order to point your class to Christ.

The faith of Abraham, the courage of Joshua, the humility of David, and the leadership of Nehemiah are all valuable examples for our growth, but those heroes of the faith are still fallible and finite. Show your class how Jesus is even better than these characters and how each person of the Bible points to him.


Read More

Contentment

Dr. Iorg provides four ways you can start reinforcing contentment in your life.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

God’s Sovereignty in Esther

The implicit language of Esther maintains the mystery of God’s sovereignty—a topic human beings naturally are unable to comprehend.

Sang Boo
Pastor of Canvas Ministry, Good Community Church of Torrance
Pastor Sang joined Good Community Church in June 2014. He earned two degrees from Gateway Seminary: the MDiv in 2009 and the PhD in 2017.

Listen

Study Isaiah
November 21, 2022

King Cyrus: Servant of God – Isaiah 40-41

In this episode, Dr. Wegner introduces the next palistrophe: Isaiah 40-48. He loves palistrophes.
Lead On Podcast
November 20, 2022

Cultivating Contentment

Dr. Iorg discusses checking personal ambition and achieving contentment and provides four ways for leaders to grow and practice contentment.

Watch

Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

Get updates on new content!