Inductive Vs Deductive Bible Study Methods

Is 28:9-10

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”

I was continuing to read the book ‘Studying Bible Passages’ last night. I came upon a section describing the difference between inductive Bible study and deductive study. From the book:

“As far as Bible study is concerned, the litmus test for an inductive spirit is whether or not a person’s approach is marked by a “radical openness to any conclusion required by the biblical evidence.”[32] No one can genuinely practice an inductive method of Bible study unless the resulting actions flow from a heart motivated by an inductive spirit.

The deductive spirit is contrary to this. It is radically close-minded, prideful, and goes to the Bible with presuppositions that they want to confirm and instead of letting the word speak for itself. The following table shows some of the salient differences between the inductive spirit and the deductive spirit.[33]”

Acha, Kenneth. Studying Bible Passages: The Science and Art of Reading, Interpreting, and Applying God’s Word (p. 51-52). Servants University Press. Kindle Edition.

There is a wonderful chart which compares the mindset of the two different types of study methods. Deductive reasoning is good for things such as math and logic, but not for learning Bible truths.

Unfortunately, many use deductive study methods when it comes to God’s word. They have an opinion or belief based on what someone else has said, or that falls along popular lines. They seek only enough verses to confirm what they want to hear, rather than studying for ‘thus said the Lord.’

If what they are reading does not match what they currently believe, they stop studying that passage. They return to the ‘milk’ and basic principles so they can feel comfortable in their choices.

As I was considering this topic, I thought of 1 Cor 3:1-3:

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Heb 5:11-14 addresses the same issue.

“Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Notice the ‘carnal.’ We cannot discern spiritual matters when we are carnally minded. God takes us as we are, where we are. However, we are not to stay there. We are to grow so we can eat of the meat of the word.

Many people come to Christ and stay in the courtyard area of the sanctuary. They accept His gift of salvation in His death on the cross. They may follow in baptism. Then they stop. They do not continue in the sanctuary. They do not follow Him wherever He goes (Rev 14:4).

Ps 77:13 tells us ‘Thy way, oh God, is in the sanctuary.’

The sanctuary is a demonstration of the whole plan of salvation. Christ’s death on the cross was only part of the plan. To follow Jesus wherever He goes, we must continue on through the sanctuary, growing in grace, so we can fully reflect His image.

2 Pet 1:2-4:

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

When I’m giving a Bible study and this verse comes up, I compare it to being given a stack of gifts when we accept Christ as our Savior. Many will open only the first one. Then they feel they are fine. They do not have need of the other gifts.

This passage from 2 Peter reminds us that we are to grow in grace in the process of sanctification (walking through the rest of the sanctuary). This chapter contains the ‘ladder of sanctification.’

We can think of each of these traits as ‘gifts’ that we unwrap as we grow spiritually, moving from the milk to the meat. God has given us all we need to develop the ‘mind of Christ’ so we reflect His character, as mankind was originally created to do.

If, as we study the Bible, seek only those verses that confirm what we wish to believe, that support the choices we are currently making, then we will never climb that sanctification ladder. In fact, it could very well lead to a state of deception by the counterfeit.

2 Thess 2:10-12 tells the outcome of those who love not the truth.

 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

God never forces. If we choose to follow the traditions of the world, if we choose to base our spiritual beliefs on the popular mindset and only pick and choose verses that match up with this, then we are demonstrating to God that we ‘love not the truth.’ Rather, we prefer the pleasure of unrighteousness.

James 4:4 tells us that friendship with the world is enmity against God. We cannot live of the world and become fit for the kingdom of heaven.

The time of probation for the world is almost over. Probation for some is being shortened as lives are being lost daily due to the diabolical actions of satan’s minions through the CV lie/jab. I urge each to study like never before, allowing the Bible to interpret itself. Try to put away the traditions of a lifetime and seek what the Bible says, rather than the traditions of men.

If we seek God’s will with an earnest heart, He will guide us along the paths of His truths. When we learn His truth, then we need to seek HIS strength to walk in obedience. We cannot do it on our own. We cannot make any permanent changes in our own strength.

Something to think about.