Free Friday! Christ’s Words from the Cross

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Happy Friday everyone! Today’s free download, usually $9.95, is Christ’s Words from the Cross by Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Click here to download.

Now the prayer of Christ had a great spirituality of aim. You notice that nothing is sought for these people but that which concerns their souls, “Father, forgive them.” And I believe the church will do well when she recollects that she wrestles not with flesh and blood, nor with principalities and powers, but with spiritual wickedness, and that what she has to dispense is not the law and order by which magistrates may be upheld, or tyrannies pulled down, but the spiritual government by which hearts are conquered to Christ, and judgments are brought into subjection to His truth. I believe that the more the church of God strains after, before God, the forgiveness of sinners, and the more she seeks in her life-prayer to teach sinners what sin is, and what the blood of Christ is, and what the hell is that must follow if sin be not washed out, and what the heaven is which will be ensured to all those who are cleansed from sin, the more she keeps to this the better.

In this little book from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon discusses the seven words that Christ uttered from the Cross: Forgiveness, Salvation, Affection, Anguish, Suffering, Victory and Contentment.

Few people in history can be known by one name and have it ring true with their audience, and “Spurgeon” is one of them. Over time, Spurgeon has become known and revered as the “Prince of Preachers“. In the last 200 years he has been one of the most influential men for not only Preachers of the Gospel but for those who have not had the opportunity to hear and receive the Gospel message. He wrote tirelessly over his life, and WORDsearch Bible Software is committed to bring as many of Spurgeon’s works as possible to you in electronic form.

After you have read the book, we would love to hear what you thought in the Customer Reviews box on the bottom of the book’s page.

Have you read something that has inspired you lately? Share with us in the comments below!

Quick Tip – Share What You’re Studying

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Have you ever been reading something in WORDsearch and wanted to share it with your social media friends? The Social Apps dialog allows you to post status updates to Facebook or Twitter with the text of whatever you’re currently reading. You don’t even have to exit WORDsearch and you can start a conversation.

To post to social applications:

Click on the Tools option on the Menu bar.

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Click on Post to social application.

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This box will appear with options to post to Facebook or Twitter.

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Clicking on either social media site’s icon will take you to their log-in screen, where you will be able to log-in and post. After the first log-in, WORDsearch will remember your information if you’d like, allowing for quicker posting of updates.

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Have you shared anything from WORDsearch to your social media friends lately? Share with us in the comments below!

Guest Post – Discover Treasures in Greek & Hebrew Without Prior Training

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Please note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of LifeWay Christian Resources.

When I study a passage to preach or teach one step always involves language study. This should always follow two of the first steps in inductive Bible study after prayer. Go over the passage in a few different ways including:

  • Read the text in context of the whole book of the Bible if possible, or in a section like the passage’s chapter and chapters before or after it.
  • Compare various translations using a tool like the Parallel Bible tool in WORDsearch, accessible from the toolbar button.
  • Write down observations of what you already know about the passage. Then ask the investigative questions which begin with “who, what, where, when, why, and how.” Record these in textual notes, or even better, a WORDsearch word processor document (open with CTRL+N or use FILE and NEW from the menu).

Now we’re ready for our word studies. To do this, I open the ESV, NASB, NKJV, or KJV. I also open an Interlinear, like the HCSB Reverse Interlinear, which displays the text of the HCSB above Greek or Hebrew grammar information. Here’s the list of the information included:

  • Word Order – the small superscript number shows what word order that word is in in the original text
  • English Transliteration – spells out the Greek word using corresponding English letters
  • Parsing Codes – letters that represent grammatical information like N for Noun or D for Dative with links to open a window that explains the meaning of the parts of speech when the user clicks the links in the resulting window
  • Strong’s Number – clickable link that opens Strong’s Concordance/Greek and Hebrew Dictionary
  • Pronunciation Button – plays an audio file with the pronunciation of the word

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Here’s how to use this information. Click on the parsing codes to open a window with a list of the word’s parsing codes defined. Right-click each part of speech and click on the “define” item in the right-click menu. This opens a window explaining the part of speech and what it means for interpretation. Over time, you will begin to learn the meanings of the cases, tenses and moods in Greek and won’t need to look them up.

To get back to the text of the HCSB Reverse Interlinear, double-click on the second to last toolbar button in that window.

Using the Strong’s numbers, we can get access to advanced language study information without knowing Greek or Hebrew. Once the Strong’s number opens to that entry in the default Strong’s dictionary, open some original language dictionaries or lexicons. For example, I open Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon when I doing New Testament study. I also open The Complete Word Study Dictionary. By default, when these dictionaries are open alongside Strong’s, they will sync to one another. Clicking the Strong’s number in the HCSB Reverse Interlinear opens Strong’s to that word and it moves the other two dictionaries to the word entry as well. Now I can read the Strong’s and get a little information about our word from above, Sophia. I can also see what BDAT and CWS tells us. They offer more complete information.

I’d also recommend doing a Strong’s search to find the word in other passages to see how that word gets used elsewhere. This helps in understanding the complex meaning of Greek and Hebrew words. Be careful, however, to not make a word mean something it doesn’t mean.

There’s a lot more to comprehensive original language study, but for a quick-hit study, these steps help in a pinch. People not familiar with Greek or Hebrew grammar can get a surface understanding of the original text behind our English translations, which will help them better understand God’s word.

Kevin Purcell has been preaching for over 20 years and has served as a pastor for 15 years. He is currently the pastor of High Peak Baptist Church in Valdese, NC. He is married to Barb, a teacher, and they have two sons. 

How often do you do word studies in WORDsearch? Share with us in the comments below!

Saturday Roundup

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Happy Saturday everyone! We hope you had a great week getting back into the swing of things after Thanksgiving (and finally got out of that food coma!) We are so grateful for all of you! In case you were too busy looking for Cyber Monday deals around the internet, here is what you might have missed at WORDsearch this week.

“The richer your store of background knowledge, the greater your understanding of a text.” – B&H editors

This week, we released a new and powerful resource for your library, the Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook. It was designed from the ground up to deliver precise, concise background information to enhance your study of Scripture. It’s also lavishly illustrated with maps, charts, tables, drawings, and colorful photographs of biblical sites and fascinating artifacts found by archaeologists. The graphics in this volume will add a visual element to your background knowledge. The best part? It is only $9.95  for now!

Quick Reminders:

The Your Choice Sale expires December 15

Blogs You Might Have Missed this Week and Last Week on WORDsearch

The Pastor/Teacher’s Toolkit – Sermon Prep – Tips from Dr. Micah Fries

Don’t wait until you have it all together – reach out to others now! Guest Post – Wait Not

Quick Tip – Word Definition Window

Guest Post – Keep Calm and Faithfully Serve God

Have a great weekend!

Free Friday! The Methods of Bible Study

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Happy Friday everyone! Today’s free download, usually $9.95, is The Methods of Bible Study by W.H. Griffith Thomas. Click here to download.

“The Bible is the Word of God, the revelation of His Will to man. It follows that we ought to know this revelation, and heed its message. Knowledge demands study, earnest, faithful, patient, constant, and it is to this subject we address ourselves, with the purpose of suggesting methods of becoming better acquainted with the Sacred Scriptures.”

Just reading the Bible, according to William Henry Griffith Thomas, is not Bible study. Studying is hard work, requiring actual thought for intellectual, moral and spiritual profit. While it might be easier to read books about the Bible, we need to study the Bible for ourselves to gain detailed knowledge of the Scriptures. In The Methods of Bible Study, Thomas suggests certain methods of studying the Bible in order to understand and enjoy the Word of God.

Thomas, born in 1861, published 26 Bible study booklets and 24 books. His advice to young preachers was: “Think yourself empty; read yourself full; write yourself clear; pray yourself clean, and then enter the pulpit and let yourself go.”

After you have read the book, we would love to hear what you thought in the Customer Reviews box on the bottom of the book’s page.

Have you read anything that has inspired you lately? Share with us in the comments below!

The Pastor/Teacher’s Toolkit – Sermon Prep

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Now Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the LORD, obey it, and teach its statues and ordinances in Israel. -Ezra 7:10

If you are a pastor, WORDsearch can help you quickly, but effectively, prepare sermons that are faithful to biblical text and compelling to your congregation. Dr. Micah Carter, who was one of our guest speakers at our Training Conference in Nashville this summer, shares some of his best basic tips for sermon prep below.

Prep Time Principles

These principles are important to remember while creating a sermon. To stay faithful to the text remember that:

  • The meaning of the text is the meaning of the sermon
  • Points of sermon arise from the text itself
  • Theology and application matter
  • Commentaries as supporting tools, not starting tools

To save even more time, make sure to have your different WORDsearch Desktops set up for different types of study: Basic, Deeper, Language, etc.

Prep in Practice

Let’s walk through an example of how to create a sermon using the above principles.

  1. First, choose a text. In this example, we’ll use John 3: 1-21, the story of Jesus and Nicodemus.
  2. Read, re-read the text and marinate
  3. Read different translations for comparison
  4. Jot down big ideas, interesting thoughts, major characters, words, repetitions, special phrases that arise from the text (these will support the main idea and main point of the sermon.)

Remember to:

  • Look up (bathe your sermon in prayer)
  • Look deeper (word studies, structure/flow of text/theme)
  • Look backward (historical-cultural context, church history)
  • Look around (thinking of your people)

From John 3: 1-21, this sermon’s main idea is, “Where do you stand with Jesus?” using Nicodemus as an example.

  • Nicodemus was a seeker (John 3:1-21)
  • Nicodemus was a supporter ( John 7:45-52)
  • Nicodemus was a servant (John 19:38-42)
  • Nicodemus was a sacrifice

Applications in conclusion: Where do you stand with Jesus? As a seeker, supporter, servant sacrifice?

Final Thoughts – Steps Not to Skip in Sermon Prep!

  • Prayer
  • Pause to hear the Holy Spirit
  • Personal connection with the text
  • Preach to the heart (not just the head)

micah_carterDr. Micah Carter is the HCSB Translation Spokesperson for B&H Publishing Group. He currently serves on the pastoral team of Redemption City Church in Franklin, TN, and has ministered to churches in Mississippi, Kentucky, and Arkansas. He is married to Meredith and they have two sons, Benjamin and Jonathan.

We hope this Quick Sermon Prep Tip will help you out in some way. Thank you for all that you do for the Kingdom! What is one step you make sure to never skip in sermon prep? Share with us in the comments below!