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Service Archives > Spiritual Cooking 101 > The Language of God


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The Language of God
Psalms 139:1-10
Brian Nixon

Psalms 139 (NKJV™)
1 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Spiritual Cooking 101

Language often gets mixed up due to different understandings and interpretations. I'm afraid, many people feel like Amalia Bedelia when they approach the Bible; they confuse or misunderstand the language, words, and grammar found in the Bible; which can lead to misunderstanding of the text or author’s intent. Sadly, many people suffer from the famed disorder, ABS. The Amelia Bedlilla syndrome. We mix our metaphors, smash our similes, and torture our terms. However, understanding the language of the Bible does not have to be this way. My premise is that when you understand some basic literary principles in the Bible, it will not only help clarify aspects of the Bible, but will make the Bible that much more alive!

Coming to church for spiritual sustenance can be like going to a restaurant for meals. It's all prepared for you and served to you by someone else. A far better way to get your spiritual nourishment is to learn how to get the "ingredients" and prepare the "meals" for yourself. In this series, Skip Heitzig and the Calvary pastoral staff teach how to study the Bible on your own and apply it--how to really "feast on the Word" and satisfy the deepest needs of your heart.

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Detailed Notes

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Three Letters: G, T, F

  • Genres (the big picture): a category of form, style, and substance

    • Key Principles

      • Know basic genres:

      • Letters: Exposition and doctrine

      • Narration, history, and biography

      • Parables, poetry, and prophesy

        • Poetry:  Is a descriptive, imaginative use of language, communicating truth in a beautiful and flowing way.

        • Parable:  Is a form of narration that uses allegory to tell a story.

        • Prophesy, as Skip likes to say, "Is history written in advance."

      • Wisdom literature: Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes

      • Apocalyptic literature- Prophesy

  • Terms (the detailed picture): a word or phrase used to describe a thing or express a concept

    • Key Principles:

      • Define it historically

      • Define it contextually

      • Define it Scripturally: use Scripture to define the Scripture

      • Define it academically: use dictionaries and concordances to help clarify and expand the word’s understanding.

  • Figures (the meaning and language; seasoning): an illustrative word or phrase used to add force to the written or spoken language

    • Key Principles:

      •  Use the "literal" unless there is some good reason not to: Song of Solomon

      • Use the figurative when the passage calls for it: Daniel 7-12

      • Use the figurative if the literal is impossible: Revelation

      • Use the figurative if the literal is contrary to the greater teaching of the Bible: John 6: 53-55 (Eat my Flesh)

      • Know some basic figures of speech:

        • Anthropomorphisms- the attribution of human features to action to God: The Lord’s hand

        • Allegory: a story, picture, or poem that can be used to teach a moral lesson or hidden meaning: the parables of Jesus.

        • Apostrophe- addressing a thing as if it were a person: "O, death."       

        • Euphemism- the use of a less offensive expression: "cut your self vs mutilate.

        • Hyperbole- exaggeration to say more than is meant: 

        • Hypocatastasis- comparison in which likeness is implied, rather than stated

        • Idiom: expression to a particular person

        • Merism: a substitution to two contrasting or opposite parts for the whole: sit down, stand up.

        • Metaphor: a comparison in which one thing represents the other: "light of the world."

        • Paradox: a statement that seems absurd, self-contrary, or anti-logical: "to save his life shall loose it."

        • Personification:  ascribing human characteristics or actions to inanimate objects or animals: "the moon shall be ashamed."

        • Rhetorical Questions:  a question that required no response, causing one to answer internally

        • Simile: a comparison using "like" or "as.

Additional Messages in this Series

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