The approach of these studies is to separate and purify spiritual concepts, principles, and dynamics.
An analogy would be mining for a particular element or gem. When looking for gold, you focus on deriving that and throw out all the other elements for now. This "slag" or "dross" may be reprocessed later to mine out something else; but for the time being we are interested in just the gold. When looking for silver, you ignore the gold, copper, precious stones, etc. and "plow" through the soil for just that element. You want the pure stuff.
Once you have separated it into its purest form, then you can mix it together with other elements, confident of the results.
Ingredients must be separated and purified before being mixed together. Otherwise, you are working with some form of mud. It is only after obtaining the purest form possible of elements that master craftsmen then begin to blend them back together to build something of value and quality.
So it is with these studies. The main purpose is to purify and refine rather than bring things together.
This difference can be described as the difference between teaching / understanding versus prophecy / wisdom. Teachers lay the foundation by differentiating the meaning, while prophets [or preachers, if you like] bring these individual meanings together to an edifying whole. Both teacher and prophet have their roles to play in our spiritual growth. For us to understand the sermon we must understand the spiritual concepts and principles that the prophet is "putting together". Generally, the prophetic speaker understands, but not always the listeners. Often it can come off to the listeners as religious babble, as "mud."
Scripture at some points patiently explains the meaning of things, then at other points soars into rich prophetic messages. Refining gold and diamonds is not very exciting in itself, but the combination of these things, once purified, can be magnificent indeed! This is the hope and calling of these studies: To produce gems and precious metals that can later be handled by master craftsmen to produce something much better than could have been made with "mental mud". So that, "hearing, they may understand".
In summary, the intent of these studies is to equip the saint for revelation experiences later by refining the concepts and words now. Our prayer is that "bells will ring" and "lights will go on" the next time the student hears a message from a preacher, reads or reflects back on the word of God in private meditation, or hears a message on the radio.
1 Cor 12:4-6 (NAS) Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
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