12 Part Frame of Reference Study of Salvation
A FRAME OF REFERENCE
What is Frame of Reference (FOR)?
Try to remember all those serial killer stories where the Detectives bring in a specialist called a Profiler. When I was a kid it was Sherlock Holmes. Holmes would constantly amaze Watson by his detailed description of things using just the barest of information, like the color of the speck of mud on Watson’s shoe. I almost expected Holmes to tell Watson what he had eaten for breakfast by just analyzing that speck. Holmes was Profiling.
Through high “profile” psychological study, today’s profilers are able to read between the lines and make logical deductions concerning the subject. All facts are based on other facts. To say, “The car was blue,” contains the frame of reference that cars exist and that some of them get painted. Our study may not include this part, but even the emphasis given a word contains a frame of reference.
If I had typed “The car was blue”, immediately the question arises, “What was it that wasn’t blue?” More easily seen is when the stress is given to “blue.” This automatically says that some cars aren’t blue. As I said, this part may not come up in our study, but it’s an interesting place to think around in.
So, Frame of Reference is all that stuff in the background of what we see/read/hear on the surface. And this doesn’t have to be guess work or conjecture. We’re working with facts, not assumptions. And, all facts are based on other facts.
A person who has never seen or heard of a car can still research the information and find out. Just go to a dictionary and look up “car.” This will help in understanding the “surface” fact that cars exist. And that’s one of the tools we’ll use in figuring out the FOR of these study verses.
I trust you know that true Bible study, while satisfying, is a lot of tedious work. Looking up hundreds of words, making hundreds of notes, reading, re-reading and a lot of head scratching, that’s Bible study. But the sure knowledge of God’s reality and the resulting peace of safety is well worth it.
I have five steps to guide us through.
1-read the verse
2-note all the definable words; the nouns, verbs, names
3-identify the context: who, what, where
4-define the words noted in 2 above
5-Make a list of the elements of the FOR.
b-some cars are painted.
c-at the time of observation, the car was painted blue
6-write a conclusion, something that sums up the message of the verse
This study is taken from eight different books of the New Testament, five by Paul. This study was set up to be done as a small section of a larger study period. Some folks will find it better to break the study up, and not try to get through the whole thing at once. I know I didn’t. So, at the end of each section there is a Homework verse.
Even though FOR study can be done on any Bible verse and these twelve don’t have to be done in the order presented, I did try to make some kind of logical flow out of the material.
It’s not recommended that you mark up your Bible with notes unless you have a Bible with very large margins and a very fine pen. So get a few sheets of paper and copy out each verse leaving plenty of room by the definable ones. Also leave plenty of space below the verse so you can list the items of FOR you find.
In our car example above, when you look up car, you may decide it’s important to include some details about a car in your FOR list. I mean, FOR for a car includes things like oil wells, steel mills or internal combustion technology. I know that sounds a bit silly, but you get the idea. Leave room under the verse for your FOR list.
For your conclusion, construct one sentence that states the main point of the verse. Unfortunately, my car example is much too short to make any more of a statement than the surface words. Can’t make much more out of “the car was blue,” than “the car was blue.” Your concluding sentence for each verse will be more complicated than that.
One caution. Don’t try to complicate this. These FOR facts are very simple. Remember? “Cars exist.” The FOR lists that I made for these verses went from 2 items to 8, with the average being about 6 items. I remember one of the items in a verse that is just like our car example. I wrote, “heaven exists.” Another one from 2 Cor 4:3 was, “God intends to save only some.”
I really think that you’ll need your Strong’s Concordance and a good Bible dictionary to work this study. If you haven’t got a Strong’s, buy one.
Lastly, you may come up with some items that I missed. You may even disagree with some of my conclusions. The main point here is developing a viable tool for getting back to what the writer intended. If you still feel unsure about how to work, you may find some help by reading my Study pages on Romans, Galatians, Ephesians and Hebrews.
Disclaimer: For this study, grace, righteousness, justification, deliver, and Spirit ALL equal “salvation.”
I’ll give the verse, the number of items on my list and the “homework” verse for next time.
I-2 Timothy 2:10
Homework: Galatians 2:21
Homework: 2 Timothy 1:9
III-2 Timothy 1:9
Homework: Galatians 2:16
Homework: John 17:12
Homework: Galatians 3:14
Homework: Hebrews 2:15
Homework: 2 Corinthians 4:3
VIII-2 Corinthians 4:3
Homework: 2 Peter 2:12
IX-2 Peter 2:12
Homework: Romans 3:3
Homework: John 5:30
Homework: Matthew 18:10
6 items, but also included a 4-item “exists” list
To see what came out of my study of these verses go here
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