How do I make decisions not addressed in the Bible? In this lab, John Piper takes a deep dive into Paul’s decision to send Epaphroditus to help us in our daily decision-making.
Some questions to ask as you read and study Philippians 2:25–30:
- How do you try to make wise decisions in areas the Bible doesn’t give clear direction?
- Read Philippians 2:25–30. What reasons does Paul give for sending Epaphroditus back to the Philippians? What were John Piper’s five reasons?
- What is a decision you need to make soon? How could you apply the five principles mentioned in this lab to help you make a wise decision?
Principles of Bible Reading
An inference is a statement that explains what is or should be based on something already said. An inference is like the top floor of a building because it always rests upon other floors or reasons that have already been given.
Statements that begin with “therefore” are almost always inferences. Because inferences build off of other statements, whenever you see “therefore” in the Bible, ask what it is there for (or what statements it is building upon).
“I just finished cooking; therefore, go wash your hands for dinner.” Because dinner has been cooked, the inference is that your hands should be washed in preparing to eat the meal.
Conjunctions or connecting words are very important in the Bible because they tell us how two statements are related to each other. In this case, an inference is usually identified by “therefore,” “accordingly,” or “so.”