In Study Tips

Sharpening Your Sword to E.S.C.A.P.E.


I enjoy hearing presentations about Bible study, for I realize that I haven’t thought of all the possible ways to interact with this amazing Book.

This week I’m sharing with you a study method introduced to me by my friend June Graham.  She shared it with our Sabbath School class several months back.  It is a framework much like the questions I suggested for use over the past two weeks and was developed by Pastor Dave Holton, a friend of June’s.

Pastor Holton developed the title and acronym based on three Bible verses.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  (Heb. 4:12)

. . . how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him (Heb. 2:3)

Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:36)

God gives us His word as a means of escape from the snares of the Devil.  We need to spend much time reading and considering the great and precious promises contained in it.


This acronym encompasses seven “Is there” questions to ask of the passage you are considering.

E  example to follow — Is there an example I should follow based on the passage?  Perhaps the example is the opposite of what is depicted in the text, so don’t be too quick to pass over this question. 

S  sin to avoid — Is there a sin revealed in the passage that I am guilty of?  We can easily deflect this one by focusing on how it applies to someone else.  Remember, we need to tend to the logs in our own eyes before condemning others for a little piece of dust in their eye.

C  command to obey — Is there a command in the passage that I should obey?  Think beyond the Ten Commandments and other commands you are already familiar with. 

A  about God  — Is there something about God reveled?  The answer to this question is actually always “Yes,” but you may have to think about it for a while.

P  promise to claim — Is there a promise I can claim?  Again think beyond what you already know.  Perhaps the promise is not written in a way that is easily recognized.

E  exploring — Is there something that you want to explore further?  Right now I’m studying about the “covenant of salt” mentioned a few times in the Old Testament.  What is the “covenant of salt”? 

S  something to pray about — Is there something to pray about?  This really includes all of the others to a greater or lesser extent.  

There are your ESCAPES through the word of God.  As you read, study, and meditate on God’s word remember that He wants you to find Him.  In fact, He is not hiding; we just need to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to Him. 

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