Monday, June 15, 2015

How To Study The Bible

 Why should I study the Bible?

The Bible is God speaking to us.  It was written by 40 different people over a period of 1600 years.  No book has ever been more analyzed or criticized yet it has been preserved over 2,000 years.  No other book has been so consistently bought, studied and quoted as the Bible.  It is the most translated book in the entire world.  It is as relevant today as when it was written.  It is ignored by those who are uncomfortable with its teaching, but still it is the central book of Western civilization.  The Bible is the most important book we will ever read.

The Bible has a message for all ages from childhood to the aged and is for all classes of people.  It tells stories of many types of people - faithful and sinful.  It tells of the fall of man and how man can repent and get right with God.  It begins with God’s creation of the world and ends with Jesus’ return to judge the wicked and reward the faithful.  In the middle it tells of how God uses different people to bring about His divine plan for mankind.  It tells of God’s miracles and wonders with many, many lessons for us to learn.

The doctrine of the Bible is Jesus Christ.  Its subject is Jesus Christ.  Its object is Jesus Christ.  Its symbols are of Jesus Christ.  Its predictions are about Jesus Christ.  Its gospel glorifies Jesus Christ.  Jesus is throughout the Bible from Genesis through Revelation. 

To reject the Bible is to reject God Himself, His commandments, and His authority.  To accept the Bible and God’s Son, Jesus is to live a life eternal in heaven.

God gave us His Word to guide us as to how we should live.  2 Tim. 3:16“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 

Where do I start?

So let’s get started studying.  First be sure you read it and study daily even if it is only 15 or 30 minutes.  Find a special place where you do all your studying.  It’s important to get away from distractions.  Turn off the phone and go to a quite place and shut the door.  Try to study at the same time each day.  Mark the day and time on your calendar and don’t let anything interfere with your appointment with God.  You make time to go to that hair appointment don’t you?  And you would never break that appointment so don’t break your appointment with God.  Pray before you begin and don’t forget to pray when you finish.  Ask God to help you apply what you’ve read that day.

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.”Joshua 1:8

Here are several ways to study the Bible that might interest you:

#1 – Start reading the entire Bible.  Start at the beginning and read straight through.  Read 1 or 2 chapters daily or a whole book of the Bible, but be sure you read it daily.  Then you can go back later and study a book in more depth. 

I find the best time for me to spend time with God and His Word is in the morning, before I get too involved with the tasks of the day.  Then it seems that the day runs much more smoothly.

#2 – You can start your study with a small book like James or Peter or even 1 John.  Spend a couple of weeks on it and be sure to pray before you start by asking God to help you understand.  At first just read through the book several times looking for themes throughout the chapters.  Then look for how you can apply what you’ve read to your life.  Then take it verse by verse and don’t be afraid to use highlighters to mark meaningful verses or phrases. 

Also try not to look at commentaries until you’ve finished your study.  You want God to speak to you, not get someone else’s interpretation.  The Bible is sufficient enough.  God will reveal to you what you need to understand.  So give God a chance before you look into commentaries. 

When reading, ask yourself who is speaking; to whom are they speaking; what is the context of the passage; and what is the purpose.  Look up any words you don’t understand in the dictionary.  I use the internet for a quick definition. 

#3 – There are small inexpensive study books on specific topics and on different books of the Bible that you can buy at a Christian book store.  They contain daily study questions that can help.  You can study these kinds of books in a group or do them on your own.  Some are very basic and some are more advanced.  Ask the store clerk to help you decide which one is best for you.

#4 – You can join a small group Bible study group at your church, in your neighborhood or start one of your own.  This is very helpful to be involved with others as you study.  You will gain new insights and be encouraged by them.  You will see that you are not alone in understanding the harder lessons.  You will also gain knowledge from others who are stronger in their walk with God and be an encourager to those who are weaker.

#5 – Join a BSF group.  I have been in several church Bible studies over the years and I have learned many things, but the best study I have ever been in is Bible Study International (BSF).  It is an in-depth study and is throughout the world.  This is a study in more than 1,100 classes of 400,000 people in 39 countries and it includes people of all ages, races, and cultures.  Classes are held in many cities and in many different churches, although BSF is non-denominational.  It’s for people who are discovering the Word for the first time or who have had many years of studying the Bible.  Every class around the world is studying the same book of the Bible. 

When you join a BSF, you will attend a class once a week.  There are daily questions for you to answer.  Then you attend a class where you will meet with others and discuss your answers.  After class you attend a lecture on what you’ve studied which helps you to understand it even more.  You will receive written notes on the same lesson.  This is a four-fold approach to your studying.  If you don’t understand it in your daily study questions, you probably will through the discussion, lecture or notes.  No one is ever put on the spot during discussion time, but you are encouraged to share. 

BSF is not based on any particular denomination or their beliefs.  It is based strictly on the Bible.  BSF Core Values are:  values dependence on God, a passion for Jesus Christ and His people, integrity, consistency without inflexibility, excellence with humility, and caring for other with Christ’s love.

To find a BSF class near you go to their website –

It’s a Process

I have studied the Bible for many years and I still don’t know or understand it all – and – I never will in this life.  But as the years of study go on, I learn more each time I read and study.  It’s a process.  Every time you study you will learn something.  When you discover its power and truth, you will begin to see changes in your life.  God reveals bits and pieces along the way and before you know it, you have more and more knowledge of the Bible and a better relationship with God.  You learn who God really is.  You learn His commands and His promises.  You learn what He expects of you.  You learn about His character and how much He loves you.  You learn many lessons for your life from the stories and characters in the Bible.  You learn how God uses all kinds of people to bring about His plan and how He uses even the worst of sinners.

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophets own interpretation.  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”2 Peter 1:20-21.

You will see through your study of the Bible that Jesus is woven throughout the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.  You will learn that God is the Creator of all things.  You will learn about the fall of man and how God provided a way for sinful man to reconcile to Himself by way of His Son, Jesus who died for all mankind.  You will learn how to pray and trust God in every part of your life. 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”Ps. 119:105

Are you too busy to study your Bible?  BUSY is “Being Under Satan’s Yoke”.  Satan will do everything he can to keep you busy so you think you don’t have the time to study God’s Word.  Satan knows his time is running out and he is working extra hard to keep you from Jesus.  You need to make a choice on how to spend your time.  Don’t let yourself be robbed from the lessons and blessings you will receive by reading and studying the Scriptures.

So get started now!  You won’t want to miss out on the blessings you will receive.  God is waiting to speak to you through His Word.

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