How to Study the Bible

Posted on September 12, 2017 by

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  In the Bible, with its 66 books, 44 authors , written over a span of 1500 years on three different continents, we find the opportunity to learn what God has revealed to us. It shares some of the past, present and future to help us travel through life on a the path that God has prepared for you and me.   All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;  so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16 NASB It is the manual for this life. In this study we are going to learn how to find out what God is trying to say to each of us, how to determine God’s specific plan for this journey of life.

The New Testament refers to the Bible as,  The Word of God, The Knowledge of Eternal Life,  The Word of Christ, The Holy Scriptures, and The Oracles of God. Our first step is faith. We accept without doubt that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Nothing else will fall into place until we do. Don’t doubt it, just believe it, because believing is receiving. It is one of God’s ways to communicate with us, and until we take that step of faith none of the other avenues will be available to us. There are countless souls who try to understand it’s revelations on their own. Without faith the Bible is impossible to grasp. Until you accept the Bible as complete truth the Holy Spirit cannot have a work inside of you. Believe when it tells you, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:1-3 NASB

  The greatest problem with the world today is the neglect of  daily Bible Study. If everyone on earth accepted the fact that the bible is true we would witness the arrival of the Millennial Kingdom on earth. War, hatred,  crime would all disappear.  The Kingdom of Heaven would appear, and Jesus Christ would take His rightful place on His throne.  People make many excuses not to study their Bible. There are those who say they don’t have enough time because of their busy lives. If you do not take the time, you may find when the day comes you need God, He won’t have time for you. Others say it too hard to understand and if that’s the case know that there are many books you can read to help you understand. At the bottom of this article is a list of books you can order to help you get started reading your Bible. One difficulty may be you are living contrary to the Word of God. When you read the Bible, it convicts you of your sins, and encourages you to walk closer to God. This is true for all of us so don’t give up on studying.  It takes a lifetime to apply the principles of God’s Word.

The Bible refers many times to your heart. This is a combination of your mind, senses, and emotions. This is the inner realm of your soul where our will resides. It reaches deep inside of us exposing the good side of our heart and the bad. It encourages us in some matters and convicts us in others. “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NASB  When we study the Bible all of our senses, and our emotion s are involved, right along with our mind. It is not like studying science, or history or math. It consumes our inner being and the knowledge is implanted deep inside our soul. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrew 4:12 NASB  It changes our attitude, behavior, and our character. All take a step towards God. As we continue our studies we will hear a still, small voice reminding us who we are as we journey through life. It will get to the point you will not want to miss a day of being with the Lord.

When Jesus Christ was crucified He paid the debt for our sin which separates us from God. When He was resurrected from the dead He made it possible for us to receive the Holy Spirit of God. We no longer need a priest to petition God for us. We can go directly to Him in prayer. The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to communicate with God. He illuminates us with His Presence. The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to understand that without Christ we are lost and are in a sinful condition. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand the Bible. He counsels us, He comforts us, He leads us to a still, quite time for His Name’s sake. He enables us to understand the plan that God has in store for us. He makes the subjects of salvation, grace, and forgiveness come alive in our hearts. He reveals the deeper meanings of the Bible. Meanings we cannot get from words alone. He instills confidence in us to share what we read with others.

We at Millennial Christian like to use the number 15. We spend 15 minutes a day reading our Bible. We spend 15 minutes a day in prayer, and we spend 15 minutes a day sharing what we read with others. It helps us to remember what we have read and it gives others the chance to see our relationship with Christ. Before we sit down and start our Bible study we pray to our heavenly Father that He will open our spiritual eyes so that our hearts will see what God is trying to share with us. “Open my eyes, so that I will see wonderful things from Your law.” Psalms 119:18 NASB   We pray to our Father that He will open our spiritual ears so we can hear what He is trying to tell us. Countless times I have read a Bible verse and came out with a different understanding than I had before. The Bible is the “Living Word” and each time you read it you peel back another layer of love.

  Good reading skills are planned, and the more you practice the better you get. Now, find yourself  a nice comfortable chair, away from the hustle and bustle of others. Adjust the lamp so it suits you. Have  your Bible ready, a dictionary, a bookmark and highlighter pen. Now get comfortable, relax, that’s right. Open the Bible at the Gospel of John and let the power of the Word of God flow through you. Read the stories and pretend you are there with Jesus and His disciples. You will have to make some of the same decisions they had to make two thousand years ago. Life hasn’t changed, just the people. I like to study my Bible early in the morning when my mind is fresh. As I go through the day I think about what I have read and I share it with people I come in contact with . It helps me to remember. Through careful and diligent Bible study you will receive the power of the Word of God. No one can take this from you. Satan can’t take it from you. Death can’t take it from you. It is yours for eternity. If you don’t have a Bible we will be glad to provide one for you. You can contact me at alan@kidsnchrist.com

God uses His Holy Word as a way to reach sinners. The book of John is written so that you might know Christ and His works. It tells us, “Salvation is by the grace of God through faith that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and resurrected from the dead, according to the scriptures, plus nothing it is a free gift from God. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing that you have to earn salvation. It is free, and believing is receiving. Through our daily relationship with God we grow spiritually just like we grow when we eat. We need food to grow up to be strong healthy adults, so we also need the Word of God on a daily basis to grow strong spiritually. We don’t eat dinner just once a week because we would be frail and weak. So, too, if we don’t consume the Word of God on a daily basis we will become frail and weak spiritually. “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a Light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105 KJV

  It is difficult to struggle with the same sin on a daily basis. We find ourselves getting frustrated with our habits. Many of us when we are young involve ourselves in high risk behavior. We do things that allow Satan to get a hold of us through addictions desires, and lies. Many  times the Bible will address a particular need spiritually, and when it doesn’t, its principles can always be applied to our daily life. Our walk through life requires us to have the tools necessary to ward off the fiery arrows of evil. Paul the Apostle tells us, Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:11-12 NASB  Our character is derived from what we read and watch. We are either led by the devil through television and subversive books, or we are empowered by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. We overcome the devil by the blood of Jesus Christ and the words of our testimony. All addictions and desires of any kind can be defeated through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through daily Bible study and prayer.

Our daily devotions are not only for ourselves, but for our families and friends as well. What we study we share, and what we share is shared with others. A few words, in time, can create an entire ministry. This is how I got started 20 years ago. “Let the word of  Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing  one another with psalms and spiritual songs, singing, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3 NASB  We should endeavor to have a full understanding of the Bible in our hearts so we are always ready to give an answer to every person who asks a reason for our hope.  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 NASB 

  When we study the Bible we interpret it  so it has a meaning to our lives. Understanding what we read is  important because so many people before us have misinterpreted its meaning. We need to be wary of false teachings. There are so many misconstrued versions of the Bible that they have made worldwide churches of their interpretation. Each verse has only one intended meaning, however it could have numerous applications. As we search the Word of God we make discoveries of truth. The Bible is a love story. God’s intent is to show you how much He loves you, and to teach you how to love Him. It was written just for you, a sinner, longing to have fellowship with our Creator. We struggle in a time where people are always learning, but are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. When we hear the truth it doesn’t coincide with our beliefs or lifestyle so we twist it into something it never was.

We want to apply our Bible study with 2 questions.

1.) What does it mean? Many times when reading the Bible alone, we struggle with the right interpretation. We need to seek out others who have spent more time researching the Word of God. We do that at Sunday school, small group Bible studies, and books written on the subject.

2.) How does it apply to my life? There are two requirements to being a follower of Christ. We must trust what He is telling us is true and we must obey His Word. There are tremendous benefits to being a Christian. God blesses those who live according to His teachings. Don’t be confused by what you see in churches today. There are church members who are well spoken of in society. They attend church on a regular basis, wear nice cloths, and tithe their money regularly.  In the end all they are are church members. They have never surrendered their lives to Christ. They live for their own well being. They have never applied the Bible to their lives.  Life application is the true test for any believer.

  We should study our Bible as though we were archaeologist investigating evidence of an ancient historical document. We should be asking the questions of an investigative reporter, the who, where, when, what, how, and why of the scripture we are searching. Our interpretation should be sound logically so we can determine the true meaning of the text. Compiling all the evidence in this type of investigation takes time and we should concentrate our efforts on a single book of the Bible. I recommend the Gospel of John. It is great reading. At the same time we need to have a general knowledge of its workings. Thomas Huxley said, “Know something about everything, and everything about something.” We might consider reading a particle book then spend time in general Bible reading. There are many programs available where you finish reading the entire Bible in a year.

The Bible is by no means a matter of our personal feelings. Our opinion is important, but we must follow the principles of interpretation. It is important that our understanding fits together with the rest of scripture without contradiction. I prefer the literal interpretation of the Bible. We do have to recognize there are symbols, metaphors, and allegories in Scripture. However the virgin birth, the miracles, and the resurrection are all real. It is what actually happen in history. There is figurative language in Scripture. There is poetry, prophecy, and songs. We have to consider the historical setting. All these things happened thousands of years ago. We have to envision John as he beheld the Revelation of Christ. He was seeing things that were to happen 2 thousand years in the future. We approach a Bible verse at first with a broad view. Then we narrow our scope as we investigate its meaning.  We want to look for a summary of the book that will tell us the theme and give us general overview.  We want to know things like the location, the period in time, and the historical circumstances to help us understand where the characters are coming from.  If we compare verses with other Scriptures, to see how everything fits together, the Bible will not contradict itself, and if we seems too we need to continue our search for the truth.

Jesus Christ is the theme of the entire Bible. In the Old Testament God is the pre – incarnate Christ. The Passover, the snakes on the pole, the rock with the gushing water are all references to Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Luke 24:44 NASB  When we read God’s Word, we should always look for reference to Christ.

Bible study isn’t all about interpretation. We should strive to apply the truth of the Bible to our personal lives. We are sanctified, or separated from evil by His truth. We are justified, ( just as if we have never sinned) by His Word. We are sinless before God because the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ covers our sins like a blanket. If we find a good example in the Bible we should follow it. If there is a command we should do it. If there is a promise we should believe it, and if there is a warning we should take heed. We should be doers of the Word, and not just hearers. There are many church members who high light their Bible, but during the rest of the week their behavior is not highlighted by God. In this day and age unless you see someone at church it is difficult to tell what they believe according to their actions. So walk humbly on your path to the narrow gate of God’s Kingdom. Question everything and back your path with scripture. For the soul who walks with God is blessed without measure, and their future has no ending.

 

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers

Psalms 1:1-3 NASB