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How to Study the Bible

The Bible is the greatest book ever written. In it God Himself speaks to us. It is a book of divine instruction. It offers comfort in sorrow, guidance in perplexity, advice for our problems, rebuke for our sins, and daily inspiration for our every need.


The Bible is not simply one book. It is an entire library of books covering the whole range on literature. It includes history, poetry, drama, biography, prophecy, philosophy, science, and inspirational reading. All or part of the Bible has been translated into more than 1,200 languages, and every year more copies of the Bible are sold than any other single book.


The Bible alone truly answers the greatest questions that men of all ages have asked: "Were have I come from?" "Where am I going?" "Why am I here?" "How can I know the truth?" For the Bible reveals the truth about God, explains the origin of man, points out the only way to salvation and eternal life, and explains the age-old problem of sin and suffering.


The great theme of the Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ and His work of redemption for mankind. The person and work of Jesus Christ are promised, prophesied, and pictured in the types and symbols of the Old Testament. In all of His truth and beauty, the Lord Jesus Christ is revealed in the Gospels; and the full meanings of His life, His death, and His resurrection are explained in the Epistles. His glorious coming again to earth in the future is unmistakably foretold in the Book of Revelation. The great purpose of the written Word of God, the Bible, is to reveal the living Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ (read John 1:1-18).


Here are seven great things that the study of the Bible will do for us:

  1. The Bible discovers sin.

  2. The Bible helps cleanse us from the pollutions of sin.

  3. The Bible imparts strength.

  4. The Bible instructs us in what we are to do.

  5. The Bible provides us with a sword for victory over sin.

  6. The Bible makes our lives fruitful.

  7. The Bible gives us power to pray.


For your devotional reading and study of the Bible, here are several important, practical suggestions:

  1. Begin your Bible reading with prayer (Psalm 119:18; John 16:13-15.)

  2. Take brief notes on what you read. Keep a small notebook for your Bible study.


Read slowly through one chapter or perhaps two or three chapters or perhaps just on paragraph at a time. After reading, ask yourself what this passage means. Then reread it. It is often very helpful in finding out the true meaning of a chapter or passage to ask yourself the following questions, and then write the answers in your notebook:


  What is the main subject of this passage?

  Who are the persons revealed in this passage: Who is speaking? About whom is he speaking? Who is acting?

  What is the key verse of this passage?

  What does this passage teach me about the Lord Jesus Christ?

  Does this passage portray any sin for me to confess and forsake?

  Does this passage contain any command for me to obey?

  Is there any promise for me to claim?

  Is there any instruction for me to follow?


Not all of these questions may be answered in every passage.


Keep a spiritual diary. Either in your Bible study notebook mentioned or in a separate notebook entitled, "My Spiritual Diary," write down daily what God says to you through the Bible. Write down the sins that you confess or the commands you should obey.


Memorize favorite passages of the Word of God. No one is ever too old to memorize the Word of God. Write verses on cards with the reference on one side and the verse on the other. Carry these cards with you and review them while you're waiting for a train, standing in lunch line or in your spare time.


Meditate on the Word of God. To meditate means "to reflect, to ponder, to consider, to dwell in thought." Through meditation the Word of God will become meaningful and real to you, and the Holy Spirit will use this time to apply the Word of God to your own life and problems.  


How to Study God's Word

Part One

How to Study God's Word

Part Two

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