When we begin reading a book, we usually read the back cover and research about the author. We get a recommendation that the book is worth our time. We see the reason for the book–entertainment, information (non-fiction), transformation(diet/exercise), biography, history, science, etc. We then read a book in light of that reason. We do not read fiction as if it is fact–(if we do, we are in trouble).
When approaching the Bible, we have to study it as a book as a whole. It is not advised for one to just throw open a page and begin reading…people have used verses by themselves and out of context for their own purposes for a long time. The following is a framework to begin examining His word. Consider it the back cover…
Key points for reading and Studying God’s Word
- The Gospel is the center and purpose of scriptural revelation.
- All scripture is not the Gospel, but it is related to the gospel.
- The gospel is scripture’s main unifying message.
- The Gospel is our only hope for relationship with God.
- Behind scriptural revelation is intention: God means to accomplish something by revealing himself
- KEY: The Bible, in all it’s parts, points to and explains Christ in some way.
- Read the OT and NT through the lens of the Gospel.
- Resources to help begin to see this: Crossroad sermon series “Jesus, True and Better” ( online feed:search grooveshark.com Jesus true and Better Crossroad) and The Jesus Storybook Bible
- 2. Have a settled conviction that God’s word is true and necessary. It is trustworthy and true.
See scripture above.
- If you do not hold to it, you will always be second guessing, double-minded and unstable.
- Is your experience King or is the context that God spoke the Word, King?
3. We can understand the Bible.
- He spoke purposefully and gave us a way to understand—by the Spirit.
- We must apply ourselves in believing study. We do not “drift” into it.
- 1 Corinthians 2:6-14 exerpt—“For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God…we received the Spirit…that we might understand the things freely given us by God…interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual…but we have the mind of Christ.”
4. The Word is useful and effective.
- The Word is our food and our nurturing. It is the tool by which we grow and by which God accomplishes sanctification within us.
- It is the means by which we understand ourselves and God. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
- It is a joy to study it!
- To what benefit has studying the Bible brought to your life?
5. We must approach Bible study with a
humble and teachable heart.
- Scripture applies to you.
- Goal of transformation of your heart not mere information to remember
- Repentance—the Bible will show us places we are not like God and not obeying Him. By His power, we confess and turn from those ways.
- Begin with prayer. Continue with prayer. Persevere with prayer.
Question to leave with…are you applying yourself to God’s word? From all these things presented why or why not? Are you prepared and growing or ineffective and on a sinking foundation?