Bible Study is very important for every child of God. It is literally impossible to be an effective, growing Christian without it. The Scriptures tell us to study the Word of God. A life of faith requires that you know the Word of God, since that is the basis for your faith.
I recently asked three friends of mine whom I often share the Word of God with, to examine a certain Scripture and let me know what they got out of it. When I got their responses, I immediately learned something about how to study the Bible – or at least how other people also study it. Truth is, I probably also studied this way, but it never really occurred to me until I got these responses from my friends.
So quickly, here they are. When studying God’s Word, you must endeavour to do these three things.
So a brief explanation of each.
Inspect the text you are studying very thoroughly, to get everything that the text said, and everything that the text did not say. That is very important.
Too many times, we brush over the Scriptures too quickly, and so we miss the phrasing, the wording and the actual import of some of the verses in the Bible, or we miss the verses completely.
There’s where you get the impression that the Bible says ‘money is the root of all evil’. However, the Bible did not say that. Rather, ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’. Now that is a significantly different statement from the first, and reading it wrong could lead you to misunderstand the Word of God.
Remember also that all Scripture is given by divine inspiration, so there is a reason the Spirit of God chose to express His thoughts the way He did, and to get the most out of the Word, we need to read it as it is written.
Extend the particular verse or portion of Scripture to everything else that you know in God’s Word about the same situation.
We say in theological circles (well, this is hardly a theological study but) we say, ‘The Bible interprets the Bible’. Meaning what you read in one portion of the Scriptures will be explained using all other parts of Scripture.
Don’t isolate what you are studying. Sometimes, a verse is unclear unless seen in the light of other verses that throw more light and give it context – perhaps explaining some key terms, or a precedent elsewhere which can act as a guide to what you are reading now.
As you compare and insert and contextualize in this way, you are rightly dividing the word of truth.
Relate what you are studying now to your personal life. That is one of the quickest ways to get something out of the Scripture. The moment you can identify with what you are studying, instantly the revelation in it becomes obvious to you, and inspires faith in your heart.
Some of us Bible teachers are more guilty of this. We learn the Scriptures like we are learning to teach, learning for others but not for ourselves. That is terrible. Even when you are preparing for a group study where you will be teaching, it’s important to let the lesson be personally relevant to you before you try to teach it to someone else.
Of course, it is the Spirit of God who enlightens us as we study the Bible so we can understand it. I didn’t mention that because that was not the subject of my post. But as a concluding note, always submit your mind, your thoughts and your study time to be under the full direction of the Holy Spirit. Then He will guide you into all truth, as He has promised.
God bless you as you study the Word. Amen!
How do you study the Bible? Share your strategies with us in the comments!
This post was originally published on aliveinspirit.blogspot.com. Used with permission.