10 things you should know about Bible study

1. Studying the Bible is important because God is important.

We study the Bible because it is God’s word to the world. We want to hear it. We want to slow down and listen carefully, considerately, and reverently to what you have to say. What value do these words have? “There is more to be desired than gold, even a lot of fine gold; sweeter than honey and honeycomb ”(Psalm 19:10). Two of the greatest pleasures in our world are: money and food, and the Bible satisfies us more than either of them.

The apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is useful for teaching, reproving, correcting, and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Just as you “breathe out” each of your words, God “exhales” each word in the Bible. It is only inspired in that sense. We cannot say this of any other book on any other shelf in the world, only the Bible.

2. Studying the Bible is different from reading the Bible.

When we read the Bible, we move through the text at a natural reading speed. But when we study the Bible, we slow down and think about it. We ask questions and search for meaning. We take the implications into account.

You can read Ephesians 1: 1-14 in thirty seconds, but you can study it for years. You can get to the end of the Gospel of John reading in two hours. But you can never reach the end of the search for your depths.

This means that we can look forward to a life of happy movements and deepening in the Word of God.

3. Studying the Bible requires diligence and dependence.

We dedicate ourselves to studying, that is hard work. But we must also pray that God will open our minds to understand that this is addiction.

Paul said to Timothy, “Think what I say, for the Lord will give you all understanding” (2 Timothy 2: 7). We believe that God gives understanding.

When evangelist George Whitefield became a Christian, he began to read the scriptures with intense devotion every day. Notice his humble demeanor: “I started reading the scriptures on my knees, putting all the other books aside and praying every line and word if possible. . . I have received fresh life, light and power from above every day ”(Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield, 1:81).

Whether we kneel while studying or not, that should be the posture of our heart.

4. When we study the Bible, we look for the meaning that the author intended.

We honor people when we try to understand them. We dishonor them when we carelessly put words in their mouths. We express our love for God by trying to know what his word really says, not what we mean by it.

Every text in the Bible has two authors: the divine author and the human author. The divine author made sure that the human author’s words were exactly what he intended. Peter wrote: “No prophesied will was produced by human will, but men spoke of God when led by the Holy Spirit” (1 Peter 1:21). Our job is to seek the meaning of the divine author by realizing the meaning of the human author.

5. A key to studying the Bible is asking the right questions.

We often take the time to study the Bible with answers to our questions. With this in mind, one of the best ways to progress is to learn to ask the most fruitful questions. Here are five:

What does that word mean?
How is the flow of thoughts of the author?
How did the author organize and structure this text?
What is the author’s purpose or goal in writing this to his audience?
How does this text relate to the gospel and the great story of the Bible?

6. The literary context is crucial.

Another important question: “How does my text fit into the larger literary context of this section of the book?” In other words, “Why did the author write this?”

If I received a three-page letter from a distant friend, not only would I be reading page 2. You could spend all day “studying” this page, but until you have read pages 1 and 3 you will not fully understand (or maybe not even correctly) your friend’s message.

The human authors of the Bible organized their books on purpose. So let’s go back and think about the author’s current of thought. Studying the Bible means thinking paragraph by paragraph, paragraph by paragraph, and seeing how it all fits into the overall structure and flow of the book.

7. The Bible leads us to the heart of God.

Thomas Goodwin wrote that the Scriptures were written “to break and set the heart of God before us” (Goodwin, Works, 4: 208). All scriptures show the multifaceted glory of God. Show God’s heart that we can trust ours.

Paul wrote, “All that was written long ago was written for our instruction, so that through the perseverance and consolation of the Scriptures we may have hope” (Rom. 15: 4). God wants to teach us not as an end in itself, but to warm our hearts of hope. He gave us the Bible because he loves us and wants us to feel loved by him. He wants us to wait for him and know, deep down, with unwavering confidence, that we are his.

8. The purpose of scripture study is to see the Savior.

All lasting growth in the Christian life results from the contemplation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus: “all, with our faces uncovered, contemplating the glory of the Lord, we are transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Therefore, as we continue to grow spiritually, we do so by “seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (4: 4).

We study the Bible to see Jesus more clearly. And by beholding the glory of God in Christ, we become like him. But it takes work: We work to study the Bible to eliminate all of our misconceptions of Christ. We study because we are not happy with a blurred vision of him.

The purpose of scripture study is to see the Savior and be transformed with this satisfying view of Him.

9. Studying the Bible is a community project.

We advance in the study of the Bible when we do it together, working on questions and sharing ideas. And that includes not only face-to-face conversations, but also reading the thoughts of others. The Bible study guides help us with ideas and questions to provoke further reflection.

And the comments? If I were studying the book of Romans and John Stott was also sitting at the table with me, I would without hesitation ask his opinion on the text. I can not do this; but I appreciate that you have written your own thoughts in your comment. If we believe that the Spirit is leading us to progress in our study, we must also assume that He is also helping others. Therefore, proper reliance on the Holy Spirit in study does not lead to isolation. It leads us to learn from others.

10. Study of the Bible leads to true fulfillment.

What can we expect from the Bible study? We can expect it to flourish in the way that matters most to us. Psalm 1 speaks of the blessed or happy person who meditates, not only reads, the word of God. Anyone who meditatively studies the word of God is “like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in its season, and its leaf going nowhere” (Psalm 1: 3).

Who doesn’t want to be really happy? Who doesn’t want to live a full life? The God who created us shows us the way: from morning to evening, meditating with delight on his word.

The ancient Israelites were taken captive for their sins and lost their national prominence, causing many to wonder why God chose Israel. Regardless, there is a bright future for these people. When Christ returns to this earth and establishes the kingdom of God, He will restore Israel to her position of leadership in the world (Isaiah 11:12; 14: 1-2). Then an obedient and humble people will play the role God assigned them.

Privacy Policy