How to Know the Bible

Posted: March 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

Currently I am teaching a class on Sunday nights to a group of about 15 people at our church.  The class is Fundamentals of the Faith, written by John MacArthur and the Grace To You staff.  It covers everything from Introduction to the Bible, the doctrine of God, the way of salvation, to understanding God’s will.  It is a great intro to the basics of the faith. 

At the outset of the class I asked those participating which week they were most excited about.  Most said they were excited about learning how to study the Bible.  This was very encouraging to me personally.  I believe that fundamental to the Christian worldview is the belief that God is there and that He has spoken through His Word.  That makes understanding the Bible critically important for us today.  What has our creator God said?  That question should drive us to the study of the Bible.

With that being said, the question facing many in our churches is one of “how”?  How do I study the Bible?  How can I make sense out of the many difficult passages?  How can I do more than merely read the Bible like another book?  Those are great questions.  And don’t think for a second that your people are not asking them.  I have found that most in our pews have a desire to study the Word.  What they lack is knowledge of how to do it.  Thus, they think it is a daunting and impossible task. 

It is not impossible but it can be daunting.  But we are not without help.  John 16:13 reminds us that the One who dwells within us, the Holy Spirit, will “guide us into all truth.”  John 17:17 tells us what truth is, “thy Word is truth.”  The Spirit leads us as we study the Bible.  We are not alone.  God has promised to be with us (Matthew 28).  So, as we acknowledge our sinfulness and unworthiness, we come in humility to the text.  To know the Bible, we come to the text in a variety of ways.

1. Hear the Bible–listen to sermons!  Sit under good preaching.  Listen to more than one preacher.  (www.oneplace.com)  Good preaching will not just tell you what the Bible means and how to apply it…good preaching will show you how the preacher gets what he says from the text.  In other words, good preaching helps the hearer know how to read, study, interpret, and apply the Bible.

2. Read the Bible–have a daily time when you just read the Bible.  I use my mornings to simply read through books.  I am in Luke now and just finished Jeremiah.

3. Study the Bible–more focused time in the Word.  A pen, notebook, commentaries, word studies, asking contextual questions,  and applying.

4. Memorize the Bible–store up what God has said.  What you are studying?  Memorize parts of it…or the whole thing if you’re a champ.

5.  Meditate on the Bible–Set your mind on what you are learning or memorizing.  Redeem your commute time or time in the day when you have some peace and quite. 

The more you saturate yourself with the Bible, the better you will know it.  The more it reverberates through your heart and mind, the easier the tough passages can be understood.  I recently read one study that said less than 10% of professing Christians claim to have read the entire Bible.  How many less have seriously studied it?  Let us be the exception and not the rule.  Lets seek to know and understand what the God who is there has said. 

At the end of the day…we live according to His Word.  Seems like we better know the Bible.

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