How to Study Your Bible
From the time I was converted as a boy of fourteen, the Bible was to me the most interesting book in the world, and though forty years have gone by since I first knew my sins forgiven, no other book has ever displaced it in my affections. Because of this, I am really surprised when young Christians tell me that they are not particularly interested in the study of the Word of God. I wonder why. Is it because after all one is really never born again and therefore has no appetite for spiritual things? Or is it because the Bible has never been approached from exactly the right standpoint? Let me suggest a few ways to study the Bible that may prove helpful if followed out.
- Read the Bible consecutively.Become thoroughly familiar with the history and arrangement of the Book. Don’t dip into it in a mere haphazard way, but if you have never done so before, begin with Genesis and read right on through. You will find it a marvelous unfolding of God’s ways with men. Then as you read each chapter, ask God by His Holy Spirit to open it up to you. There are several questions you might put to each and then find the answer in the Word, as for instance:
- Is there anything about Christ in this chapter?
- Is there any picture of redemption presented here?
- Is there anything special for me to follow or any commandment for me to obey?
- After you have read your Bible through, study it topically. Take the great outstanding themes of Holy Scripture and with the aid of a concordance, follow them through the Word. See what God Himself has to say about Creation, Sin, Redemption, the New Birth, Faith, Repentance, Justification, Sanctification, the Work of the Holy Spirit, the Priesthood of Christ, His Second Coming, the Judgments and kindred topics. If you have never read Dr. C.I. Scofield’s little hand book, “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth,” I would urge you to read this with your open Bible before you and look up every reference.
- Study your Bible biographically. Read the life stories of the men and women whose names are household words in every Christian home. Some of these people were relatively good, some were very evil. But all were sinners and needed a Savior. In many of them the Grace of God shines out in a wonderful way, and they become examples for us as we seek to tread the path of faith. In others, it is rather their willfulness and rebellion against God that is emphasized, and this is in order that we may take warning by their failures and not walk as they walked, thus incurring the judgment of God.
- Study your Bible looking for the great texts that you can use in helping other people who may be in difficulty or perplexity about their souls. As you do this, it may be well to have a colored pencil or a fine pen handy so that you can mark the particular passages that appeal to you. In this way, they become yours in a special sense.
I can’t give further suggestions within the limits of this article, but I can promise you that if you will follow out all the hints given here, your Bible will become a new book to you, and you will never complain that it is dull and uninteresting.