Reading the Bible?
The Bible is key to our Christian faith. It’s at the centre of church, it’s a huge part of our own personal study, it’s key for the evidence of God and we need to use the Bible to grow in our walk with Christ.
We are going to have a think about the Bible and different areas surrounding it. What the bible is? Why do we read the bible? How should we read the Bible? and How do we apply the bible to our own lives?
What is the Bible?
If we look at 2 Timothy 3 v 14-17
“14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
The Bible is …
Holy scripture that has been taught and learnt of. It is God-Breathed and has power and authority. That is why it is so important to us.
The Bible does …
The Bible is able to make us wise for salvation by faith in Christ Jesus. The word of God points to himself and his son, to show the way to salvation. It is also useful for many things like teaching, rebuking, correcting and training.
Why do we read the Bible?
We read the Bible because, as we have learn’t, it is the word of God and therefore has great power and wisdom. It makes people knowing of the salvation that lies with Christ and grows us in our walks of faith.
One area we must be aware of when reading the bible is James 1 v 22-25
“22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
When we read the word of God we should be prepared to not only listen to what we are reading but then to take action. We are not looking in the mirror to just change our outter image but to change our hearts. We don’t want to look in the mirror and then forgot what we look like but to look in the mirror, see the change that is needed and then allow God to make that change in us.
How to read the Bible?
When reading the Bible there are some helpful steps to just think through. If we invest in our bible reading, we will get a lot more out of it and if we allow God to show us, what he is wanting to show us, thats when his word comes alive.
- Pray – Before reading Gods word we should pray, if the bible is God-breathed and inspired, he is the one that will be able to show us the real meaning and change of his word, therefore praying to him is key to reading the bible.
- Read it – Sounds simple, but actually giving time and energy to reading the bible is important. Read Gods word intently and reading multiple times will benefit you.
- Place it – It’s always great to place the part of the bible you are reading, Where does the passage you are reading come in the bible?, Is it Old or New testament?, Which book is it in? and what other passages are surrounding that book?. Putting the passage and your reading into context is a great way of learning and allows you to remember that the Bible is one book, it’s Gods story.
- Divide it – Sometimes dividing the passage up is a great way to look at a story or certain passage.
- Analyse it – There are other ways to help you read the bible to. Looking at what type of genre you are reading can be helpful, e.g. eye witness accounts, stories etc. We can also use character studies, where we focus on an individual character. Another area is seeing if there is an repetition that occurs in the passage we are reading. These different tools can be helpful in our understanding of the scriptures.
How to apply the Bible?
When we apply the bible we must think about how it apply to the context its written in e.g. a letter to a church in particular time and place and then apply it into our own context. We should ask, What are the difference between then and know? and What principles haven’t changed?
The Bible is amazing and if you know Jesus personally, then i’m you have been influenced by the bible in some way at some point. These practical points are only helpful in reading the bible when we allow God to show us what he is trying to say.
God is the author and narrator of his inspired word, we must be ready to read and listen.
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This post was written by Pete Oram, an intern at Gold Hill and one of the leaders in our youth ministry and online assistants.
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