SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES
What should a Christian know about the Bible? Bible study must be carried on in full dependence on the Holy Spirit. He is our teacher, and we should constantly seek His guidance. John 14:26; 16:13. There is no quick, easy way to learn the Bible. It involves hard work for everyone. However, never forget that the author of the book is always present, and who knows more about what He wrote than the author. If you do not understand, pray and ask Him to teach you what it says. John 14:26.
A. The first thing to do is set aside a definite time each day for reading the Bible.
It is a good plan to start at Matthew and go through the New Testament. Then begin at Genesis and read through the entire Bible. Don’t read so that you can say you’ve been through the Bible, but read so you will know what the Bible says.
B. When you come to an unfamiliar word, look it up in the dictionary.
If you come to a passage you cannot understand, first try to get the meaning by studying it carefully. If this fails, make a note of the problem, and look it up in a commentary when you get a chance.
C. Compare Scripture with Scripture.
Don’t try to build a doctrine on a single verse. Find out what is the consistent teaching in the entire Bible on the subject. “Truth does not contradict truth.”
D. You will be well rewarded if you write down an outline of each chapter, answering the following questions:
(1) What have I learned about Christ? (Even in the Old Testament you will find the Savior in types and shadows.)
(2) What is the principal message of this chapter?
(3) What precious promise may I claim?
(4) Which is the outstanding verse?
(5) What sin am I taught to avoid?
(6) What example is there for me to follow?
(7) What are the difficult verses?
E. During the day you should try to discuss what you have read with
someone else. This will serve two purposes: it will help to fix the lesson in your own mind; it will enable someone else to share the blessing that you received from your Bible study. Malachi 3:16.
F. Try to memorize two or three verses of Scripture each week.
Begin with familiar Gospel verses such as: John 1:12; John 3:16; John 3:36; John 5:24; Romans 10:9, etc. Review all memory verses constantly until you really have them set in your mind and heart. Write them on little cards like a business card and carry them with you to review through out the day. You will find your own life enriched, and you will be better able to speak to others.
G. The great goal of Bible study, of course, is to put into practice what you have learned.
We should allow the Word to rebuke us, to correct us, and to make us more like the Lord Jesus. Jeremiah 15:16. Remember when you study the Bible you are studying an eternal book. Everything you learn about it here is an investment for eternity. So give it your very best.