Summary: Here is a simple bible study method that anyone can use to understand any passage of scripture. This seromn will teach you step by step how to study your Bible.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR BIBLE COME ALIVE
The Bible is the most wonderful and most important book ever written. It contains the most important message ever written – the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, it is also the most taken for granted and ignored book of history. Even those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ do not study as they should.
The reasons for this are myriad. They include: “I do not understand it.” “I am afraid that I will misunderstand it and mess up my spiritual understanding.” “I cannot figure out what it means because it is too hard and deep.” “I do not have enough schooling to study the Bible – you need a theological degree.”
None of these reasons or statements is valid! Not one is even close to being accurate. God wrote the Bible for each and every believer. He imbued it with His life-giving power for each of us. He made it infinitely applicable to everyday living for each person. He wrote it so we would come to know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior and not as some intellectual foundation for religion or deep theological discourse.
I John 5:13 says this specifically: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” It was written specifically for US!
John also addresses the question of difficulty and education: “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone should teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (I John 2:27) This means that you have the word of God and the Holy Spirit who guides you in the word of God and you cannot mess it up, get it wrong, or miss its meaning because HE is your teacher. He teaches you and leads you. This verse also says specifically that HE will insure it is true and not a lie.
We need to learn to study and listen to the Holy Spirit and He will make the Bible come alive to us. I want to show you a simple method for reading the Bible which will equip you to listen carefully to the Holy Spirit so He can “teach you all things.” (John 14: 25-6) This is simple and foolproof. Anyone who can read can do this. I promise you that God will speak to you through His word and you will see the Bible come alive. I promise you the Holy Spirit will not let you “mess it up” per His promise in I John and Jesus’ promise in John 14.
This Bible study method is based on 3 simple exercises which will make it come alive. There is not any magic in this method. It has been around for a long time. It is simply a means of slowing you down so you read carefully and slowly enough for the words to penetrate and for God to speak to you. Each exercise will utilize a few simple questions to guide you through a passage of scripture carefully and completely.
These three exercises are: 1) Observation– What does the passage say? 2) Interpretation– What does the passage mean? 3) Application- What does the passage require?
We will use 2 Peter as a textbook for learning these exercises. We will do each one on a portion of chapter 1. You do not need to spend more than 15-25 minutes on each one. Set aside a standard time and just work each day for the allotted amount of time. There is no rush and no need to finish any exercise. Remember that a major reason this method of study works is that it slows you down so you can read carefully and completely and not miss anything. Once you see how simple this is, then you can finish the chapter and the book on your own. God’s word will come alive to you!
Exercise 1 - Observation
We need to read carefully the passage so we can glean all of the richness and beauty in it. The Bible says that every single word is inspired by God Himself – do not miss any of them! We need to simply stop and observe the passage. We are literally going to write down what it says. What concepts and ideas; people, places and things; are written in this passage?
Get out a notepad or notebook. Write “Observation” across the top line. We are going to write on the page the answer to the following question: Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why. Yes, it is that simple. Write the word “who” outside the red line on the left of the page and then read 2 Peter 1 very slowly. Stop and write down each “who” as you come to it.