- Our objective in this study is to learn principles that will help us to handle God's Word properly. (2 Tim 2:15)
- It's impossible to overemphasize the importance of Bible study. The Word is our only means of knowing God and His Son, Jesus (Jn 20:30-31) It is our source of Light, Faith and Hope. (Ps 119:105; 130; Rom 10:17;' 15:4)
- Not only must we know the Bible, but we must understand how to rightly use it.
A. We need to first understand the nature of the Book itself.
- It is a Book from God, not from the mind of man. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:21)
- It is given to instruct us. It is perfect and complete. (2 Tim 3:15-17)
- It will stand forever. (Is 40:8; Mt 24:35; 1 Pet 1:25; Jn 12:48)
B. It is divided into two Testaments, the Old and the New.
- The Old was given to Israel to bring them to the time of Christ. (Gal 3:19-25)
- We live under the New Covenant. (Heb 1:1-2; 10:9; Rom 6:14)
C. Some common sense rules for Bible study:
- Note who is speaking, God, the devil, etc. Determine to whom it is being spoken. (Ps 14:1; Gen 3:4; 6:14; Deu 5:1-3; Mk 16:15-16)
- Study each passage in its proper setting. (Acts 16:31-34; Jn 3:3-5) Often simply reading the other Scriptures in the same context will explain the verse in question. Another example, read Acts 1:8, then go back to verse 1, read all the way through for proper understanding and application of verse 8.
- Let the Bible speak fully and freely on every subject. Do not read one verse and stop. Example, read Jn 3; 16 concerning salvation through "Believe on Him Only". We must take ALL that God has said on the subject regarding salvation. Read Mk 16:16, Acts 2:38.
- Use Scripture to explain Scripture. Example: "What constitutes Baptism? Is it Sprinkling? Immersion?” Let the Bible explain it, read Col 2:12; Rom 6:4 and Acts 8:38-39.
- We must keep in mind that the Bible contains things both simple and hard. (2 Pet 3:15-18). The rule is to master the simple before attempting the difficult. An example would be to study the book of Acts (literal history) before attempting Revelations (symbolic prophecy).
- Time and homework are necessary for a working knowledge of the Bible. We must spend TIME in study! (Heb 5:12). Learning the Bible does not happen overnight! You will gain in direct proportion to the time you are willing to invest. We must READ with a purpose. Do not let the Bible just fall open to any place and read at random. (1 Tim 4; 13). Good places to begin are with Luke, and then follow with the book of Acts. This will give a good understanding of the life of Jesus and the early church.
- We must STUDY! Effort is required to understand difficult Scriptures. (2 Tim 2:15). We must SEARCH the Scriptures. DO NOT take another person's word about the Bible, FIND IT OUT FOR YOURSELF\ (Acts 17:11).
- MEDITATE on the Word! Allow the Word of God to become a part of your life and the dominate factor in your thinking. (Ps 1:1-6; Deu 6:6-9; Col 3:16).
- MEMORIZE important Scriptures. Memorize the location of key verses. (Deu 6:6-9; Ps 119:1
- APPLY what you learn! (Mt 7:24-27; Jn 12:48; 2 Cor 5:10).
D. RESPECT the PURITY of God's Word. Allow no one to pervert the Word. (Gal 1:6-9; Mt 15:9; Rev 22:18; 2 Pet 2:1; 3:16).
Start NOW! Study, mediate and apply what you've learned and you will hear in that last day, "Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of thy Lord!" (Mt 25:21).