4 Ways to Study the Bible
Christians should love to study God’s Word. It is a sad testimony to our remaining sin that we are often bored with the Bible and resistant to study it. One of the means and effects of pursuing maturity is a deeper desire to study God’s Word. Here are four practical helps to assist you in approaching the study of the most precious book on earth:
1. Study the Bible repentantly.
James 1:21 says, “Put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” The reason we aren’t transformed by Scripture as we should be is mainly because our own wickedness keeps us from receiving and applying the Bible to our lives. This is the point of the parable Jesus told about the different kinds of soils. The seed is the same for each type of soil. In the first three types of soil, the Word is kept from thriving because of thorns, weeds, and rocks. So, when you come to God’s Word, spend some time confessing and forsaking your sin and freshly embrace Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. As you read, identify specific ways in which you have rebelled and find yourself rejoicing in Christ.
2. Study the Bible prayerfully.
Ephesians 4:18 says that, apart from Christ, we are darkened in our understanding. On our own, we will never be able to understand and apply God’s Word. We need God’s help to open our eyes and allow us to see His glory. Thus, the Psalmist prayed, “Open my eyes that I might see wonderful things in Your word” (Psalm 119:18). The Psalmist understood that he needed God’s help and so he asked God for supernatural assistance. Our constant plea should be, “Help” as we read God’s Word. Charles Spurgeon said, “If you would understand the Word of God in its difficult points, if you would comprehend the mystery of the gospel of Christ, remember, Christ’s scholars must study upon their knees.”
3. Study the Bible constantly.
Psalm 1 encourages us to meditate on God’s Word “day and night.” We are to not just study the Bible every now and then. We are to study the Bible all the time. This makes sense doesn’t it? Maximum exposure to God’s Word will lead to maximum transformation in our lives. Donald Whitney wrote, “Little Bible intake will result in little resemblance to God’s Son.” Let’s figure out ways to maximize our intake of Scripture.
4. Study the Bible purposefully.
What should be our purpose in studying the Bible? I propose that we should not study Scripture merely to gain information (although that will certainly happen), but to study the Bible in order to encounter Jesus Christ. Every page, chapter, story, command, and event is meant to reveal the glory of the Savior. The Bible is not merely a manual for how to live successfully. The Bible reveals God’s sovereign purposes to center everything in the universe on Jesus Christ. John Calvin said, “The scriptures should be read with the aim of finding Christ in them.” Whenever we lose sight of the hill of Calvary, we have lost our way.