I. Why Should You Spend Time Studying the Bible?
A. The results.
1. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:30-32).
2. You will grow (1 Peter 2:2).
3. You will be built up and become strong (1 John 2:14) (Acts 20:32).
You will be kept from error (Matthew 22:29).
5. You will be built up in your faith (Romans 10:17).
B. This has been God's encouragement throughout history.
1. The kings of Israel were told to read God's Word all the days of their lives (Deuteronomy 17:18-19).
2. Timothy was told to give attention to reading the Scripture in order that he might rightly divide it (1 Timothy 4:13) (2 Timothy 2:15).
3. To those who were confused about who He was, Jesus said, "Did you never read the Scriptures?" (Matthew 21:42).
II. A Simple Bible Study Method
Discipline yourself to a certain time of the day to read. (Example: early morning, lunch time, or in the evening after others have gone to bed). Establishing the habit of a certain time of day, helps you to be consistent. The Scripture encourages you to, "Exercise (means to train or discipline) yourself to godliness" (1 Timothy 4:7).
Next, find a place where you will not be distracted by people or noise. This helps in concentration and receptiveness to the word.
Begin by reading one chapter at a time. Don't jump from place to place, but read from the beginning of a book to the end. Start in the New Testament.
After reading one chapter, pick out one or more verses that interest you. Write these verses out on a piece of paper. Leave space on your paper for answering the following questions.
First, write one sentence describing in your own words, what you observe the verse is saying.
With this same verse ask yourself, why is this passage important? Does it reveal something about the character of God? Does it reveal a responsibility you have? Is there a promise given? Is this a command? Is this an example you should follow? Do the same with any additional verses.
Next ask yourself how you can apply this truth to your life. This requires careful consideration. What action should you take? Do you need to confess a sin? Do you need to stop doing something? Should you start doing something differently? Ask forgiveness? How will you obey this command? Must you surrender your heart? Specifically, how will you carry out these changes in your actions or attitudes? Write these conclusions on your paper.
Pray now and ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and to put into your heart what is necessary to completely obey His word.
Follow these steps for any additional verses.
For new believers, be sure to read through the New Testament several times before reading the Old Testament. This will better help you to understand the Old Testament.
III. Resources in Studying the Bible
With the Word, by Warren Wiersbe; Published by Thomas Nelson.
An Exposition of the Whole Bible, by G. Campbell Morgan; published by Revell.
C. Halley's Bible Handbook, by H.H. Halley; published by Zondervan.
D. What the Bible Teaches, by R.A. Torrey; published by Revell.