Studying the Bible

This article first appeared in The World Invader: Global Outreach Developments Int’l Monthly Newsletter, Issue 13, March 2004. You can read the entire edition here.

Many people ask me how to study the Bible. Over the years, thousands of books have been written on this very subject. I’m definitely not an expert on the subject, but I know with a careful study of the words in the text and the enlightenment of the Spirit of God, we can scratch the surface of the depths of the living Word.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct your paths.
— Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust: Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing

LORD: Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jesus is Lord

Heart: Represents the will or intentions of man

Lean: To rely for assistance or support

Understanding: To perceive and comprehend the nature and significance of

Ways: A course of conduct or action

Acknowledge: To admit the existence, reality, or truth of; To recognize as being valid or having force or power.

Direct: To manage or conduct the affairs of; To give authoritative instructions to; To show or indicate the way for; To cause to move in or follow a straight course

Path: A course of action or conduct.

Once terms have been defined simply substitute them for the words in the verse and come up with a basic understanding of the text.

Have a firm reliance on the integrity, ability, and character of Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Lord Jesus; with all your will and intentions; do not rely on assistance or support or on your own ability to perceive and comprehend the nature and significance of things; but in all your courses of conduct and action, admit the existence, reality and the truth of God; recognizing He has a valid force of power and He will manage and conduct the affairs of your life, giving authoritative instructions, moving you to follow a straight course of action and conduct.

This is a very simple way to examine the text, but it helps.

Now for the challenging part… do not continue to read if you’re not ready to be challenged.

Do you understand this verse? If you do, then you must live it! This is the danger of studying the Bible. This is the danger of knowing God. Otherwise, remain ignorant, keep on reading without understanding and live life interpreted through your own thoughts. However, if you’ve read the above verse and understand, disobedience is no longer a luxury of ignorance, but a conscious decision of rebellion.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
Lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6