10 Tips for Studying Your Bible
I had a conversation about God’s word being written on our hearts.
The topic was centered around exploring the thought that if God has written his law on our hearts from birth why are we also born in sin.
After some research I discovered this was a reference to Jeremiah 31:33 which says:
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
In this blog I don't want to elaborate on the scripture itself but to share some core things that will benefit new and seasoned believers as we study. Reading our bibles and walking away without understanding can be a cause for discouragement and confusion. We want to “get it” and we get it by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth. That's one of his functions and he'll do it if we allow him to do it. That doesn’t mean we’re going to get it right away but we are encouraged in Proverbs 3:5-6 to get an understanding. When we ask God from a sincere heart for understanding he doesn't deny us.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth and he leads us to truth. He ONLY says truth and he only speaks what he hears.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
First, we have to read in context. Anything else will breed confusion. I can’t make it any plainer than that and culturally speaking followers of Christ and non-followers like to take Scriptures out of context and make them fit wherever we want them to fit.
A few basic things to ask yourself and the text as you study:
1) who wrote it
2) who were they talking to and talking about
3) when was it written
4) what was happening during the time it was written
5) what is happening before the scripture and after it
6) Are their cross references for it
7) Is there historical info I can parallel with it
8) Do some of the words have a different meaning in Hebrew
or Greek? If so define them so you have a better understanding
9) How does this apply to my life right now, today
10) what is the spiritual application to my life right now, today
Question the text.
Question yourself as you read the text.
Don’t know the meaning? Look it up don’t just read over it and close your bible.
Studying is not about quantity or being able to say you did it. Studying God's word is about putting the work in to know more about him, his sacrifice for us and him in us today. He wants to reveal himself to us through Rhema (revelation). When the Lord gives life and understanding to Logos (his written word) it becomes Rhema (his revealed word) to us. And then we get it! And when we get it we can apply it.