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How to Study the Bible
BIBLE MASTERY PLAN
Bible — Christians must read the Bible to know God better and to stay close to Christ. The Bible is a primary source of inspiration and strength.
Mastery — The objective is not to master the Bible, but to let the Bible master us. The chief purpose isn’t amassing Bible knowledge. It is to convert this knowledge into life.
Plan — The plan consists of a systematic way to study the Bible. Systematic Bible study is absolutely necessary for spiritual growth.
Prayer — Always start your study with prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your understanding. Open your heart and mind to Him.
Privacy — Choose a time and place where you can be alone with God without interruption or distraction.
Self-Discipline — Discipline yourself to maintain a consistent time for study and for prayer. Stick to it. You will eventually “delight in the law of the Lord” and begin to “hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
The Right Stuff — Provide yourself with a good Bible, preferably a Life Application Study Bible. (You can get one at Wal-Mart or Chronicles by Target on Coors.) It answers a lot of the questions you will have as you study. You also need a notebook, a pen or pencil. Sit on a comfortable chair at a desk or table where you have good light.
Working the Plan:
This plan is designed to cover two chapters each week. You will spend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on one chapter; and Thursday, Friday and Saturday on another chapter.
First, select any book of the Bible, preferably a New Testament book. John is a good one to start with. No jumping from book to book.
Second, read this book through at one sitting or listen to it on a cassette tape. The object is to get quickly acquainted with the book and to have an idea of what you will encounter in it. Seventeen of the 27 books in the New Testament can be read in less than a half hour. Or read about the book in the Life Application Study Bible.
Third, follow this three day plan…
FIRST DAY — FACTS
Read one chapter only, then:
--- Seek out the five most important facts. Number them and write them in your notebook in your own words.
--- Find the key verse. Find the one verse that you think most perfectly unlocks the contents of the chapter. This will require real thought. (Note: occasionally you will not locate a key verse.)
--- List questions and puzzling passages in your notebook as you come across them. The Life Application Study Bible will answer 90% of your questions But if not, you can do research on these some other time. Don’t get distracted by what you don’t understand. Concentrate only on what you do understand.
SECOND DAY — SUMMARY
Read the same chapter again, then…
1. Summarize. Write in your notebook in your own words whatever you have found in this chapter. Perhaps it is a story of a spiritual truth. Write it so another person can see clearly what you saw.
2. List the characters And the placesmentioned. When you come across a person’s name, write it in your notebook with whatever you learn about him. List places mentioned and locate them on a map.
3. Memorize the KEY VERSE you found.
THIRD DAY — APPLICATION
Read the same chapter a third time, then…
1. Search the chapter for and record:
(a) any examples to be followed
(b) any errors to be avoided
(c) any duties to be performed
(d) any promises to claim
(e) any prayers to echo
2. Make a personal application. This climaxes the study of the Word. Let the living God search your heart, then the Holy Spirit will make God’s message real and vital to you. Be sure to record this in your notebook.
3. Prayer. Talk over with God what you feel led to think or feel or do as a result of this study.
Prepared by Richard A. Carpenter
With additions by Nona Lohr
Colonial Heights Christian Church