I Want to Know God in His Word; Where Do I Begin?
Yet again yesterday during the sermon I had to jettison some of the application to finish. We were thinking on the necessity of acknowledging and coming under the authority of God’s inspired and special word to us about who He is and what He wants for us. I had planned to share some directives or next steps for the person who might respond, “Alright, I know I need to come under the authority of God by reading and obeying the Bible, but where do I begin?” I have a strong conviction that with the help of the Spirit and some personal discipline, any person can read and understand the Bible in a way that helps them become like Christ Jesus. These steps will help a person wade into the Bible so that one day they might swim in the depths of the wisdom of God.
Eagle Heights Value: Biblical “The Bible is our authority for all we say and do.”
Doctrinal Foundation. The Spirit inspired the Bible (Acts 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:16) so that we might be saved through faith in Christ (2 Tim. 3:15). So that we might not do the will of Satan (2 Tim. 2:26). So that we may be adequately equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:17). The Spirit of God will use the word He inspired to accomplish these things in us.
Some Sobering Stats. However, A Lifeway Research Study Found that though the number one predictor of a person’s spiritual maturity is whether they read the Bible daily:
- Only 16% of church goers read the Bible daily.
- Only 32% of church goers read the Bible at least one time a week.
- 25% of church goers never read the Bible.
“Satan’s program is to undermine the authority of the Bible in any way possible.”
Someone might say: “I want to come under the authority of the Bible by reading it daily, but I don’t know where to start or what to do.”
1. Makes sure you have surrendered to Christ by faith. After all, the ultimate meaning of all of scripture is Jesus (Eph. 1:10). It would the tragedy of all tragedies to know, but not apply the answer. Those who are saved are indwelt and empowered by the Spirit of God (Ephesians 1:13). Those who are not saved cannot understand the Bible because they are not taught by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12-16).
2. Determine to Read. Growing in godliness doesn’t happen by accident but rather by intention and effort.
- Choose a book of the Bible. John is a good place to start.
- Start with a manageable goal. Determine to read for 10 minutes or to read one chapter per day.
3. Read and ask the right questions.
- Ask God for help. “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” Ps. 119:18
- Ask: “What did the Spirit inspire the author to mean?”
- Ask: “What should I do about what I now understand?”
4. Check yourself.
- Purchase a reliable study Bible. I recommend the ESV Study Bible. Once you have asked God for help and read the Bible, the study notes will help you to check your conclusions.
- Meet with someone to talk about how God is changing you through His word.
“Biblical humility is not about uncertainty; it’s about submitting yourself to the word of God.” Justin Taylor