Explore new horizons of a living faith
These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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For the Bible to get into me, I have to get into the Bible. Just as we are helped to the extent we know anything, the Bible will work in us to the extent that we invest in it.
We can get into the Bible on two levels - Bible Lite covers the breadth of the Bible by reading and hearing others on the Bible. Bible Deep involves studying or memorizing so that the text gets deeper into us. The Hand Illustration draws out the significance of each of these methods.
There is little instruction in the Bible about how we ought to get into the Bible. The following capture some of these instructions. They show the heart or intention we need to dig into God’s Word, but do not go into detail on how it should be done.
The simplest way is to listen to other people reading the Bible and preaching it. These people have spent time studying, they then share the results of their study with us. The main advantage of this is that it brings other people’s perspective to us. In Luke 4 we have an illustration of Jesus reading from the Bible and then teaching from it.
Luke 4: ... 16 When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures.17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
18 "The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the LORD's favor has come.*"
20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently.21 Then he began to speak to them. "The Scripture you've just heard has been fulfilled this very day!"
Reading the Bible is key to gaining a breadth of knowledge. This breadth helps keep everything in perspective. Here is the ruling given to a king, which is good advice to us.
Deuteronomy 17: 18 "When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.19 He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees.20 This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel.
Study is a bit deeper than reading. The mark of it is that it involves thoughtful reflection and writing out the results of the study. This takes us from a casual knowledge of the Bible to a depth that will help us to engage with God in our reality. Here is the command given by God in Joshua 1
Joshua 1: 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
For resources on studying the Bible you could use the Bible Explorer section of this site. Print out pages, read the passages and write down some reflections on the questions asked. Even better, do it with some friends.
Memorising the Bible has a profound effect on us,it is the best way of getting from the head to our inner being. Throughout the New Testament it is clear that both Jesus and the Apostles had memorised large portions of the Bible. When memorised it is immediately available for use. See the example of Jesus in Matthew 4 here.
Matthew 4: 3 During that time the devil came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread."
4 But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 'People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
A further dimension to memorising the Bible is what it does to us unconsciously. This is hard to put across in a set of text. It is seen far more experientially. Here is the experience of one of the Bible writers.
Psalm 119: 10 I have tried hard to find you— don't let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Two helpful resources for memorising are:
The process of meditation or reflection on Bible passages does more than merely give deeper insight. Have a look at the outworking of meditating on the Bible from Psalm 1.
Psalm 1:1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
Meditation on the Bible is what we do as we get into the Bible. Listen to it, read, study and memorise it. Take the extra time to think about what has been said. Reflect on it and compare it to your life. Ask God how He thinks you are doing and what you should do about what is written.
Growth only happens as God’s word is put into practice. If we are not active physically, then our physical food just becomes fat. Look at what Jesus says about using what we find in the Bible in Mark 4.
Mark 4:24 Then he added, "Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given*—and you will receive even more.25 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them."
Page appears in Bible Explorer titled -Get into Bible
HOW TO KNOW THE BIBLE