Fundamentals of the Bible Study

Praise the Lord! You have the desire to read the Bible. Let us pray. ” Dear God in heaven, I thank you for giving me this inquisitiveness to learn from your Word. I thank you for letting me know more of You. I ask for Your Holy Spirit to guide me in this journey. Let me experience the joy beyond understanding to gain the knowledge and wisdom you have reserved for me.” Amen.

If you are an avid reader searching for more truth, then jump to item 7 and up. Review 1 to 7 to check which one you missed.

For the beginners’ information, the Bible is divided into two major division, The Old Testament, and the New Testament. Check the table of contents to see the books in each division.

If you are a beginner, which means that this will be your first time reading the Bible, I recommend that you start reading the life of Jesus Christ given by the four Books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. If you insist on reading the Old Testament, read the Book of Proverbs by King Solomon and the Book of Psalm by King David. For a student, I recommend a Study Bible available at Christian Book Stores. (Specifically, I found Zondervan NASB Study Bible to have the informations I was looking for.) 

This chapter deals with the fundamentals that a disciple needs to learn and practice in his study of the Bible in order to grow in Christ. The 12 list below does not have to be followed in order. Check if you can find in the list some basic fundamental that you have not done yet:

1. Use the right Bible. There are many versions of the Bible in English; King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Version (NASV), Amplified Version (AMP) and others. When I started reading the Bible, I was reading the King James Version and I enjoyed it. The Holy Spirit guided me in the study. I am excited reading and when question comes, I just ignored it and continue reading. On church preaching or in Christian magazines I found the answer to the questions and the more I get excited reading the Bible because of wisdom and understanding I just received. Later on I found out that other versions of the Bible are more understood by other people. Version of the Bible which is easily understood by you is the right Bible for you. There are many translations of the Bible in different language and dialect. You may find them translated in your own language or dialect. Philippine Bible Society translated the Bible in Tagalog.

2. Develop Good Study Habits. Set a time when you can study the Bible without interruption. This could be very early in the morning or late at night whichever is applicable to you. Don’t do a schedule just because somebody else is doing it at that time. If you are a morning person, who sleeps early but wakes up early, I suggest that you study in the morning. If you are a night person, who wakes up late but sleeps late, I suggest you do it before you go to bed. If you are the owner of your business and you can select your own time, I suggest that the phone be off, and all let your secretary know that you don’t want any interruptions. Carry a pocket book Bible all the time. Read it whenever, wherever you have the opportunity to read it. When we had our own Bible study, I started using the concordance and The Interpreter’s Bible as references. 

3. Prepare the Heart. Matthew 7:7 said, “Ask and it shall be given to you.” Pray that God cleanse our heart. This means that when we read the Bible, we remove preconceived ideas and read to learn. This is the importance of reading the Bible one chapter at a time. When you stop, put a marker where you stop and continue reading next time you open your Bible. We let the Bible teach us.

4. Confess the Word concerning the Scripture
Confessing the word concerning the scripture is the verbal activation or saying out loud the word of God. Scriptures that are memorized are said loudly to stop the attacks of Satan. Attacks of the flesh are laziness, boredom, lack of enthusiasm, lack of understanding, lack of energy. Stop and rest, confess the Word. Confessing the Word binds Satan. Confessing the Word of God overcomes the lies of Satan and of the flesh.

5. Bind Satan from interfering and ask the Father to loose the Holy Spirit to minister. Because we are still in the physical realm where trials and tribulation are present, binding Satan and his demons is essential to effectively function in the purpose that God wants us to do. We are given the authority to command Satan in Christ name. Bible Study is important to know the scripture and fight Satan with the Word of God instead of our strength. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, …” Eph. 6:12. We need the Holy Spirit to be loose in our life to combat the attacks of Satan. In Romans, Paul called it as walking according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh. Satan is a defeated foe but he can still influence Christians due to lack of knowledge. The two verses below helped me in my journey in life.

Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” New American Standard Bible (NASB) 

Mark 10:27: “Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6. Don’t get sidetracked. Be focused. Be consistent in your time for Bible Study. Trust that the Lord through the Holy Spirit will guide you in your Bible Study to make it effective. Quality time is better than the quantity of time spent on the study of the Word. Do not condemn yourself when the mind start to wander. Focus needs practice.

7. Read systematically under the Holy Spirit guidance, and be alert to what He will teach you. Listening to the Holy Spirit during the study of the Bible is essential. At this point I ask the Holy Spirit directly on what He wants me to learn that day. After I opened the Bible, I have faith that He will answer.

8. Record insights, ideas and questions. I record the insights that I get during my personal Bible Study. I found out that when I come back to it, I got refreshed. More often than not, I got straightened or corrected on possible errors I have in my thoughts. Recording is important so that we don’t lose all those valuable time locating verses of scriptures on some special topics that are important.

The following is when you find somebody you can study the Bible with:

9. Start with a book in the Bible that both of you agree. Agree how many verses each will read. Read to someone out loud and /or listen while they read to you. This is the importance of the Bible Study Group. The more senses we use in the study of God’s Word, the better. If you have somebody read aloud
to you, you are also using your sense of hearing.

10. Discuss with someone what you are reading and what the Holy Spirit is teaching you. Discussing the Word of God with other believers can gain new insights. I remember studying a particular verse of the Bible for 4 hours in the morning. I was excited because I was getting new insight. During the group Bible Study, I mentioned the verse but before I was able to give my insight, somebody interpreted the verse and I agree 100% on his interpretation although this verse was just presented to him and he did not spend 4 hours to study it. He blurted out the answer and my heart says, that’s the correct interpretation.

Find out what the Bible is telling you. Look for commands to obey. Tell others what you learned.

11. Receive the Word with an open and submitted heart. In my experience in number 10 above, If I did not have an open heart, I can easily say that my interpretation is better because I used more tools to find out the answer and I spent 4 hours to get it. I have to submit myself to the Holy Spirit when He told me that the interpretation and answers given by my brother is better than my insight. Open and submitted heart means that we are always ready to learn from the Lord. The opposite of this is having a closed mind, not willing to learn new teachings because what we have are enough. We must be teachable when it comes to the Word of God.

Find out what the Bible is telling you. Look for commands to obey. Tell others what you learned.

12. Promotion from Holy Spirit’s direction. I love to start home Bible Studies with people who are hungry for the Word of God. I had a Bible study that lasted for 5 years. I had a tremendous growth myself in the knowledge and wisdom from the Holy Spirit. There was never a dull moment. Promotion comes when we develop leaders to be facilitators. Facilitators lead Bible Studies. More facilitators, more promotions will be given by the Holy Spirit. But remember, to whom much is given, much is required.

Please read: How To Do Home Bible Study With 10 People or Less.

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