How to Study Your Bible

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Luke 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

There was a certain lawyer that came to Jesus and posed a question. Christ’s response is the very response that we need to answer every time we come to the reading of God’s word. How readest thou? What are we come to God’s word for? What am I seeking to gain from God’s word and even more what kind of attitude do I have when I open its pages? This reference is one pre-requisite for the study of God’s word. Often in my experience a beautiful revelation in God’s word and I want to share it with others and I have an urge to share and show it but even with what I’m sharing I’m constrained to confess it is not all of it. It is not all there is. If we were to think I have got it and know it, we shut ourselves up from learning anything. We might think we have the whole thing when the reality is it is just a small portion. God declares his name to be I AM, past, present and future all in one. God is infinite from everlasting to everlasting and such is his word. What we find in the Holy Scriptures is infinite. You cannot know everything there is to know from God’s word. You can spend eternity studying the Bible and you will not know it as you ought to know it.

And to all eternity men may be ever searching, ever learning, and yet never exhaust the treasures of His wisdom, His goodness, and His power. {SC 109.1}

There are many today who think they do know it and proof of that is that we have many denominational churches today and those denominations have their offshoots and there are all these independents and groups. Why? Because they think have got it. They are convinced in their mind that they know what God is saying and they think we can get people along in that train of thought. The issue is that we can’t do that in God’s word. Yes it is true but we will come to a point where God’s word is an expression of his thought. There only can be one true church as words express thoughts and there is only one God, mind and true expression. There are so many churches today as there are so many different minds interpreting God’s word saying it means this and that.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

There are multiple ways to death but to the individual that is the way and we have many individuals thinking that is the way but every way is a way to death. The problem is described in Jeremiah. It seems to be so right and correct yet is it?

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Is the devil deceitful? Yes he is but the heart is more deceitful than all things. Your heart is more deceitful than the devil and it will deceive you often. This is why there is a way which seems right but it is a deception. Your heart has played a trick on you.

Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings.

You don’t know your heart but God does. He searches it and he will give to every man according to that which is in their heart.

The Dangers of Our Deceptive Heart

We can’t trust our own mind and heart.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way.  8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  9 [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Why do they perish? Why do they end up in the way of death? Because they receive not the love of the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

These words should hit all of us powerfully because my heart is deceitful and if I will not give up my heart and lay down my thoughts and opinions and take God at his word, God will say okay you want to believe that I will let you and he will permit things in your life to take place that you will be convinced that lie you believe is the truth. Look at many religions today and speak with many people personally and you can’t change their mind. They will say I made this experience here and there and because I made this experience what you are telling me is wrong and I’m right so God says be happy with what you want. God wants us to be happy with because God is love. When we look at God who gives a strong a delusion he says be happy as time on earth is so short. Make a consolation now, make the best you can. That is their consolation now but we want a consolation that will last through eternity even if I have to give up my own ways now. In giving up my own ways, I have to give up my own thoughts and actions. When we open the word of God we must not put our thoughts upon God’s word. We must come to his word as a blank page not placing any expectations of our own upon it thinking this is what God means when he doesn’t. God himself must interpret his word not you. Why must he interpret his word? Why must I lay down my own thoughts?

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

This is God’s word it is not your word. It is an expression of his thoughts. What you find in the word of God is not what you will find in yourself naturally.

Job 11:7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?  8 [It is] as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

Of your own self you cannot find God and you cannot understand his word. You need God to teach you and therefore before you open God’s word you must always commence with a prayer and in that prayer you must confess to God I can’t understand this of myself or trust the interpretation that I can bring out of it. I need you to teach me your ways and thoughts and therefore we are to claim his promise. Jesus will not leave us alone in the study of his word but that we will have a teacher.

John 16:13 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 show you things to come.

We are to ask the Lord for his Holy Spirit, his divine teacher to teach us thus saith the Lord. Our privilege in having this teacher is described. We are studying the word of God and he is infinite. He is higher than the heaven and deeper than the depths. How can we find and understand God?

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

The deep things of God, this infinite I AM, the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

This Spirit has been given to us and this Spirit searches all the deep things of God and all the deep things of God that he sees fit to give to us. They are ours and in the word of God you will find the deep things of God. When approaching the study of God’s word this verse is also to be born in mind. Here is the spirit of which we ourselves must approach him with. We need the spirit of God to bring us to this point of condition to which we will be teachable.

Mark 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

When we study the word of God we must come to it with the humility of a child. When Solomon was given the kingdom at the passing of his father David, he fell broken before the Lord and said I am but as a little child and I know not the way to come in and go out. Like Solomon God will say I love that attitude, I will give you my wisdom. You will understand the deep things. When little children are as little children, do they put their interpretation upon things? They read it as it is. They will look at it and will say if that is what it says, then that is the way it is. They don’t come to the word of God with a prejudice or self-defensive trying to justify themselves. They are like a white piece of paper, daddy you tell me and when daddy tells the child then that is the way it is and that is the way it is when you study God’s word.

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Read it as it reads and exactly what it says is the way it is. Don’t try to put an interpretation on it. If that is what daddy says, then that is the way it is.

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Approach the study of God’s word with that confession. I am a liar, but God is true. Last study we saw that God’s word produces the thing it says. God is infinite and we are infinite. God is righteous and we are the opposite. God’s word works. Let God be true and you a liar. We are 100% dependent upon God. We have nothing we can contribute to God’s word, nothing. We must gain every appreciation and every interpretation from God himself. We have nothing to contribute.

Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

Don’t add to it, don’t take away from it. Every word of God is pure and there is nothing you can do to remove it. In the reading of God’s word in seeking to understand it as it reads in its purity, if you will read any other version than the King James you will be disadvantaged. The gospel in its entirety is not in any of the other versions. Many will say its God’s word, no it’s not. In the dark ages Satan worked hard to keep the word of God away from the people but the time is come that he can’t so what he is done is now is say we will let the Bible be in every home but with many different versions and translations with subtle little twists. You can read it that’s fine, you can do what is written in there, but it’s not God’s word. Some say the King James Version is an old language and we don’t speak that anymore.

If you have ever read the preface to the King James Version you will find they didn’t speak that way in the time of King James either. When the King James version was commissioned it was specified they word the language in a higher grade of English so that it was not to be on the same common language of the people. The people were to come up in their understanding. Today all of the contemporary English versions take God’s word down and unfortunately man can never be brought up. In universities they will tell you that if you want to understand perfect grammar read the Bible. The professors with doctorates in English will tell you perfect English is in the Bible. It will purify your language and expressions. Just in daily conversation people will realise something different and its pure speech is not something the world rejects someone who can speak clearly.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God,

Don’t study to prove a debate or your point with someone else. Study to please God.

2 Timothy …a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

This is one point in which we all need the Holy Spirit to direct us on. Rightly dividing. We have before us a book but it is not written as man writes. You can’t read the Bible from the front to the back, that is man’s way, God’s way is not our ways. I read the Bible from the front to the back as a youth but I never learnt the morals. The word of God must be divided but it must be rightly divided. As we make divisions in God’s word separating text from text, we will find we will not be disappointed.

Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.

Nothing you read in the word of God will stand alone. It will have a mate. There is another portion of the Word of God which it will pair up with. In the pairing of those scriptures, you will gain an understanding of its meaning. Through this process you will find how God interprets his word, not we ourselves because we find something in the Bible and we want to know what it means so are using the Bible to find what it means. Not my mind or knowledge but that which is contained in there.

Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts.  10 For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little:  11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

Precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little. You find a verse, you want to know what I means so you take a concordance or the middle reference if you have one and you follow the verse through that use the same words and as you do that the word of God builds before you a picture but it is God’s word. You may find a verse and you don’t know what it means. If we think we can read a chapter or verse and take it on its own we can’t. the word of God says it must be line upon line and precept upon precept. It will be paired up somewhere else. You can’t read the word of God from the front to the back. You can, you will gain many blessings and learn the stories and combine it with this principle you will learn the moral. When studying God’s word here a little and there a little be careful to not exclude the Old Testament.

Today Christianity takes out the Old Testament and just takes the New Testament. That is wrong, you will find truth that way. Apostle Paul wrote much of the New Testament and in that New Testament he declared I have preached to you the gospel. Where did he preach the gospel from? The Old Testament. The Bereans searched the scriptures daily to see what Apostle Paul was teaching was true or not. They searched the Old Testament to confirm what apostle Paul was preaching was true to confirm and enlarge what he taught. Another thing to remember is that you will be getting the most depth and beauty out of the texts most familiar to you. We have our favourite promises and they become more and more precious. It is infinite and we will always be building on that which we know best. Another thing when we approach the word of God with the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us, with eh spirit of a child the child says yes daddy I will.

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.

This is a reality. If you find something in God’s word and you can be convinced that is what it says but it doesn’t seem to fit but God’s word says if you will go and do it then it will. He is saying if you don’t go and do it you can’t understand. How many people want to understand something before they will do it. They will believe what is written but not understand. I’ve met many people who say I’ve read it but I’m not convicted yet as they are waiting for a conviction and they will never do it. But the conviction comes in the doing as the conviction comes in the doing of the things because if you will do his will then you will know the doctrine. If that understanding doesn’t come in a hurry, keep following God’s word. If there are things in God’s word you have difficulty in understanding well there are something’s that God has not seen fit to reveal to us and in such instances remember he is the I AM and you are not. Don’t get frustrated because you can’t understand it, you will be tempted to come to your own conclusions on it, just leave it. God may bring it to your understanding later. When I first came to appreciate God’s word I was told if you don’t understand put them on a hook and in the end you can ask questions but you may find by the time you get to the end, your questions have been answered anyway. As I proceed in my Christian experience endeavouring to live up to the light that I do have, I am always taking things back of the hook, now I understand but you don’t understand it as you ought to know it. This is important point. As you are young in your experience with the word of God, that experience will deepen and as it deepens your relationship with the word of God will change and you will find whole new appreciations.

It is written to always come back to the point where we last saw the light. Constantly stepping forward and coming back as we need to come back to this experience and word. As we do that we will find an experience which is very different to the experience I have had in my previous life because this is God’s word and ways and as I do his will, I will be doing his ways. Not my ways. I will find myself engaged in a life which is different to the life of those around me and different to those in the world. You will come across the word of God and many do something that cuts across your path. It will have from you a certain requirement and you will be tempted to say it doesn’t say that but you can’t squash the convictions you combine verse with verse and that is the best way to study God’s word. God calls for an experimental religion. Taste and see that the Lord is good but if you never touch and handle, you will never know.

In our last study we made some interesting discoveries. We discovered that Christmas trees are in the Bible and we see in what frame work a Christmas tree with all its gold and decking what it all has to do with. We saw that the Bible shows us hot cross buns and maybe you liked hot cross buns and Christmas. Maybe there are many things in your life that you like and the word of God says that is not my way. What you eat is wrong, what you wear is wrong, how you talk is wrong. Fact is if Gods ways are higher than my ways then everything I do is wrong and many people get very uncomfortable with the word of God as it shows them up. People don’t like constructive criticism. I hate it. Most people say it’s not for me. There are things in God’s word as you will study his word that will hurt you. There are things that will seem the very life blood is being sucked out of you. It is so hard to do and I don’t want to give it up. I love God and his word but it’s a huge challenge. God is all powerful, God is light.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.  14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession.

When you study God’s word, you can put on as many layers of clothing you want, you are still naked before God. Not just naked in your outward appearance but in your heart. The very secrets right back in the recesses of your mind, the word of God will show you what is there. It will take its bright torch and will shine in the darkest crevices. This is my cherished idol, how dare you show me that but that is what the word of God will do and you will be astounded. Man has naturally the mind of Satan. Man naturally is satanic. That is what is in the dark crevices of your mind and it is not something that most people want to know as they want to feel good about themselves but it cuts, pierces to the dividing asunder. God’s word will cut you but will only cut away the things that are harmful to you.

It is only trying to remove the cancer from your system. The first edge will cut, but the second will heal. God never creates pain without an applying of balm afterwards. Most people wince at the pain and run from the doctor. God is going to do open heart surgery and there is no anaesthetic. But thank the Lord as unless he gets in there and rips it all out you are dead for eternity. God’s word is quick, it is life. That word that proceeds from his mouth will not return unto him void but it will accomplish the thing whereto he sent it. There is power in that word itself to do the thing itself. If you find a requirement, a thus saith the Lord which is painful to you, keep holding on to it. Hold it tight. Don’t reject it as it makes you uncomfortable but hold it fast. It will produce it within you. How often do you read something and say another season when I’m more prepared. Focus on it. The things most painful to you write them down, keep them in front of your eyes. Let it produce.

What in God’s word today my cut and hurt tomorrow you may find to be the precious of all promises. We have looked at how we are to approach God’s word and if we will just as we have been learning, we will make an experience with God’s word. The Israelites came to Mount Sinai. They came there and they were full of themselves. They were full of their own ideas of God and their own interpretations and puffed up with pride thinking I am capable, a very unteachable spirit. God was there and the mountain raged with fire and a mighty tempest and the earth shook and he spoke to them the Ten Commandments. The people said we are scared we don’t want to hear that word of God anymore. It hurts, it shows us up. If you come to God’s word thinking you are alight and that you have something to contribute and you are quite capable thank you very much then God’s word will do that to you. It will thunder its lightnings at you and you will want to run and be scared.

But if you will come to the reading of God’s word as we have, you will make the precious experience that Elijah made. The prophet got scared, not of the word of God, he got scared of the woman and he fled with disappointment, shame and sorrow feeling he had done nothing right saying I am not better than my fathers and I’ve done nothing right. He came to Horeb and Horeb is Mount Sinai and there God met him and there was a great strong wind that rent the mountain and it was shaken by almighty earthquake. A fire raged before him but God wasn’t in any; of that but a still small voice and that was where God was. Do you want to hear that voice? Do you want to hear the gentle wooing voice of God then approach God’s word with the attitude we have been studying. That which is so hard, so painful and condemning will become to you as the sweetest words on earth.

What God Thundered to the Israelites

Exodus 20:2 I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.  4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:  5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; 6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.  7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.  8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  10 But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates:  11 For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.  12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.  13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.  17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour’s.

How readest thou? Come to the word of God as a little child saying I can’t. To the self-righteous it says do not do this and that is how the natural man will read the Ten Commandments and we think that when we read these commandments we are coming under a very stern decree, don’t do this and that. Yes, this is the word of God to the self-righteous but to him that has emptied himself of himself, come to God’s word saying I don’t know anything as I ought to knows saying I can’t trust myself and do anything right. God says if you will let my word work you shall have no other Gods before you, you will not make unto thee any graven image and you will keep the Sabbath holy. This is his word that works and the promise is in itself. Can you understand and see that if you will approach the word of God in that manner, everything is different?

It is a promise. God knows we can’t keep his Ten Commandments and if you are willing to acknowledge that, I will keep it in you. My word will prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. You will not have any other Gods before me, you will not make any graven images, you will remember the Sabbath day as I’m going to work that. May God teach us to learn to read his word like that. I do not know as I ought to know so I must come to the word of God with a teachable spirit ready to take daddy at his word. If that is what daddy said, then that is the way it is. If I will come this way I will not try to put my interpretation on it but building one verse upon another and letting it interpret itself. I will not neglect the Old Testament but recognise they are in unity and try my utmost that what I’m reading has a life within itself. That it is self-performing. If I will let it will contribute everything. If in the process of studying God’s word, if I find I’m doing things a little different as to how it’s working in others, put the best construction on it. I will just wait and in Gods time when their comprehension is ready they will read the word to and that word will work the same thing. How long has God been waiting for me? If someone is further advanced than me and a bit extreme, don’t jump down their throat as maybe they have read something you haven’t. We must be as little children. The word of God is not an exercise, it is a reality and a life experience that you can’t read like any other book and I’m glad I can’t.

Amen.

Posted on July 4, 2011, in Divine Service Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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