How to read the bible...

How to read the bible...

Inside of the bible are words of God, as well as stories of those living during biblical times. The writers were inspired to write these stories by the Holy Spirit. There are some stories that are written to show us how to live as born again believers in the Kingdom of God, and others to show us how not to live [2 Timothy 3:16].

The bible is different from any other book that we've read because after reading it, and allowing what we've read to grow in our heart [Matthew 13:1-23] we will believe in Jesus Christ for more than salvation (e.g. protection, provision, rest, peace, joy, greater things). We will be able to have exactly what we believe in our heart for according to Mark 11:23-24. In order to understand the words in the Bible and understand how to apply the bible to our life, we need the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our helper, he is sent to guide us into all truth, tell us the things to come, and bring us into remembrance of all that Jesus Christ has said [John 16:13]. We discuss this further during this training.

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Below are some tips on how to read the word of God:

1. Chapters are not an indication of the end/beginning of the speakers message.
Chapters in the bible give the impression that the end of a chapter means that it is the end of a conversation, and the beginning of the chapter is the beginning of a conversation. The chapter numbers are often inserted between the message, sermon, teaching. For example, in Matthew 5-7 happened in one setting, on the same day. Think of Matthew chapters 5-7 like a pastor preaching one sermon, on one day.

So if you want to read the Book of Matthew for example, I suggest reading Matthew in this order:
2. Meditate on what you are reading, at the moment you are reading it. 
Ask the Holy Spirit for understanding for anything that doesn't make sense to you. An example of meditating on the scripture means to read the word of God and then ask questions, meditate on how that applies to your life. Think about what you would have done if you were in the person shoes.

3. Law of Moses vs Covenant of Grace 
There are two main covenants in the bible that pertains to eternal life. The first is the Law of Moses read Deuteronomy, and the other is the Covenant of Grace read the books of Roman and Hebrews. The 10 Commandments are apart of the Law of Moses. In addition to the 10 Commandments, the Law of Moses also consist of sacrificial rituals which the Israelite's had to do to be cleanse from their sins. The 10 Commandments is summed up in one commandment under the Covenant of Grace and it is to love, God first and love your neighbor as yourselves [Matthew 22:36-40]. When you Love God, you will love your neighbor. When you love your neighbor you will not murder them, lie to them, steal from them, etc. The Grace of God in the Covenant of Grace replaced the sacrificial rituals in the Law of Moses. Now under the Covenant of Grace in addition to being a hearer and doer of the word, all we have to do is repent of our sins from our heart, if we sin. Under the old covenant to be forgiven of sin they had to work to be cleansed from their sins.


4.Why did the disciples follow the Law of Moses in the Gospels [Matthew, Mark, Luke, John]?
We read in Matthew 5:17-20 that until Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses, Prophets and Psalms [Luke 24:22] that that law would not be abolished. Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses when he resurrected from the dead. At that point is when the Covenant of Grace was offered. So when you read the Gospels in New Testament, you have to understand that before Jesus's resurrection, the crowd and his disciples had to follow the Law of Moses, until Jesus fulfilled it through his death and resurrection. At the same time, Jesus started to introduce the Covenant of Grace as well. Read the Parable of the Wineskins in Luke 5:33-39.

5. When reading the bible be aware of these six things:
  • Who the speaker is speaking to? (e.g. Is Jesus speak to his disciples [the righteous] or to the Pharisees [unrighteous]?)
  • Was it before the Law of Moses (before Jesus resurrection) or after the Covenant of Grace (after Jesus's resurrection)?
  • Who is speaking? 
  • Is the speaker using analogies, similes, metaphors or parables to describe a noun (person, place, or thing)?
  • Just because the bible said someone said something, or did something, doesn't mean God was okay with what they did or said. We know that Abraham was righteous because he had faith. However, we also know that in Genesis 12:10-20; 20:1-18, Abraham lied. Just because the bible doesn't specifically mention God did not approve of Abraham's lies, doesn't mean that God was okay with it.
  • When reading the Old Testament remember that the believers in the Old Testament were spiritually dead unless they were a prophet, king etc [they were not eligible to receive the baptism of the water + Holy Spirit]. In those days God would only allow his Holy Spirit to dwell on those anointed. The Holy Spirit also lived in the Temple of God but under the Covenant of Grace, our bodies are the Temple of God, so the Holy Spirit dwells in us.
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Suggestion for reading the bible as a new believer:
  • The Epistles (Acts: Romans - Jude)
  • Then the Gospels (Matthew - John)
  • The Old Testament (Genesis - Malachi )After you are secure in understanding the Covenant of Grace, read the Old Testament. Reading the Old Testament is encouraged only because it will give you understanding of why God sent his son Jesus into the world
  • Last but not least, the book of Revelation