Realize that you are a lost sinner, and are separated from God by
those sins. Some have summed this up as, "Good is not good enough."
"For all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God." Romans 3:23
Repent. To repent is to be sorry for one's sins, regretting the
way that person has lived their life, and to seek forgiveness.
"...Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at
hand." Matthew 3:2
"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all
men everywhere to repent." Acts 17:30
"For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented
of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." 2 Corinthians 7:10
"For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin." Psalms
Confess your sins to God. To confess means to acknowledge, or
agree to the truth; admit.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1
"And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds."
Forsake your sins. Forsake means to quit, or leave entirely, to
desert, abandon, to depart from.
"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:
but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." Proverbs
Believe and obey the Word of God.
"...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou
shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh
to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15
"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils
also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith
without works is dead?" James 2:19-20
Ask Him to be your personal Savior, read your Bible and pray
daily. The Bible tells us that we are made "clean" by Gods' Word
as it works in those who believe (John 15:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:13),
therefore it is very important, if you are to grow in the things of
God. Ask God to give you a "hunger" for His Word and for Godly things.
If you are truly seeking, He will answer such a prayer.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and
to do of his good pleasure. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a
new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are
become new." Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17
Where Can I Find Useful Bible Study
How Should I Study The Bible?
First of all make up your mind that you will put some time
every day into the study of the Word of God. That is an easy
resolution to make, and not a very difficult one to keep; if the one
who makes it is in earnest. It is one of the most fruitful resolutions
that any Christian ever made. The forming of that resolution and the
holding faithfully to it, has been the turning point in many a life.
Many a life that has been barren and unsatisfactory has become rich
and useful through the introduction into it of regular, persevering,
daily study of the Bible. This study may not be very interesting at
first, the results may not be very encouraging; but, if one will keep
pegging away, it will soon begin to count as nothing else has ever
counted in the development of character, and in the enrichment of the
whole life. Nothing short of absolute physical inability should be
allowed to interfere with this daily study.
It is impossible to make a rule that will apply to everyone as to
the amount of time that shall be given each day to the study of the
Word. I know many busy people, including not a few labouring men and
women, who give an hour a day to Bible study, but if one cannot give
more than fifteen minutes a great deal can be accomplished. Wherever
it is possible the time set apart for the work should be in the
daylight hours. The very best time is in the early morning hours. If
possible lock yourself in with God alone.
Make up your mind to study the Bible. It is astounding how
much heedless reading of the Bible is done. Men seem to think that
there is some magic power in the book, and that, if they will but open
its pages and skim over its words, they will get good out of it. The
Bible is good only because of the truth that is in it, and to see this
truth demands close attention. A verse must often-times be read and
re-read and read again before the wondrous message of love and power
that God has put into it begins to appear. Words must be turned over
and over in the mind before their full force and beauty takes
possession of us. One must look a long time at the great masterpieces
of art to appreciate their beauty and understand their meaning, and so
one must look a long time at the great verses of the Bible to
appreciate their beauty and understand their meaning. When you read a
verse in the Bible ask yourself, What does this verse mean? Then ask:
What does it mean for me? When that is answered ask yourself again: Is
that all it means? and do not leave it until you are quite sure that
is all it means for the present. You may come back at some future time
and find it means yet a great deal more. If there are any important
words in the verse weigh them, look up other passages where they are
used, and try to get their full significance. God pronounces that man
blessed who "meditates" on the Word of God "day and night."
1:2,3. An indolent skimming over a few verses or many chapters in
the Bible is not meditation, and there is not much blessing in it.
Jeremiah said: "Thy words were found and I did eat them." (Jeremiah
15:16). Nothing is more important in eating than chewing. If one
does not properly chew his food, he is quite as likely to get
dyspepsia as nourishment. Don't let anyone chew your spiritual food
for you. Insist on doing it for yourself. Any one can be a student who
makes up his mind to. It is hard at first but it soon becomes easy. I
have seen very dull minds become keen by holding them right down to
Study the Bible topically. Take up the various subjects
treated in the Bible, one by one, and go through the Bible and find
what it has to say on these subjects. It may be important to know what
the great men have to say on important subjects; it is far more
important to know what God has to say on these subjects. It is
important also to know all that God has to say. A great many people
know a part of what God has to say--and usually a very small part--and
so their ideas are very imperfect and one-sided. If they only knew all
God had to say on the subject, it would be far better for them and for
their friends. The only way to know all God has to say on any subject
is to go through the Bible on that subject. To do this it is not
necessary to read every verse in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
It would be slow work, if we had to do that on every subject we took
up. This would be necessary were it not for Textbooks and
Concordances. But in these we have the results of the hard work of
many minds. Here we have the various passages that bear on any subject
brought together and classified for use, so that now we can do in a
few hours what would otherwise take months or years. The topical
method of Bible study is simplest, most fascinating and yields the
largest immediate results. It is not the only method of Bible study,
and the one who pursues it exclusively will miss much of the blessing
God has for him in the Bible. [*]
But it is a very interesting and fruitful method of study. It was Mr.
Moody's favourite method. It fills one's mind very full on any subject
studied. Mr. Moody once gave several days to the study of "Grace."
When he had finished he was so full of the subject that he rushed out
on the street and going up to the first man he met he said: "Do you
know anything about Grace?" "Grace who," the man asked. "The Grace of
God that bringeth salvation." And then Mr. Moody poured out upon that
man the rich treasures he had dug out of the Word of God. That is the
way to master any subject and get full of it. Go through the Bible and
see what it has to say on this subject. This is easily done. Take your
Textbook and turn to the subject. Suppose the subject you desire to
study is "Prayer."
There will be found a long list of the various passages of Scripture
that bear on this subject. Look them up one after another and study
them carefully and see just what their teaching is. When you have gone
through them you will know far more about prayer than you ever knew
before, and far more than you could learn by reading any books that
men have written about prayer, profitable as many of these books are.
Sometimes it will be necessary to look up other subjects that are
closely related to the one in hand. For example, you wish to study
what the teaching of God's Word is regarding the atonement. In this
case you will not only look under the head "Atonement",
but also under the head "Blood",
and under the head "Death
of Christ." To do this work a concordance is not necessary but it
is often very helpful. For example, if you are studying the subject
"Prayer" you can look up from the concordance the passages that
contain the words "pray," "prayer," "cry," "ask," "call,"
"supplication," "intercession," etc. But the Textbook will give most
of the passages on any subject regardless of what the words used in
the passage may be. Other passages will be found in the section on
Bible Doctrines under their proper headings.
There are four important suggestions to make regarding Topical
Study of the Bible.
Be systematic. Do not take up subjects for study at
random. Have a carefully prepared list of the subjects you wish to
know about, and need to know about, and take them up one by one,
in order. If you do not do this, the probability is that you will
have a few pet topics and will be studying these over and over
until you get to be a crank about them, and possibly a nuisance.
You will know much about these subjects, but about many other
subjects equally important you will know nothing. You will be a
Be thorough. When you take up a subject do not be
content to study a few passages on this subject, but find just as
far as possible every passage in the Bible on this subject. If you
find the Textbook incomplete make additions of your own to it.
Be exact. Find the exact meaning of every passage given
in the Textbook on any subject. The way to do this is simple. In
the first place note the exact words used. In the next place get
the exact meaning of the words used. This is done by finding how
the word is used in the Bible. The Bible usage of the word is not
always the common use of today. For example, the Bible use of the
words "sanctification" and "justification" is not the same as the
common use. Then notice what goes before and what comes after the
verse. This will oftentimes settle the meaning of a verse when it
appears doubtful. Finally see if there are any parallel passages.
The meaning of many of the most difficult passages in the Bible is
made perfectly plain by some other passages that throws light upon
them. Then parallel passages are given in the margin of a good
reference Bible and still more fully in "The Treasury of Scripture
Knowledge," a volume worthy of a place in the library of every
Arrange the results of your topical study in an orderly way
and write them down. One should constantly use pen and paper in
Bible study. When one has gone through the Textbook on any
subject, he will have a large amount of material, but he will want
to get it into usable shape. The various passages given on any
topic in the Textbook are classified, but the classification is
not always just the one best adapted to our individual use. Take
for example the subject "Prayer." The classification of texts in
the topic is very suggestive, but a better one for some purposes
Who Can Pray so that God Will Hear?
To Whom to Pray.
For Whom to Pray.
When to Pray.
Where to Pray.
For what to Pray.
How to Pray.
Hindrances to Prayer.
The Results of Prayer.
The passages given in the Textbook would come under these
heads. It is well to make a trial division of the subject before
taking up the individual passages given and to arrange each
passage as we take it up under the appropriate head. We may have
to add to the divisions with which we began as we find new
passages. The best classification of passages for any individual
is the one he makes for himself, although he will get helpful
suggestions from others.
There are some subjects that every Christian should study and
study as soon as possible. We give a list of these:
Study the Bible by chapters. This method of Bible study is
not beyond any person of average intelligence who has fifteen minutes
or more a day to put into Bible Study. It will take, however, more
than one day to the study a chapter if only fifteen minutes a day are
set apart for the work.
Select the chapters you wish to study. It is well to take a
whole book and study the chapters in their order. The Acts of the
Apostles (or the Gospel of John) is a good book to begin with. In
time one may take up every chapter in the Bible, but it would not
be wise to begin with Genesis.
Read the chapter for today's study five times. It is well to
read it aloud at least once. The writer sees many things when he
reads the Bible aloud that he does not see when he reads silently.
Each new reading will bring out some new point.
Divide the chapters into their natural divisions and find
headings for them that describe in the most striking way their
contents. For example, suppose the chapter studied is
1 John 5.
You might divide in this way:
The Believer's Noble Parentage (vs 1-3)
The Believer's Glorious Victory (vs 4,5)
The Believer's Sure Ground of Faith (vs 6-10)
The Believer's Priceless Possession (vs 11,12)
The Believer's Blessed Assurance (v 13)
The Believer's Unquestioning Confidence (vs 14,15)
The Believer's Great Power and Responsibility (vs 16,17)
The Believer's Perfect Security (vs 18,19)
The Believer's Precious Knowledge (v 20)
The Believer's Constant Duty (v 21)
In many cases the natural divisions will be longer than in this
Note the important differences between the Authorized Version
and the Revised and write them in the margin of your Bible.
Write down the leading facts of the chapter in their proper
Make a note of the persons mentioned in the chapter and of any
light thrown upon their character. For example, your chapter is
The persons mentioned are:
The brethren at Lystra and Iconium
The Jews of Lystra and Iconium
The apostles and elders at Jerusalem
A man of Macedonia
Some women of Philippi
The household of Lydia
A certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination
The masters of this damsel
The praetors of Philippi
The Philippian mob
The jailor of Philippi
The prisoners in the Philippian jail
The household of the jailor
The lictors of Philippi
The brethren in Philippi
What light does the chapter throw upon the character of each?
Note the principal lessons of the chapter. It would be well to
classify these: e.g., lessons about God, Christ, the Holy Spirit,
The Central Truth of the chapter.
The key verse of the chapter if there is one.
The best verse in the chapter. Opinions will differ widely
here. But the question is, which is the best verse to you at this
present reading? Mark it and memorize it.
Note the verses that are usable as texts for sermons or talks
or Bible readings. If you have time make an analysis of the
thought of these verses and write it in the margin, or on the
opposite leaf if you have an interleaved Bible.
Name the chapter. For example,
might be called The Ascension Chapter;
The Day of Pentecost Chapter;
The Lame Man's Chapter; etc. Give your own names to the chapters.
Give the name that sets forth the most important and
characteristic feature of the chapter.
Note subjects for further study. For example, you are studying
Subjects suggested for further study are, The Baptism with the
Holy Spirit; The Ascension; The Second Coming of Christ.
Words and phrases for further study. For example you are
John 3, you should look up words and expressions such as,
"Eternal life," "Born again," "Water," "Believer," "The Kingdom of
Write down what new truth you have learned from the chapter.
If you have learned none, you had better go over it again.
What truth already known has come to you with new power?
What definite thing have you resolved to do as a result of
studying this chapter? A permanent record should be kept of the
results of the study of each chapter. It is well to have an
interleaved Bible and keep the most important results in this.
Study the Bible as the Word of God. The Bible is the Word
of God, and we get the most good out of any book by studying it as
what it really is. It is often said that we should study the Bible
just as we study any other book. That principle contains a truth, but
it also contains a great error. The Bible, it is true, is a book as
other books are books, the same laws of grammatical and literary
construction and interpretation hold here as hold in other books. But
the Bible is an entirely unique book. It is what no other book is--The
Word of God. This can be easily proven to any candid man. The Bible
ought then to be studied as no other book is. It should be studied as
the Word of God. (1
Thessalonians 2:13). This involves five things.
A greater eagerness and more careful and candid study
to find out just what it teaches than is bestowed upon any other
book or upon all other books. We must know the mind of God; here
it is revealed.
A prompt and unquestioning acceptance of and submission
to its teachings when definitely ascertained, even when these
teachings appear to us unreasonable or impossible. If this book is
the Word of God how foolish to submit its teachings to the
criticism of our finite reason. The little boy who discredits his
wise father's statements because to his infant mind they appear
unreasonable, is not a philosopher but a fool. When we are once
satisfied that the Bible is the Word of God, its clear teachings
must be the end of all controversy and discussion.
Absolute reliance upon all its promises in all their
length and breadth and depth and height. The one who studies the
Bible as the Word of God will say of every promise no matter how
vast and beyond belief it appears, "God who cannot lie has
promised this, so I claim it for myself." Mark the promises you
thus claim. Look each day for some new promise from your infinite
Father. He has put "His riches in glory" at your disposal. (Philippians
Obedience--prompt, exact, unquestioning, joyous
obedience--to every command that is evident from the context
applies to you. Be on the lookout for new orders from the King.
Blessing lies in the direction of obedience to them. God's
commands are but signboards that mark the road to present success
and blessedness and to eternal glory.
Studying the Bible as the Word of God, involves
studying it as His own voice speaking directly to you. When you
open the Bible to study it realize that you have come into the
very presence of God and that now He is going to speak to you.
Every hour thus spent in Bible study will be an hour's walk and
talk with God.
Study the Bible prayerfully. The author of the book is
willing to act as interpreter of it. He does so when we ask Him
to. The one who prays with earnestness and faith, the Psalmist's
prayer, "Open Thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out
of Thy law," will get his eyes opened to see beauties and wonders
in the Word that he never dreamed of before. Be very definite
about this. Each time you open the Bible to study it for a few
minutes or many, ask God to give you the open and discerning eye,
and expect Him to do it. Every time you come to a difficulty lay
it before God and ask an explanation and expect it. How often we
think as we puzzle over hard passages, "Oh if I only had so and so
here to explain this." God is always present. Take it to Him.
Look for "the things concerning Christ" "in all the
Scriptures." Christ is everywhere in the Bible (Luke
24:27). Be on the lookout for Him and mark His presence when
you find it.
Improve spare moments in Bible study. In almost every
man's life many minutes each day are lost; while waiting for meals
or trains, while riding in the car, etc. Carry a pocket Bible or
Testament with you and save these golden minutes by putting them
to the very best use listening to the voice of God. The Textbook
can easily be carried in the pocket as a help in your work.
Store away the Scripture in your mind and heart. It
will keep you from sin (Psalm
119:11 RSV), from false doctrine (Acts
Timothy 3:13-15), it will fill you heart with joy (Jeremiah
15:16), and peace (Psalm
85:8), it will give you the victory over the Evil One (1
John 2:14), it will give you power in prayer (John
15:7), it will make you wiser than the aged and your enemies (Psalm
119:100,98,130) it will make you "complete, furnished
completely unto every good work." (2
Timothy 3:16,17 RSV). Try it. Do not memorize at random but
memorize Scripture in a connected way. Memorize texts bearing on
various subjects in proper order. Memorize by chapter and verse
that you may know where to put your finger upon the text if anyone
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