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Chapter 1: Introduction

In our times it is a sad fact that the Bible is not studied in the average Christian Bible study. More often than not, a small Christian Bible study group will study a book written by some man or woman on some topic related to Christianity or Christian living.

The average Christian is hesitant to study the Bible directly because he reads it and does not get much out of his reading. The Bible seems to be vague, impractical and inapplicable to the times that we live in.

I am reminded about a story I heard regarding a particular Bible study group. One person asked, "Why don’t we study a book from the Bible this time?" and got the answer, "Oh, I wouldn’t do that! Why don’t we study something more practical instead?"

It is sad, but true, that the average Christian does not see the Bible as a practical book – a book that God gave to man to teach man how to live his daily life. To the average Christian, the Bible is a closed book – a book that cannot be read and understood personally by every child of God.

This is not at all how God meant it to be! We have been greatly deceived into thinking that the Bible is not something that must be read and understood directly by every child of God. What loved one writes us a letter that is not meant for us to read and understand personally but must be translated by someone else? Yet we so easily believe the lie that we are not expected to read and understand the Bible ourselves but that someone else must interpret it for us.

If the Bible appears to be a closed book to you then you are not alone. Many people read their Bible every day, but it doesn’t speak to them. They do not learn anything from it. The things that they have learnt about God and the Christian life are not directly from the Bible but are things that someone else – a preacher or pastor or teacher – has told them.

Few things are more important than knowing how to study the Bible correctly. Indeed, a wrong method is more than likely going to result in a wrong doctrine, and following a wrong doctrine can result in eternally damning consequences.

The purpose of this book is to provide a new approach for studying the Bible.

Now there are many books that describe methods for studying the Bible, and one might wonder why someone should write another book on this topic. The reason that I wrote this book is because I have found that other methods do not give an emphasis on what the Bible itself says on the topic of how to study the Bible. The emphasis instead, is on man-made methods instead of divinely proposed methods.

It is my belief that man-made Bible study methods are limited in their effectiveness. When an author writes a book, in order to understand what the author is trying to say you need to pay heed to the author’s instructions on how to read his book. Other people’s instructions are helpful, but certainly not as effective as the author’s instructions. In the same way, in order to understand what God is trying to say in the Bible you need to pay heed to God’s instructions on how to study the Bible.

Ec 8:1 Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.

I am reminded by what is written in Ec 8:1. When you study the Bible properly you will find that the Bible is like a treasure box that has many treasures. You will – on your own, and without the help of another man – find truths about God and His plan for man that you never knew before. When you see something that you have never seen before your joy will overflow. It will be like finding a golden nugget in your backyard. It was there all the while, but you never discovered it. Then one day while you are digging around you discover it, and how great is your joy! That is what your experience studying the Bible should be! You will know the interpretation of a matter; it will illumine you, and cause your stern face to beam.

The goal is be like the sheep in Jn 10:4-6, who recognize when the truth is spoken and receive it, and to recognize when falsehood is spoken and not receive it.

Jn 10:4-6 "When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers." This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

It is my hope that reading this book will guide you to get from the Bible the truth that God intended you to get. As a result you will find truths that you never knew before. You will no longer have to depend on another person to teach you the truths of the Bible because you will be finding them out yourself, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Studying your Bible will become exciting, like an Indiana Jones adventure, and Bible study will become a hobby instead of a drab chore. All of this is possible, so read on.

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