How to Use
This Study Guide
Congratulations! You are making God’s Word a priority. These
moments of reflection will change you forever. Here are a few suggestions
for you to get the most out of your individual study.
1. As you begin each study, pray that God will speak to you through
2. Read the overview to each study, then listen to the audio segment,
taking notes on the worksheet provided.
3. Following the audio segment, respond to the personal Bible study
and reflection questions. These questions are designed to take you
deeper into God’s Word and help you focus on God and on the
theme of the study.
4. There are three types of questions used in the study. Observation
questions focus on the basic facts: who, what, when, where,
and how. Interpretation questions delve into the meaning of the
passage. Application questions help you get practical: discovering
the implications of the text for growing in Christ. These three keys
will help you unlock the treasures of Scripture.
5. Write your answers to the questions in the spaces provided or in a
personal journal. Writing brings clarity and deeper understanding
of yourself and of God’s Word.
6. Keep a Bible dictionary handy. Use it to look up any unfamiliar
words, names, or places.
7. Have fun! Studying God’s Word can bring tremendous rewards
to your life. Allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind to the
amazing applications each study can have in your daily life.
Becoming a Student
of God’s Word
To read the Bible is to stir questions of interpretation. For
example: Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. He commanded that
His disciples do the same. We, however, have no foot-washing
“A woman must not wear men’s clothing” (Deuteronomy 22:5).
Does that mean women should sell their jeans?
Paul commanded Christians in Rome to greet one another with
a holy kiss. Are we disobeying if we don’t pucker up? If we are to
kiss, where are we to kiss? How often should we kiss? What if we
forget to kiss? Can someone kiss for us in our absence?
How do we answer questions such as these? We begin by
remembering that the Bible is God’s Word given in man’s language.
Scripture is a marriage of eternal truth with historical particularity.
- It was written in another time.
- It was written in another culture.
- It was written in another language.
Our world is different than the world of the Bible. Our
language, dress, and culture are not the same of those of ancient
It is my hope that this study, Becoming a Student of God’s Word,
will provide you with the tools you need to better understand the
Bible and apply it to your own life.
Do you know a book that you
are willing to put under your head
for a pillow when you lie dying?
That is the book you want
to study while you are living.
There is but one such book
in the world: The Bible.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.
The Bible is a peculiar book. Words crafted in another language. Deeds
done in a distant era. Events recorded in a far-off land. Counsel offered to a
foreign people. This is a peculiar book.
It’s surprising that anyone reads it. It’s too old. Some of its writings
date back five thousand years. It’s too bizarre. The book speaks of incredible
floods, fires, earthquakes, and people with supernatural abilities. It’s
too radical. The Bible calls for undying devotion to a Carpenter who called
Himself God’s Son.
Logic says this book shouldn’t survive. It’s too old, too bizarre, too
The Bible has been banned, burned, scoffed, and ridiculed. Scholars
have mocked it as foolish. Kings have branded it as illegal. A thousand times
over the grave has been dug and the dirge has begun, but somehow the Bible
never stays in the grave. Not only has it survived, it has thrived. It is the
single most popular book in all of history. It has been the best-selling book
in the world for three hundred years!
There is no way on earth to explain it. Which perhaps is the only
explanation. The answer? The Bible’s durability is not found on earth; it is
found in heaven. For the millions who have tested its claims and claimed its
promises there is but one answer—the Bible is God’s book and God’s voice.
What is the purpose of the Bible? Salvation. God’s highest passion is to
get His children home. His book, the Bible, describes His plan of salvation.
The purpose of the Bible is to proclaim God’s plan and passion to save His
Before reading the Bible, pray. Invite God to speak to you. Don’t go
to Scripture looking for your idea; go searching for His. The Bible is not a
newspaper to be skimmed, but rather a mine to be quarried.
Don’t be discouraged if your reading reaps a small harvest. Some days a
lesser portion is all that is needed. What is important is to search every day
for that day’s message. A steady diet of God’s Word over a lifetime builds a
healthy soul and mind.
A little girl returned from her first day at school. Her mother asked,
“Did you learn anything today?” “Apparently not enough,” the girl
responded, “I have to go back tomorrow and the next day and the next….”
Such is the case with learning. And such is the case with the study of God’s
Word. Understanding comes little by little over a lifetime.
Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and begin? Let’s get started!
Part 1: Follow-Along Notes
Use this worksheet as you listen to “How to Study the Bible, Part 1.
- Luke 3:3-4
- Book = Biblos = Bible
- The Bible is a Book that records God’s involvement in the world.
- The Bible is divided into two testaments.
Sections of the Bible
- The _________________________ Section: Genesis through Deuteronomy
- The _________________________ Section: Joshua through Esther
- The _________________________ Section: Job through Song of Solomon
- The _________________________ Section: Isaiah through Malachi
- The _________________________ Section: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
- The _________________________ Section: Acts
- The _________________________ Section: Romans through Jude
- The _________________________ Section: Revelation
Key Facts _______ writers wrote the Bible over a ________________-century period.
The central theme of the Bible: _____________________________________.
Part 2: GOING
DEEPER What is the purpose of the Bible? Let the Bible itself answer that question.
According to 2 Timothy 3:15, what is the purpose of the Holy Scriptures?
Personal Study and Reflection
This is the reason this book has endured through the centuries: It dares
to tackle the toughest questions about life. But how do we use the Bible?
Countless copies of Scripture sit unread on bookshelves and nightstands simply
because people don’t know how to read it. What can we do to make the Bible
real in our lives? The clearest answer is found in the words of Jesus.
According to Matthew 7:7, what three steps does Jesus say we should take
to understand the Bible?
_____________________________________________________________ The first step to understanding the Bible is to ask God to help us. According
to John 14:26, whose help should we ask for? What is promised to us in this
Any worthy find requires effort. The Bible is no exception. To understand the
Bible, you don’t have to be brilliant, but you must be willing to roll up your
sleeves and search. This is step two in understanding the Bible.
Write out 2 Timothy 2:15. To you, what does it mean to “use the true
teaching in the right way”?
Here’s a practical point. Study the Bible a bit at a time. Hunger is not satisfied
by eating twenty-one meals in one sitting once a week. The body needs a
steady diet to remain strong. So does the soul. When God sent food to His
people in the wilderness, He didn’t provide loaves already made.
According to Exodus 16:14, how was the manna sent?
_____________________________________________________________ God sends spiritual food the same way. He opens the heavens with just
enough nutrients for today’s hunger. How does Isaiah 28:10 tell us the
Scriptures should be studied?
There is a third step to understanding the Bible. After the asking and seeking
comes knocking. After you ask and search, then knock.
What does Matthew 7:7 say will happen for the person who knocks?
_____________________________________________________________ To knock is to stand at God’s door. To make yourself available. To climb the
steps, cross the porch, stand at the doorway, and volunteer. Knocking goes
beyond the realm of thinking and into the realm of acting.
Summarize the three steps involved in understanding the Bible. How have
you followed these three steps in your own Bible study? How can you
follow them in the future?
It’s one thing to know what to do. It’s another thing to do it. But for those
who do it, those who choose to obey, a special reward awaits them. What
is this reward (see James 1:25)?
What a promise! Happiness comes to those who do what they read! It’s the
same with medicine. If you only read the label but ignore the pills, it won’t help.
It’s the same with food. If you only read the recipe but never cook, you won’t be
fed. And it’s the same with the Bible. If you only read the words but never obey,
you’ll never know the joy God has promised.
Ask. Search. Knock. Simple, isn’t it? Why don’t you give it a try? If you do, you’ll
see why the Book you are holding is the most remarkable book in history.