13 Question 2

Well, there is really no ‘bad’ place to start reading your Bible.  From cover to cover, it is the inspired Word of God as we read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

I would suggest, though, that you begin with reading one of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.  Of those four, I think you would mostly benefit by starting with the book of John.  Matthew, Mark, and Luke are generally referred to as the synoptic Gospels.  This means they give a synopsis, or brief overview, of the life of Christ.  Both Matthew and Luke give the Lord’s earthly genealogy.  Matthew traces the Lord’s birth line back to Abraham; while Luke traces it all the way back to Adam.

John is different from Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  It is not a synoptic Gospel.  It is concerned more with the person and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ than with most of the events of his life.  It doesn’t begin with the birth of Jesus, it begins with the proclamation in John 1:1 that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  And then in John 1:14 – “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  This shows from the very outset that the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed God.  The last nine chapters of John, from chapter 13 to chapter 21, focus entirely on the last week of the life of the Lord on the earth.  It is so important that as you begin to read your Bible that you become very acquainted with the Lord Jesus, who He is and what He has done.  The book of John will be the best book for this.

After this, you may want to go back and begin with the book of Genesis.  Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, which is referred to as the Pentateuch.  It would be good to read these five books to understand how that God created the Heavens and the Earth.  He created man and put him in the Garden of Eden.  Later, the Lord chose a people for Himself, beginning with Abraham.  It is a fascinating history with incredible spiritual lessons to be learned.  It is good to be familiar with the Psalms, also.  It is good to read from both the Old and New Testaments, so going back and forth between the two will give you a good reading schedule to become acquainted with the entire Word of God.  I encourage you to have a goal of reading your Bible entirely.  We have a free Bible Reader that is available to help you set up a schedule of reading your Bible every day.  We’ll give those details at the end of the program.

The most important thing is that you are reading God’s Word on a continuing basis; every day.  It’s vital to the life of the Christian to hear from the Lord each day, to read His word and let the Spirit of God lead you into learning and understanding its lessons and principles.  We read in John 16:13-14 – “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 shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”  Even if you are not too familiar with the Bible, the Spirit of God can teach you as you read His Word.  Having read God’s Word, it is so important to let the Word of God do its work in your heart and life.  Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”  Let the Word dwell in your richly…become a part of you.  As the psalmist said in Psalms 119:11 – “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”  Take God’s Word into your heart and let it truly become a part of you.

It is important to know that not everyone, however, can be a successful Bible student. Only those with the necessary “qualifications” for studying the Word can read and understand its teachings.  What are the qualifications?

First:  Are you saved by faith in Jesus Christ?  1 Corinthians 2:14-16 says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.   For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

Secondly:  Do you have a true desire to know more about the Lord and His direction for your life?  1 Peter 2:2-3 says, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

Thirdly:  Are you diligently searching for truth from God’s Word?  Acts 17:11 says, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

If you meet these qualifications: you are a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ with a true desire to learn and a dependence on His Word as the one source of authority, then the Lord will teach you wonderful and marvelous truths from His Word.  (13.2)