It is vital that we understand the importance of the Bible. The Bible is the source of the Good News about Jesus Christ. The teachings of the Bible builds our faith and helps us to grow in our new life in Christ. It is my hope that the following material will aid you in your understanding of the Bible and help in your growth in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible is made up of two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament structure:
|POETRY & WISDOM||PROPHECY|
|Song of Solomon||Daniel||Zephaniah|
The New Testament structure:
|1 Thessalonians||1 John|
|2 Thessalonians||2 John|
|1 Timothy||3 John|
The following quotes are from “The Overall Plan of the Bible” in The Scofield Study Bible III, published by the Oxford University Press, New York, 2006, pgs. xiv – xv.
“It is possible to see in the Scriptures five great divisions, each of which can be associated with a key word pointing to Christ’s incarnation (compare Luke 24:25-27):
- PREPARATION — Old Testament
- EXPLANATION — the Letters
- MANIFESTATION — the Gospels
- CONSUMMATION — Revelation
- PUBLICATION — Acts”
“The central theme of the Bible is Christ.”
“It is this manifestation of Jesus Christ, His person as God revealed in the flesh (1 Tm. 3:16), His sacrificial death and His resurrection, that constitute the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4). All preceding Scripture leads to this; all following Scripture proceeds from this. The Gospel is preached in Acts and explained in the Epistles [Letters]. The topic of Christ, Son of God, Son of man, Son of Abraham, Son of David thus binds the many books into one Book.”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 ESV)
The Bible, presents only one way to gain forgiveness of sin and access to God: a substitutionary sacrificial death accompanied by true faith in the heart of a repentant sinner. In the Old Testament, the sinner’s sin was “passed over” by God because that sin would be paid for in the future by the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. In the New Testament, when the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ is accepted by the faith of the repentant sinner, that sinner’s sin is paid for— past, present, and future. The Bible says that there is no more sacrifice for sin. Jesus paid it all, for all, and for all time:
For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’…….And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…….But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
(Hebrews 10:4-18 ESV)
Within the Bible, we find all we need to know about the things of God. Without Bible study and meditation, our ignorance produces a weak faith, a less than joyous Christian experience, and an inability to use your spiritual gifts. If you do not have a Bible, purchase one. One with a good binding because it must be able to stand up to the normal wear and tear of constant use. The binding need not be expensive leather. Make sure that the print is large enough for you to read comfortably. Choose a Bible version that you trust. The King James is trustworthy, loved by many. There are some modern versions that are also trustworthy and easier to read. On this site, I use the English Standard Version. Start reading. The Gospel of John is a great place to start. Read your Bible every day. A good time is in the morning, then you can think about what you read during the day. I find it best to read in the New Testament in the morning and the Old Testament at night. Do what works for you. Do it and God will bless you in your efforts.
When at church services or Bible study groups, do not be intimidated by the speed by which some Christians can look up a Bible passage. Soon, you will be just as fast. For now, put a bookmark in the front of your Bible at the “Contents” page. This will give you the page number for the book in the Bible that you are looking for. Often in literature a Bible notation is used. For example: John 3:16—“John” is the name of the book (sometimes abbreviated—Jn.), “3” is the chapter, and “16” is the verse.
All new learners experience what is called by educators a “learning fog.” This is caused by not knowing the vocabulary and study methods of the subject that is being studied. This “fog” dissipates as soon as you learn some vocabulary and practice the study methods. Be patient, soon you will be comfortable in your studies.
I use a Bible application that I highly recommend: e-Sword. You can visit the e-Sword site at: www.e-Sword.net. It is a suite of Bibles, reference books, etc. It is free. You can download the app to your PC and use it off line. Those good folks at e-Sword have not endorsed this site and are not responsible for any of my views, mistakes, etc. that some may find troubling.
Lord willing, there will be more Bible study help in the future. Pray for me that I will share those things which will be most helpful to you and others. If you have questions or suggestions, use “Contact Bruce” on this site to communicate with me. If you have a favorite site or app that helps you in your Bible study, let me know and I may include it in a future Bible Study Help.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.