Understanding the Bible

Text: Ezra 7:6-10


I.         God has given us the truths we need

            A.        It will make us perfect - II Timothy 3:16-17

            B.        It tells us how to live life and to be godly - II Peter 1:2-4

            C.        What is written will help us believe - John 20:30-31

II.        The answers we seek from the Bible are not usually contained in one verse or one passage.

            A.        God presented it such that we build it up piece by piece - Isaiah 28:10

            B.        There are numerous passages that cannot be understood without turning to other passages that might be in another book of the Bible

                        1.         Example: Mark 9:1

                                    a.         What kingdom is Jesus referring to? - Daniel 2:44; John 18:36

                                    b.         Who is the king? - I Timothy 6:15-16

                                    c.         When did the king ascend to the throne? - Psalms 2:6; Acts 2:29-36

                                    d.         This power – when was it presented? - Acts 1:8; 2:1-4

                                    e.         How do you immigrate into this kingdom? - John 3:3-5; Matthew 7:21; 18:3

                        2.         Therefore, to better understand a passage, we need knowledge of other passages and see how they relate to each other

                        3.         Regular Bible reading increases our ability to connect passages

III.       The more often we read, the more we remember

            A.        The Bible did not originally come with a map to where relate passages exist. People have created cross-reference lists, but all lists are limited to the knowledge of the one creating it.

            B.        We need to read and when we notice a relationship, jot down in the margins where the related verse lies

                        1.         Otherwise, later on you will be thinking: “I know I read something about that a few months ago.”

                        2.         And we are combining two forms of learning: reading and writing

            C.        Regular reading helps us grasp the organization of the Bible. Then when we need a passage on a topic, we may have a rough idea where to go look for it.

            D.        Have you put a jigsaw puzzle together?

                        1.         At first the task appears overwhelming. All the pieces look alike! There are too many duplicates!

                        2.         Having a big picture of what the final result should look like helps

                        3.         The first few pieces go together with difficulty, but as you progress, it gets easier because you know roughly where the next piece might go.

            E.        Studying the Bible is similar

                        1.         At first it appears to be a daunting task and totally incomprehensible

                        2.         But reading a few parts and then getting a overview of what the Bible is about helps you to start organizing and connecting the various pieces

                        3.         The more your read and make connections, the easier it becomes

IV.      The more we read, the more our lives are changed

            A.        We are not as easily swayed by false doctrine - Ephesians 4:14

                        1.         When we understand the will of the Lord - Ephesians 5:17

                        2.         We see for ourselves that many claims about the Bible are not true

            B.        We become a bit more resistant to sin - Psalms 119:9-11

            C.        We understand people and their motives a bit better

            D.        We are encouraged to grow - I Peter 2:2; Ephesians 3:3-5, 16-17

            E.        We become more patient - Acts 20:32; Ephesians 4:1-3

            F.        We become more content - I Timothy 6:6

            G.        Our peace multiplies - Philippians 4:6-9; Psalms 85:8

            H.        Our love is stirred - Hebrews 10:24; Galatians 5:22-23

V.        Read your Bibles

            A.        Like the Bereans, search the Scriptures daily - Acts 17:11

            B.        Work with the Scriptures with diligence - II Timothy 2:15

[based on an article by Abraham Smith titled “The Benefits of Reading the Bible from Cover to Cover”]

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