How to Study the Bible

At Calvary Chapel of Fayetteville we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. This is why we teach book-by-book, chapter-by-chapter, and verse-by-verse. As the Word of God, we know the Bible speaks directly to every situation in our daily lives. 
 
The Bible tells us that it is God’s desire that each of us study his Word. Often, individuals find studying the Bible a daunting task.  It is our hope that the following information helps with guiding the reader through a fulfilling study of the Word.
  
Pray for Wisdom and Understanding
Start with prayer. It is essential to gaining wisdom and understanding when you read God’s Word. Through prayer, you can approach God and acknowledge your incomplete knowledge of His Word, as well as your need for Him to open your heart to His instruction.  Only God can give you the wisdom to understand His Word.
  
Read in an Orderly Manner 
Context, context, context. If you received a letter and read only a few sentences here and there, the letter would not make much sense to you. But if you read the letter in order, you would understand it. The same holds true when you read the Bible.
 
Discipline yourself to read the Bible in an orderly manner. One way to do this is to use an established reading plan. A reading plan lists Scripture passages to be read in a certain order. Many of the existing plans were created with a goal in mind. Some plans break the whole Bible down into 365 daily readings. Others help you read through the Bible in the order that the events actually happened. A great resource is “The Daily Bible” put together by F. LaGard Smith.
 
Meditate on God’s Word and Ask Questions
Thinking about what you have read cannot be overemphasized. Meditating on what you have read helps you to discover the importance of the passage. It also helps you to examine your life in light of what God reveals in His Word.
 
One of the best ways to begin meditating on God’s Word is to ask questions. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
 
What is the main subject of the passage?
To whom is this passage addressed?
Who is speaking?
About what or whom is the person speaking?
What is the key verse?
What does this passage teach me about God?
 
To see how the text might apply to you personally, ask yourself these questions:
 
Is there any sin mentioned in the passage that I need to confess or forsake?
Is there a command given that I should obey?
Is there a promise made that I can apply to my current circumstances?
Is there a prayer given that I could pray?
 
 
Three great resources are , “How to Study Your Bible”, “ Lord, Teach Me to Study The Bible in 28 Days” both by Kay Arthur, and Understanding and Applying The Bible, by Robertson McQuilkin.