About Bible Study that Makes a Difference
Join pastor Jerry as we look closely at and learn from God's Word through "inductive Bible study." Using a proven, simple, and systematic approach we will explore God's Word in such a way that Christ's character may be formed in you.
Recommended Bible Version
The NIV Study Bible is an easy-to-read translation that is close to the Bible's original languages (Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic) with helpful notes and additional information. You may also want a good Bible Handbook to enrich and deepen your understanding.
Why study the Bible?
Scripture is the primary tool the Holy Spirit uses to lead us to salvation and then to rebuild our character into that of Jesus. We are changed within when we learn God's Will by God's Word and choose to live according to God's Will, not our own.
John the Baptist said: "He must become greater; I must become less" (John 3:30). The most practical and effective way for that to happen is to become a Christ follower committed to studying God's revealed word.
In John 17:13-17 Jesus talks to God about us: "I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not. I'm not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They are not part of this world any more than I am. Make them pure and holy by teaching them your words of truth."
"Make them" by "teaching them" - God makes us holy in a process (sanctification) that's taught before it's caught. Of course anyone can study the Bible but the most effective study begins when you believe Jesus is the Messiah - your Lord and Savior (justification) – because you're no longer studying alone. You are no longer trying to apply the principles you discover to your life in just your own strength.
Jesus says in John 14:15, "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you."
We are not born with the mind of Christ - we must be "born again" into it. In John 3:3, Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." You receive "Kingdom eyes" through salvation but your heart and mind must grow up.
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11-13, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
A Christian almost never knows intuitively God's Will in our life or world. Often, we think we know what God wants us or others to do. Sometimes, like Peter, we want to tell Jesus what He should do. Matthew 16:23. Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
If you know the story you know that Peter had a lot of growing up to do. Interestingly, just before this, Peter is the first to confess Jesus as the Christ. Matthew 16:16-18, Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."
Why study the Bible? So we may know the mind and heart, the will and desire of God for us, others, and this world. What we "know" to be true, may not be. Let's find out!