Reading the Bible

The Holy Bible is an amazing book consisting of 66 separate, yet united, books. This awesome literary work is the revealed will of God. Many view it as their only rule of faith and practice in life.

The Bible claims to be indestructible. It teaches that mankind will be judged by it. If that be the case, man should want to know how to read and study the Bible.

The Bible claims that we can understand it. Jesus of Nazareth taught in the parable of the soils that honest and good hearts can understand. Believers are instructed to "understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17). The God of the Bible would be considered unjust had he revealed his will, knowing that mankind could not understand it. The fact is, God wants all men to come to a knowledge of his word (I Timothy 2:4).

Perhaps the following suggestions will help those who desire to read and study the Bible. We should not read the Bible with prejudice. Some people in Jesus' day could not hear the word of God because they listened with prejudice (John 8:43). "This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing. . ." he said (Matthew 13:15). We should not read the Bible to prove a theory. Often people approach the study of God's word with a preconceived notion and try to prove their theory from the Bible. We should not accept some of the scripture and reject part like Jehoiakim did. He cut out part of the scripture with a penknife and cast it into the fire (Jeremiah 36:20-26). The word of God is not a smorgasbord. We can't pick and choose only those parts we like.

Some approach the reading of the Bible with the attitude that God will be pleased whether we truly understand the Bible teaching or not, so long as we are sincere. Saul of Tarsus had lived "in all good conscience" while he was doing "many things contrary to the name of Jesus..." (Acts 23: 1, 26:9). Just because he had a clear conscience did not mean he was right. Reading the Bible and "adding our two cents worth" to it is unacceptable. We are "not to go beyond the things which are written" (I Corinthians 4:6). Neither are we to leave out part of the Bible when we study a biblical matter. We cannot equate human reasoning or tradition with the Bible. To the Scribes and Pharisees, Jesus said, "ye leave the commandment of God and hold fast the tradition of men... Full well do ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your tradition" (Mark 7:8-9). When we read the Bible, we need to be careful not to take a verse out of context. In so doing, we make a pretext of it.

Read the Bible in a way that would be acceptable to God. Gladly receive the word as some did on Pentecost in Acts 2. Receive it with all readiness of mind as the Bereans did. We need to give our best effort to present ourselves approved unto God by properly handling his word (Il Timothy 2: 15). We should read and study the Bible with hearts open and receptive to truth, with a will to understand. We should read the Bible reverently, daily, and with the intent to obey it.

-Paul Clements

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8464 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL 36117

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(334) 273-0001

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easternmeadows@emcofc.org

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Our Worship Times

We would like to invite you to join us at Eastern Meadows Church of Christ for our Bible Study time together. We have classes for all ages. Also join us for our Worship Services. We hope to see you there.

Sunday

Bible Study: 9:00 AM

Worship Services: 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM

Wednesday

Bible Study: 6:30 PM