In a world where time is of the essence, it is imperative that we study the bible. However, with busy schedules and multiple jobs it is hard to nail down a specific time in which to study the word of God.
Everyone has their own methods of studying with their own set of rules and regulations; however, studying the word of God is an individual thing. We all should do it, but just how much, when, where, and how is totally up to the individual. When one first begins to believe, gives their heart to God, and receives His Holy Spirit, they are babes in Christ; and therefore should read and study the word more frequently; especially the New Testament for it is the New Testament that holds our future. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). Besides, what is the use of learning about Abraham, if you do not know about your savior Jesus? He bought your salvation, and granted you entrance into this grace. Without Him, there would be no salvation, and we would still be in our sin.
How one studies the Bible should be governed by the Spirit of God, not by the whims of men; because the way I study may not be suitable for you. What I need at the time you may not need. What the Lord wants to say to me, He may not want to say to you. Therefore, be governed by the Spirit in your study time.
One should really ask the Lord how to study the Bible, what to read, and when rather than always looking to people for the answers. Who knows you better than the Lord? Who can see your thoughts afar off? Only Jesus can do these things, and He should be the one we turn to for answers. One thing we must do is invite the Spirit into our study time, because He it is that will give us revelation knowledge of what we read. He will give us understand and wisdom to operate in that knowledge. As Jesus said: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (St. John 15:5).
Trying to study the word without the Spirit of God is like climbing a mountain without a harness. Sure you could do it, but where is the safety line to stop you from falling? It just does not work, and it is not safe. You cannot separate the word from the Spirit, because the word is spirit, and it is life. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). The word is a cleanser. “Now ye are clean through the word, which I have spoken unto you” (St. John 15:3).
Always, always pray before starting to study. Pray as if you were praying over a well-prepared meal. For the word of God is the bread of life, therefore, speak life over the word; that it might become life in you. “I am the living bread, which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (St. John 6:51). When you read the word, you bring life into yourself and become more than flesh and blood.
Now the purpose of studying is to give the Spirit something to use in the time of battle. If you do not study, you will have nothing in your memory for the spirit to bring back to you. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (St. John 14:26).
Another reason to study: is to search the scripture to know what is being said is true according to the Bible. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Never, depend totally on someone’s word, but be a steward of the word, and allow the Lord to direct you through His word. Therefore you will never be confuses.
No one, and I do mean no one, should be interpreting the Bible. The Bible is not open to any private interpretation. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20). The Bible is not interpreted, it is revealed by the Spirit of Christ. This is how we get into all manner of trouble, because we try to interpret the Bible instead of letting the Spirit of Christ give us revelation. Who better to give us understand of the bible than He who inspired it?
Therefore, how do we study the Bible? By the Spirit of Christ.