In one sense, this practice implies that I understand the Scriptures so well that I only need to skim them. Enter your email address to subscribe to the Unitive and receive notifications of new posts by email.
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Moreover, if God wants to speak something to others through us, He will also do it on the basis of what He has spoken in the past.
Everyone who wants to know God must study His Word in a serious way, and every believer should realize the importance of reading God’s Word from the very beginning of his Christian life.
For example, the Bible mentions something in some places and does not mention it in other places.
According to the four principles of reading the Bible, how should we deal with this passage?
From this example we see that the first basic principle in reading the Bible is to discover the facts.
Concerning meditating on the Word, I think the best thing is for me to quote George Muller. It has recently pleased the Lord to teach me a truth, irrespective of human instrumentality, as far as I know, the benefit of which I have not lost, though now, while preparing the fifth edition for the press, more than fourteen years have since passed away. I began therefore to meditate on the New Testament from the beginning, early in the morning. And yet now, since God has taught me this point, it is as plain to me as anything, that the first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is, to obtain food for his inner man. How different, when the soul is refreshed and made happy early in the morning, from what it is when, without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day come upon one!— George Muller, Autobiography of George Muller, the Life of Trust, 1861, reprinted 1981, pp. A new believer who recently has received the Lord should not engage himself in intense research of the Bible for at least six months because he is not familiar with the Bible as a whole yet. In familiarizing himself with the Bible, he should read the whole book chapter by chapter, consecutively over and over again. The principle of reading the Bible is to go through it chapter by chapter, over and over again.
If a person reads his Bible according to the above way, after some time his knowledge of the Bible will increase. The first kind of daily Bible reading—praying and meditating over the Word—is a continuous lifelong practice. There are twenty-eight different ways to study the Bible, which are covered in the book The Ways to Study the Bible. The experience of some people suggests that an hour of study can be divided into four sessions.
One can choose specific topics and spend the next ten minutes solely gathering information concerning them. Subscribe to our NewsletterTo subscribe to our teachings for Christian growth simply add your email below. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
God rarely speaks things which He has not already spoken in the Bible. (This is why books like the BOOK OF MORMON or the QURAN are considered false teaching.
If we do not know what God has said in the past, He cannot speak through us to others, and we are useless in the eyes of God. By letting His word dwell in us richly, we know His past ways and hear His present speaking.
The law of gravity existed long before Newton, yet for thousands of years no one discovered it. If we read the Bible carefully, we will find the New Testament expressions in the Lord, in Christ, in Christ Jesus, etc. The Lord said that the disciples already had one Comforter, but that He was going to give them another.
Whether or not a person is rich in God’s Word depends on how many facts he has discovered. The Bible used in the first period should not have any marks or notes written in it (except dates, which we will mention later).
The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time except we take food, and as this is one of the first things we do in the morning, so it should be with the inner man.
He should rather spend a few months to read through the whole Bible and familiarize himself with it in a general way. The best way is to decide the number of chapters in the Old and the New Testament one wants to read each day. Those who are more advanced in the Lord should pay attention to the way the newly saved ones read their Bibles. The second kind of reading—general reading, involving some kind of Bible study—can begin after at least six months are spent gaining some knowledge of the Bible. If you can set aside half an hour a day, develop a plan to study the Bible for half an hour a day.


Of the twenty-eight ways, the study of the progression of truth throughout the Bible is the most difficult.
The first session of twenty minutes is for studying specific subjects like prophecies, types, parables, dispensations, the Lord’s teachings on earth, or a specific book.
There are many special terms like reconciliation, blood, faith, joy, peace, hope, love, obedience, righteousness, redemption, mercy, etc., which are scattered throughout the Bible, and they all are very meaningful. There are many topics in the Bible, such as creation, man, sin, salvation, repentance, the Holy Spirit, regeneration, sanctification, justification, forgiveness, freedom, the Body of Christ, the Lord’s coming, judgment, the kingdom, eternity, etc.
Using our own words to reiterate the apostles’ thought is a good way to prepare us for biblical exposition. But once he discovers these biblical facts, half of the light contained in the Word will be his.
In reading these passages, we must pay attention to the promise of the Lord Jesus and discover whether there are any special facts related to it. Following His death and resurrection, the Lord said that He would come back to them and that God would give them the Holy Spirit.
It is not a question of how many times we have read the Bible, but a question of the facts we have discovered through our many times of reading. The Bible used in the second period can contain whatever we have been touched with, either by jotting down notes or by circling or underlining words or passages.
The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that, though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer. Sometimes it does good to examine the dates recorded in their Bibles, to check how many chapters they read every day, and to find out where they are each week.
One can read all the related passages and find the verses that deal with the subject chosen. Write down all the materials (verses) you have gathered, and from these write down the main words and meanings of each passage.
A paraphrase is not a commentary; you are merely using your own words to convey what Paul said so that those who do not understand it can understand. The main lesson to learn here is to express the meaning of a passage with words that are within your grasp. If we want to know the riches and vastness of God’s provision for us, we must read the Bible. Through His death and resurrection, God has made Him the Christ, and God has joined us to Him through the Spirit.
If he cannot discover any facts and if he reads through the Bible in a hasty and mindless way, he will not understand much.
Or we can do both early in the morning by reading one way during the first half of our time and another way during the second half of our time. The Bible used in the first period can contain dates—dates on which we came across a special verse, made a deal with the Lord, or had a special experience. For I might seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers, I might seek to relieve the distressed, I might in other ways seek to behave myself as it becomes a child of God in this world; and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right spirit.
When thus I have been for a while making confession, or intercession, or supplication, or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse, turning all, as I go on, into prayer for myself or others, as the word may lead to it, but still continually keeping before me that food for my own soul is the object of my meditation. The most one can handle at one time is five topics; if there are more than five topics, there will be too many clues, and it will be difficult to handle them all at once.
By paraphrasing the Bible with simple words, we express a passage in a way that others can understand at a glance.
After you have tried one book, you will know how precious the experience is and how profitable the exercise is. If we want to see God’s step-by-step guidance for men, we must read the Bible as well. Every young Christian should do his best to labor on God’s Word so that when he grows old, he can nourish himself and supply others with the riches of the Word. We should write down the date next to such a verse, indicating that we met God through this verse on that date. Before this time my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as an habitual thing to give myself to in prayer, after having dressed myself in the morning. The result of this is, that there is always a good deal of confession, thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession mingled with my meditation, and that my inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened, and that by breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart. Not prayer, but the word of God; and here again, not the simple reading of the word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.
If a person does not know what God has spoken in the past, it is difficult for him to receive His revelation in the present because he lacks the basis for God’s speaking. Chronology is clearly mentioned in some places, but totally skipped and seemingly neglected in other places.
In reading Romans we find the words Christ Jesus, which mean that the Christ today is the very Jesus who was on earth in the past. In the morning period or the first half of the early morning reading, we should meditate, praise, and pray as we read the Word, mixing our reading with meditation, praise, and prayer. Now, I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the word of God, and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, by means of the word of God, whilst meditating on it, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord.


Those who have just received the Lord should learn to read the Bible and remember the number of times they have read through it. This is why you should consider carefully before the Lord the amount of time you should set aside for your study.
These can be supplementary studies; we do not have to devote all our time to these special ways. You must pray much before the Lord and read the Bible properly before you can paraphrase it correctly.
Through practicing a little every day, and through careful reading and meticulous writing, one will eventually be able to paraphrase one of Paul’s Epistles. We cannot skip any one of them.  And we cannot read from a corrupt translation of the Bible or all these meanings will be altered from their original intent as inspired by God. After a little while they would see Him no longer, but then they would see Him again, and He would abide in them.
He saw that the nations would be blessed through the seed of Abraham, and he saw that this was a unique seed. The Bible used in the second period is for understanding, and we should write down all the spiritual facts we discover and the light we have received. Now, prayer, in order to be continued for any length of time in any other than a formal manner, requires, generally speaking, a measure of strength or godly desire, and the season, therefore, when this exercise of the soul can be most effectually performed is after the inner man has been nourished by meditation on the word of God, where we find our Father speaking to us, to encourage us, to comfort us, to instruct us, to humble us, to reprove us. It is good to write a letter to notify a more elderly brother the first time you have finished reading through the New Testament. After you finish a book, go back and revise your work once or twice, modifying it with appropriate words and polishing your sentences. He will then be able to understand Paul’s word and will be able to use other words to convey the same meaning. They do not see what God’s Word emphasizes and are ignorant of the depths in His Word. It is also good to leave a blank page in your Bible to record the number of times you have read through it. If you decide to dedicate twenty minutes of your time each day to this kind of study, do not prolong or shorten it. This will give you a better impression of the book, and you will come to know what the apostles were talking about.
After we have analyzed the facts accurately, categorized them properly, and compared them clearly before God, we will have the ground to take on the fourth point—God’s enlightening. If it had been plural, it would have referred to the many children of Abraham, that is, the Jews, and the meaning would be completely different.
There is thus far less to be feared from wandering of mind than if we give ourselves to prayer without having had previously time for meditation. You should write the date and the place you finished reading it the first time, the second time, and so on.
Besides these, there are other ways to study the Bible, like studying prophecies, types, parables, miracles, the Lord’s teaching on earth, or doing a book-by-book study, etc. Do it properly and intelligently so that you can understand it and so that other brothers and sisters who read it can understand it as well.
I dwell so particularly on this point because of the immense spiritual profit and refreshment I am conscious of having derived from it myself, and I affectionately and solemnly beseech all my fellow-believers to ponder this matter. It is not a bad idea to gather information on two, three, four, or five topics at the same time. One day when you need to deal with such a topic, these materials will be on hand for you to apply. These two expressions—Christ being once Jesus, and Jesus eventually becoming Christ—mean two different things. Identify clearly whether it is the Old Testament or the New Testament you have read through.
First, paraphrase Paul’s Epistles, then paraphrase the remainder of the New Testament. We have not seen a brother or sister who studies for three hours a day who can maintain this schedule for long.
If a person wants to read through the Bible a hundred times, assuming that he lives for fifty years as a Christian, he will have to go through the whole Bible at least twice a year. When we analyze and compare the Scriptures in this way, looking to God for enlightenment, we will see something.
If we had been in Him when He was on earth, we would have taken part in His cross and His redemption. There is only a change in form. (And yet they are three separate beings at the same time that they are one.



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