Why Should We Seek To Learn About God In Our Bible Study
Before we jump into how to do it, its important to think about why we should study the Bible this way. Quite simply: God wrote it. God reveals himself to us in creation, but also through his Word. Psalm 19 reminds us first that God declares himself to us through the world he created, then explains how he uses his Word to also give us knowledge about him. Its this knowledge of God that rightly shapes our hearts, our minds, our affections, and our lives.
How To Know God: A Simple Bible Study Method With A Free Printable
Use this simple Bible study method to get to know God personally!
Knowing God is life-changing. When we increase our knowledge of Him not just head knowledge, but intimate knowledge, like the mystery of two becoming one in marriage, which is a symbol of Christ and the church we begin to live eternal life now.
In John 17:3 Jesus prayed,
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Knowing God is essential for us to become like Him. It is essential for us to be able to fully trust that His way is best and that His law is good.
Yet I think sometimes we dont know how to move from fact-finding when we read scripture into God-apprehending.
As a teenager, I fell in love with the Bible. I read it every day without fail. I learned critical foundational knowledge as I did this, and lots of practical tips for how to live a life that pleased God. I began to put the things I was learning into practice, and I saw amazing transformation in my life as a result! It all made sense and it proved true as I began to live it out.
When I went off to college, I learned to take my Bible study a step farther. I was involved in a campus ministry where I was encouraged to read with the simple goal of learning who God is, rather than to merely gather factual and practical take-aways.
For me, the result of this new approach to scripture was life changing.
But how does this work practically?
God Is Holy He Is Infinitely Unchangingly Perfect
Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord Almighty Revelation 4:8
The word holy means sacred, set apart, revered, or devine. And yet none of those words is adequate to describe the awesome holiness of our God. John MacArthur writes this about Gods holiness: Of all the attributes of God, holiness is the one that most uniquely describes Him and in reality is a summation of all His other attributes. The word holiness refers to His separateness, His otherness, the fact that He is unlike any other being. It indicates His complete and infinite perfection. Holiness is the attribute of God that binds all the others together.
That God is holy means he is endlessly, always perfect. And his standard for us is perfection as well. Therefore you are to be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect, Jesus says in Matthew 5:48. Thats why we need Christ. Without Christ taking the place for us and dying for our sins, we would all fall short of Gods holy standard. Tozer says this about what Gods holiness demands:
Thankfully, the Christian will never have to experience Gods holy wrath poured out. Through Christs death and resurrection, the penalty for our sins was paid and we were imputed with Christs righteousness. Now, when God looks on us, he sees Christs perfect holiness. Hallelujah! It is only in this that we can hope to stand in the presence of the blindingly pure, perfect, Holy One of Israel.
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Unit : Getting To Know God
Q. Why are people separated from God?A. Sin separates people from God.
Scripture: Isaiah 59:121
Q. Who makes the first move?A. People cannot be redeemed unless God makes the first move in their salvation.
Scripture: Romans 3:1011 John 6:3544 Matthew 11:2027 1 Corinthians 1:23 2:616 Romans 5:89 Ephesians 1:310
Q. What is a Christian?A. A Christian is a person who is born again by the Holy Spirit, repents of his sin, and believes in Jesus as Savior.
Scripture: John 3:18, 1621 Ephesians 2:110 Matthew 11:2830
Questions To Help You Engage With Scripture
Article by: Taryn Nergaard
Bible reading wasnt always enjoyable for me. At times, reading Scripture felt like a chorea necessary struggle to become a good Christian.
I didnt grow up reading the Bible, so when I accepted Jesus into my life at nineteen years old, I assumed I should read the Bible the same way I read any other book.
From front to back in its entirety.
Then, only after uttering the words, The grace of the Lord Jesus be with everyone. Amen could I jump back to Genesis 1:1 and start the whole thing over again.
If youre anything like me, arriving at Leviticus is like hitting a wall. You know there must be excellent stuff on the other side, but youre staring at red bricks and wondering how you will get through it.
Eventually, I discovered helpful reading plans that opened my eyes to how many ways I can read Scripture.
I started reading through it book-by-book until one day I had checked off all 66 of them.
But when I reached that goal, I lost interest once again. Although I maintained a regular habit of Bible reading, it wasnt something I looked forward to.
A few years later, as I sat in a healing-discipleship class at my local church and listened to a pastor explain how to view Bible study as a two-way conversation with God.
This was the beginning of an exciting new adventure for me.
Day after day, God, through the Holy Spirit, would impress something upon me. It illuminated what I was reading, and it transformed my heart in the process.
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God Is Compassionate And He Nurtures And Nourishes His Children With The Same Love Of A Father
Psalm 103:13 – “As a father is compassionate and loving towards his children, so is the Lord towards those who fear Him.” Hosea 11:1,3,4 – “When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms but they did not know that I healed them. I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them.”
God What Next Step Can I Take Today
God wants us to read Scripture to learn the truth and to apply it to our lives. Taking biblical truth and turning it into action is how we become disciples.
The Bible is a large book, and Christians tend to see all the things they should do and expect transformation immediately. Its easy to get overwhelmed by the endless dos and donts of Scripture. And when people feel overwhelmed, they get stuck.
Instead of trying to do it all , ask God for just one positive step to take today. We can all take one small step forward. Following God, one step at a time, takes us on our lifes journey of obedience and transformation.
When We Study The Bible We Seek The Authors Intended Meaning
We honor people when we seek to understand them. We dishonor them when we carelessly put words in their mouths. We express our love for God by seeking to know what his word actually says, not what we wish it to say.
Every text in the Bible has two authorsthe divine Author and the human author. The divine Author ensured that the human authors words were exactly as he intended. Peter wrote, no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit . Our task is to seek the divine Authors meaning by discerning the human authors meaning.
Is Jesus God Our Salvation Depends On It
When God created Adam and Eve, he knew they would blow itthat they would violate his command and bring sin into the worldand that this would put a separation between God and us.
As a result, everyone alive has been born with a sin nature. But God didnt give up on us.
From the foundation of time God had a plan to redeem us from our sin nature, a plan to offer everyone who lives the opportunity to come into a living relationship with him by believing on his son, Jesus.
Gods plan required his son, Jesus Christ, part of the Trinity, to become a sacrifice for us. Jesus was the only one who could make this sacrifice, for he was the only person who ever lived who was holy and blameless.
Chapter 7 of Hebrews talks about this sacrifice.
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
If Jesus had not been fully man and fully God, his death on the cross would have meant nothing in terms of eternity and true forgiveness of sin.
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The Old Testament Refers To Jesus
Jesus was described many times in the Old Testament. For example:
Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.
Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!
New Testament Writers Refer To Jesus As God
There are several places in the New Testament where Jesus is referred to as God. For example, Peter referred to our God and Savior Jesus Christ in 2 Peter 1:1.
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours .
Here are some more New Testament verses in which Jesus is referred to as God:
Through him all things were made without him nothing was made that has been made.
are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.
The Son is the radiance of Gods glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
But about the Son he says In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
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Words In Reference To God The Father God The Son And God The Holy Spirit
We cannot understand who God is without seeking to understand the ways he works and interacts with us in these three distinct roles. We see the Father initiating his love to his people, the person and work of Christ on every page of Scripture, and the Spirit moving in lives long before he appeared through fire at Pentecost . As we consider all three parts of the Trinity, we will be moved to awe and wonder at this God who chose to enter into a relationship with sinners like you and me.
What We Can And Cant Understand About God
It is true that we cannot fully understand all there is to know about God. God is not limited by time or space as we are.
There are some aspects of God that are beyond our comprehension. The apostle Paul said as much in his inspired letter to the Romans. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! .
It should not erode our faith to admit there are some things we cannot understand about God. After all, how much do we not understand about humans? We could just as easily ask, What is man, and what is the meaning of human existence? The humanists, secularists, atheists and agnostics could not really answer that.
Just because some questions about God are not yet answered is no reason to reject what He says He is.
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God Is Merciful He Is Infinitely Unchangeably Compassionate And Kind
I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” – Romans 9:15-16
As noted above, Gods mercy is inseparable from his justness. He is infinitely, unchangeably, unfailingly merciful forgiving, lovingly kind toward us. He is inexhaustibly, actively compassionate. His mercy is also undeserved by us. Spurgeon writes that, It is undeserved mercy, as indeed all true mercy must be, for deserved mercy is only a misnomer for justice. There was no right on the sinner’s part, to the saving mercy of the Most High God. Had the rebel been doomed at once to eternal fire he would have justly merited the doom and if delivered from wrath, sovereign love alone has found a cause, for there was none in the sinner himself.
Without the mercy of God, we would have no hope of heaven. Because of our disobedient hearts, we deserve death. For all have sinned and fall short glory of God, and, the wages of sin is death. But because of mercy, we dont get what we deserve. Instead, because of the mercy of God, we get life through faith in Christ.
Does God Care About Us Or Is He Cruel
6. Why do some people think that God doesnt care about their suffering?
6 Many people think that God doesnt care about us. They feel that if God really cared, the world would be very different. We see war, hatred, and misery everywhere. People get sick, they suffer, and they die. Some wonder, If God cares about us, why doesnt he stop all this suffering?
7. How have religious leaders taught people that God is cruel? Why can we be sure that God is not to blame for bad things that happen?
7 Religious leaders sometimes make people believe that God is cruel. When something terrible happens, they say that its Gods will. They say that he wanted it to happen. When they say this, they are really blaming God. But the Bible teaches that God is never the source of evil. James 1:13 tells us that God does not test anyone with evil things. It says: When under trial, let no one say: I am being tried by God. For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone. This means that even though God hasnt stopped bad things from happening, he never makes them happen. Lets use an example.
8, 9. Why would it be unfair to blame God for our problems? Give an example.
9 There is a very good reason why God has not yet stopped bad things from happening. In Chapter 11, you will learn what the Bible says about this. But you can be sure that God loves us and that he is never to blame for our problems. In fact, he is the only One who can solve them.Isaiah 33:2.
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Studying The Bible Leads To True Flourishing
What can we expect from studying the Bible? We can expect to flourish in the ways that matter most. Psalm 1 speaks of the blessed, or happy, person who meditates onnot just reads throughGods word. The one who meditatively studies Gods word is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not whither .
Who doesnt want to be truly happy? Who doesnt want live a life of flourishing? The God who made us shows us the way: from morning to night, meditating on his word with great delight.
Drew Hunter is the teaching pastor at Zionsville Fellowship in Zionsville, Indiana. He is the author of Made for Friendship and the Isaiah and Matthew volumes in the Knowing the Bible series. Drew and his wife, Christina, live in Zionsville, Indiana, and have four children.