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Bible Study  – Three Essential Steps

Have you ever thought about how common shortcuts are in our lives? There are shortcuts for many things such as driving, cooking, for computers and smart phones and Facebook shortcuts! Everyone loves a shortcut because it saves time. However, there are some things for which there are no shortcuts, such as getting an education. You may be able to learn faster than someone else but getting an education requires learning specific things. You can’t skip any of them.

Facebook shortcuts - no short cuts for Bible Study

The same is true of Bible study. There are no shortcuts if you want to do Bible study the right way. There are three things you have to do each time you study it. Let’s look at them.

3 Elements of Bible Study

  1. Observation: What does it say? This is the discovery step.
  2. Interpretation: What does it mean? This is digesting what you’ve discovered.
  3. Application: How does it apply to me? This is deciding what it means.

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Since we like shortcuts, we want to go straight to # 3 Application without having to do the work of # 1 Observation and # 2 Interpretation. But it doesn’t work. Home Bible study groups have become very common over the past fews years. That’s a good thing. What isn’t good is the lack of actual Bible study in these groups. We’ve all been in a small group when someone reads a verse and someone else says “This is what this verse means to me.” Many times what the person says is flat out wrong. No matter how sincere you are, just because you say what a verse means to you doesn’t make it mean that.

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Peter warns us about people who distort the scriptures to their own destruction 2 Peter 3:16. Although he’s talking about people doing that intentionally, it’s just as serious if we do it unintentionally.

Does that mean we shouldn’t have home Bible study groups? No, of course not. What it means is we need to do some actual Bible study, which includes all three steps either before or during the group study.

It takes some work to learn how to do Bible study correctly but as Christians it’s a life-long task that’s worth learning. Being able to understand correctly what the Bible means is valuable in many aspects of your life. Here are 4 reasons why it’s important to learn to do Bible study.

4 Reasons To Learn To Do Bible Study

  1. It will enable you to understand the Bible correctly as you study it on your own.
  2. You will be able to discern whether or not what you hear in sermons or from teachers is correct.
  3. It will equip you to correctly teach others what the Bible says and what it means.
  4. It will give you the ability to explain the Bible to those seeking to know God.

There are many tools available to help you. Here is a link to Download the ESV Study Bible for free.

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I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or question below.

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Ward Cushman

My journey of faith started when I was nine years old when I realized that Jesus died and rose again to pay for my sins. At the age of thirteen I felt the call of God on my life for ministry.

I have been fortunate to work in the marketplace for over ten years and in full-time Christian ministry for over thirty years.

My passion is to teach God's Word in such a way that it is easy to understand and so that God uses it to bring about life change in those who hear it.

It is my greatest joy to see God work through me to produce fruit for His glory!