As you grow and develop in Christ, it’s very important that you learn how to study the Bible for yourself and not depend solely on the revelations of others. It is the desire of God for you to have a personal relationship with Him and grow into full maturity in Christ Jesus. Apostle Paul speaking in 2Timothy 2 vs 15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” emphasized the importance of Bible study.
Consider the Word of God also in the book of Hebrews: “For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]! But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law” (Hebrews 5 vs 13-14 Amp).
Expository Bible Study
There are different ways you can study the Bible to eat solid food. However, no matter which way you choose to study the Bible, ensure you always have a heart to encounter God. Study, not just for intellectual understanding, but study to get to know God better. Expository Bible study is one of the best ways to study the Bible effectively. It is a book by book or verse by verse study of the Bible. This method involves three parts: Observation, interpretation, and application. In addition, expository study draws conclusions from a passage of Bible based on the observations from the passage.
Here are the seven expository steps for effective Bible Study:
1) Background Study
First, you should conduct a basic background study on the book. Research on the following: Who is the book author? Why and who was it written? Investigate and learn about the historical background, dates, key features and place. Many Bible versions have summaries at the beginning of each book that provides some of these answers. A Bible app with dictionary, commentaries and concordance will be very helpful as well.
2) Paraphrase the Verses
Starting with the first chapter of the book, rewrite each verse or portion of the passage in your own words. This will break the verse in your words and help you understand them in wording that makes more sense to you.
3) Questions and Answers
Write down any questions you have about the passage, or unfamiliar or confusing terms that you encounter from the passage. Try to answer the questions or check the meaning of the unknown terms.
4) Cross References
Write down any related or similar passages that come to mind while you’re reading, paraphrasing, and asking questions about the passage. In addition, consult your Bible concordance, other study guides, for related passages to help your understanding.
5) Revelational Insights
If an observation or understanding or insights occurs to you about the passage, be sure to write it down. After analyzing, consult a Bible commentary for additional revelation. Seeking out other believers’ insights about the passage may provide a wider, more solid understanding of the passage than you could on your own. But, don’t visit commentaries first instead begin by making your own observations.
6) Title and Summarize
After completing your study, identify a key verse or verses and assign it a title. This will help solidify the message of the passage in your mind. Write a summary paragraph outlining the key points of the chapter. Repeat this process for subsequent chapters of the book. When the book is completed, give it a collective theme.
7) Personal Application
Effective Bible study is not complete without the application of the lessons from the passage, chapter or book. You must always have a heart to encounter God in them. Study, not just to get intellectual understanding, but study to get to know God better.
Set some high goals for your spiritual growth and discover God by yourself at least for yourself. Aim high in your goal to know God better and become transformed by His Word.