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Bible Reading 101

Ministers' letters

Friends in Christ, in my report at the AGM, I shared something to encourage at any stage of disciple-making with the 4Es. Can you be ready to ask people: “I’m looking for someone to read the Bible with. Would you be interested?” You are asking them to do you a favour.

You can do it to engage… For example, we invite English students to read the Bible after class, and some are interested because they know it is influential on our culture. You can do it to evangelise: read a Gospel to tell the gospel. You can do it to establish a new believer in the faith. Or to encourage a friend. Ask them to read Colossians or Ephesians with you. Our pastoral visitors sometimes just read the passage from last Sunday or even just a verse or two when they encourage someone in hospital or a nursing home. And you can do it to equip someone. I love reading 2 Timothy with “blokes worth watching” as young Christian leaders. It just takes a little courage and commitment.

David Helm’s book One to One Bible Reading has good ideas to help with this. But here is an approach for reading the Bible on your own, or with another person, that I’ve adapted from the old ‘Scripture Union method’.

  1. PRAY for God’s help in understanding his Word.
  2. READ IT THROUGH. Read carefully through the passage and decide what it is about.
  3. THINK IT OVER and look for answers to the following questions:

    a) What does this passage teach about God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
    – about his character (who God is), and
    – about his plan of salvation (what God has done, especially through Jesus)?

    b) What does this passage teach about my Christian life? (Remember that not every biblical command, promise or example will apply directly to you.)
    – Is there a command, a promise, a warning for me?
    – Is there an example for me to follow, or an error to avoid?

    c) What is the main lesson?

    d) How does it apply in my life now?

  4. WRITE IT DOWN and PRAY IT IN. Use the thoughts you have gained from reading.
  5. LIVE IT OUT.

“I’m looking for someone to read the Bible with. Would you be interested?”

Warmly in Christ,

Sandy Grant
Senior Minister

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