A. Objectives of Personal Bible Study
1. Fellowship with God
Recall I mentioned before that when we read and study the Bible, God talks to us through His written word in the Bible. We talk to Him through prayer. We talk for Him when we engage others in conversation about God, the Bible, and spiritual things.
Talking to others about spiritual things is sometimes called witnessing. People are most interested in spiritual things. Should they find out that you are too, they will often ask questions. Those questions may even challenge you to get to know the Bible better for yourself so you will have an adequate answer to share (1 Peter 3:15) with gentleness and respect.
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
a) Work out from the Bible passage you are studying a principle true for anyone who belongs to God, or a principle true for individuals in parallel situations.
b) Ask, What in this passage applies to:
(1) A believer’s relationship to God
(2) A believer’s relationship to other believers
On this website I have furnished a most detailed study of Romans 15:7 with a full discussion and application of all the cross references I have gathered for this verse–more than you can find anywhere else.
In this day and age ALL Christians need to study Romans 15:7, and apply the lessons taught by the cross referenced passages to their own life and church.
Rom 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
See the Category here, “Verse-by-Verse Studies” listed on the right side of this page, for my multi-part verse-by-verse study of Romans 15:7.
(3) Relationship to unbelievers
This could involve people at work, family members, even a spouse, friends and acquaintances, neighbors, relatives.
(4) A believer’s responsibility for himself or herself
(a) learning how to feed one’s self spiritually on a daily basis from God’s Word, the Bible.
Learn how to prepare good spiritual meals for yourself. The materials and the recipes are discussed frequently on this site, and are addressed in some detail in this post, so keep reading, and come back to read this again, and more besides!
(b) learning how to develop a sound personal outlook
If you feel discouraged or depressed, know where to go in the Bible for encouragement. The book of Philippians in the New Testament is a wonderful resource to study to develop a deeper joy in Christ. See also Philippians 4:8,
Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Other helpful Bible chapters include Psalm 34, Psalm 37, Psalm 23, and John 14.
Php_2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
(e) How to avoid defeat
Put on the whole armor of God to withstand the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
These things are most needful. Every Bible-believing Christian needs to be active daily in doing these things. The Subject Index in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge under the subjects Christian graces (page 1551), Priorities (page 1569), and Values (page 1579) will lead you to many areas of Bible study helpful to development of Christian character and spiritual growth.
(f) develop spiritual maturity
The qualities underlying spiritual maturity are carefully discussed by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 5:3-12.
Mat 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Mat 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Just reading these verses won’t do. You must study them. The best way to study them is to read all the cross referenced passages given for each of these verses as they are found in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible.
2. Find directions from God for the decisions of life.
I placed extensive notes in 1 Kings 12 and 13 on the subject of divine guidance in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge which I retained in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible. Study those notes!
3. Study the commands of God and the Commands of Christ for daily living.
You can recognize these as you come upon them in your reading and study of the Bible. I have listed these exhaustively in a note in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge at 1 John 2:3.
1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4. Read the Bible to notice the direction it gives for dialog and witness to others about the things of God.
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
There you have it–Part A of my outline that goes to Part H in the notes I made many years ago in my Oxford Loose Leaf Bible when I was the sponsor (by request of the school administration) of the Bible Discussion Club at Cass Technical High School during the last half of the 1960s and the first half of the 1970s.
I think these ideas are still of value today, so I share them with you. It looks like I will need to post “Methods of Bible Study Part 8–Devotional and Practical Study” in several separate articles to keep this material from becoming too long.
Jerry: As always, I deeply appreciate and look forward to these notes. Thank you for the work you put into them!
hello jerry very good post and very encouraging to personal bible study. one of my favorite verses in the book of psalms is psm 9/1-2. i have looked up all the cross refs in these tw0 verses and i have been greatly blessed. isa 26/3 a great promise to us. “thou wilt keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee,because he trusteth in thee.” . the phrase “stayed on thee” is the key to peace. and looking up cross refs in cgb helps to keep ones mind stayed on thee in peace. its very important that we do this daily! psm 1/3 but his delight is in the law of the lord; and in his law doth he meditate “day and night”. i encourage any one to use 3/5 index cards and write down the verses they are studying . i write at the top of the card the question” what i am believing god for? and its amazing what the lord shows me as i read his word. devotinal books are helpful and alot of good men have written them. nothing to compare with studying the bible on your own with cgb and ntsk. jerry smith got me started on this wonderful journey of studying the word of god this way in 1992 and to him i am eternally grateful!this type of study isnt only for pastors and fulltime workers. but for age level try it! by the way what promises are you claiming from gods word today!
Dear Pastor Wade,
Thank you for visiting my site and leaving your kind comment!