The Bible is the greatest book ever written. The word “Bible” actually means, “book” and the phrase, “Holy Bible,” simply means, “The Sacred Book.” The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years by 40 different authors from many different walks of life.
Each author wrote down the words that God inspired them to write (2 Peter 1:21). This is why, despite there being 40 different authors, the message throughout the entire Bible is perfectly unified, without error, and essential for godly living (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES are the commands and practices a disciple “show” in their life to “grow” spiritually. The growing disciple will be transformed in their behavior by being renewed in their mind (Romans 12:2) for the purpose of reflecting the image of God.
THINK ABOUT THIS… “Spiritual Growth” is between “New Birth” and “Renewal & Transformation” because without it the new believer cannot daily reflect Christ’s image. “Spiritual Disciplines/Showing” is between “Knowing” and “Growing” because without them we cannot develop godly attributes.
HOW WE GOT THE BIBLE
FIVE THINGS THE WORD OF GOD DOES
UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE AS A WHOLE
The message of the Bible can be summarized in the following “Seven Acts:”
- ACT ONE: “Creation and the Fall”: God created the world, perfect, but mankind fell into sin (Genesis 1-11).
- ACT TWO: “Gathering a People”: God chose Abraham and his descendants to be His chosen people (Genesis 12-50).
- ACT THREE: “Separating a People”: God raised up Moses and other prophets to teach the Jewish people His commandments (Exodus-2 Samuel).
- ACT FOUR: “Maintaining God’s Holiness”: God judged His people and sent them into other nations as prisoners when they did not obey His laws or listen to His prophets (1-2 Kings).
- ACT FIVE: “Saving a People”: God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to live a sinless life, die on the cross, rise from the dead, and establish the church (first with the Jewish people and then the Gentiles) (Matthew-John).
- ACT SIX: “Gathering a People”: God is working through the Holy Spirit in the church to bring sinners to Jesus (Acts- Jude).
- ACT SEVEN: “Restoring All Things”: Jesus is coming back to judge the world and make all things new (Revelation).
DIFFERENT WAYS TO READ THE BIBLE
- TOPICALLY: Reading verses pertaining to specific subjects. Example.
- FROM BEGINNING TO END: Starting at Genesis and reading all the way through Revelation.
- BOOK TO BOOK: Reading various books from start to finish. Example, reading all of John, then reading all of Galatians, etc.
- CHRONOLOGICALLY: Reading the Bible as it took place in actual time. Example.
- BUFFET STYLE: Reading three passages a day; one New Testament passage, one Old Testament passage, and a portion of psalms/proverbs. Example.
- VARIOUS WAYS: One can read the whole NT at a time or just the OT, etc. Example.
*Popular Bible App, YouVersion. Includes audio Bibles and reading plans.
Isaiah 55:9-11, “9 As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
SEEING JESUS IN EVERY BOOK OF THE BIBLE
- Genesis – Our Creator & Promised Redeemer
- Exodus – Our Passover Lamb
- Leviticus – Our High Priest
- Numbers – Our Water in the desert
- Deuteronomy – Our Law Giver
- Joshua – Our Commander in the Army of the Lord
- Judges – Our Deliverer
- Ruth – Our Kinsman-Redeemer
- 1 Samuel – Our Prophet/Priest/King
- 2 Samuel – Our Grace Giver
- 1 Kings – Our Promise Keeper
- 2 Kings – Our Truth Teller
- 1 Chronicles – Our Faithful King
- 2 Chronicles – Our Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness
- Ezra – Our Priest Proclaiming Freedom
- Nehemiah – Our Restorer
- Esther – Our Protector
- Job – Our Joy in Suffering
- Psalms – Our Song
- Proverbs – Our Wisdom
- Ecclesiastes – Our Meaning in Life
- Song of Solomon – Our Selfless Lover
- Isaiah – Our Suffering Servant
- Jeremiah – Our Weeping Messiah
- Lamentations – Our Interceder
- Ezekiel – Our Covenant Keeper
- Daniel – Our Friend in the Fire
- Hosea – Our Faithful Husband
- Joel – Our Spirit Baptizer
- Amos – Our Helper
- Obadiah – Our Judge
- Jonah – Our Great Missionary
- Micah – Our Defender
- Nahum – Our Future Hope
- Habakkuk – Our Vision
- Zephaniah – Our Warrior
- Haggai – Our Builder
- Zechariah – Our Messiah Pierced for Us
- Malachi – Our Sun of Righteousness
- Matthew – Our Virgin Born Savior
- Mark – Our Miracle Worker
- Luke – Our Anointed One
- John – Our God in the Flesh
- Acts – Our Foundation for the Church
- Romans – Our Righteousness in God
- 1 Corinthians – Our Power
- 2 Corinthians – Our Generosity
- Galatians – Our Spiritual Freedom
- Ephesians – Our Grace Giver
- Philippians – Our Joy
- Colossians – Our Reconciliation
- 1 Thessalonians – Our Comfort
- 2 Thessalonians – Our Returning King
- 1 Timothy – Our Order in the Church
- 2 Timothy – Our Leader
- Titus – Our Great God
- Philemon – Our Emancipator
- Hebrews – Our High Priest
- James – Our Faithful Example
- 1 Peter – Our Hope
- 2 Peter – Our Guard
- 1 John – Our Love
- 2 John – Our Teacher
- 3 John – Our Truth
- Jude – Our Coming One
- Revelation – Our King of Kings and Lord of Lords, The Alpha and the Omega, The Beginning and the End!
Read the Bible everyday and study it until the Holy Spirit penetrates your heart and mind with the presence, purpose, and power of God!