How to Read the Bible

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)

Alistair Begg writes, “God is the hero of the story and the theme of the book. So the first question we ask of every passage ought to be this: what does this tell me about God.”

The Bible is the story of God. Therefore, the first question we ask of particular passages ought to be “What does this tell me about God?” Only after we have answered that question is it appropriate and right to ask, “Given what this passage tells me about God, what shall I do?”

Where many people go wrong is that they start with the wrong question. Too often, we start with, “What does this text mean for me?” That’s the wrong place to start.

Of course, we ought to get to “What does this text mean for me” and apply what the Bible teaches us. But the application comes from what the Bible teaches us about God.

The lens which we are to read the Bible is through John 3:16. The totality of the Bible is the story of God who loves, pursues, and forgives sinners through his Son, Jesus Christ. Every passage, every story, every promise, every truth in the Bible is the story of how God loves, pursues, and forgives sinners through his Son, Jesus Christ.

So, start every day with the truth of God’s word. Read about what the particular texts, stories, and promises tell us about God’s love for sinners. Then apply what God reveals about his love, pursuit, and forgiveness of sinners by asking, “Given what the Bible tells me about God, what is God asking me to do?”

Got it?

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