BIBLE STUDY | LESSON 1: How to Understand the Bible
The Bible says that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God," for "prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). The claim of the Bible is that it is the word of the living God, written by human penmen, to the inhabitants of earth. How can we know that this claim of the Bible is true?
- What element is essential in order for us to believe the Bible?
Heb. 11:3, 6 [Note: Not only the Bible testimony but most of our learning has been received through faith. As children, our parents showed us a ball and said, "This is a ball." We learned because we had faith in their word. Most of us have not been to Mongolia, but we believe it exists because we have faith in the authorities who have told us. Many people reject the Bible because of their belief in evolution, but evolution itself can be believed only on the basis of faith in someone's interpretation of selected evidence. The Further-study verse is Heb. 4:2]
- What is faith?
Heb. 11:1 [Ans: Faith is evidence, for it is founded upon evidence. God does not bypass the human mind. He says, "Come now, and let us reason together" (Isa. 1:18). God gives sufficient evidence upon which to honestly base our faith. But faith is founded upon evidence of things which are not seen with natural sight. We cannot see the wind, but we can see the evidences of the wind. Rom. 8:24, 25]
- What is one evidence that God has given us on which we can base our faith?
Isa. 45:18-21 [Ans: The God of the Bible claims to be the only God, the Creator of heaven and earth. As evidence, He says He has foretold current happenings "from ancient times." 2 Peter 1:19]
- What knowledge does God alone have?
Isa. 46:9, 10 [Note: In the lessons following in this series, we will note prophecies that foretold accurately events happening thousands of years later. We will note prophecies of Greece, Rome, and Europe, in some cases giving the specific dates for certain events. The Bible also describes the events and conditions of today. John 14:29]
- What conditions does the Bible predict will prevail in society today?
2 Tim. 3:14 [Note: Sin has always existed in society, but the conditions describe in our text will increase in the last days. Matt. 24:37-39; Gen. 6:5]
- What international conditions does the Bible picture for the last days?
Matt. 24:6, 7 [ Rev. 11:18]
- In the midst of calamities, violence, and threats of war, for what will many people be seeking and predicting?
1 Thess. 5:2, 3 [ Rev. 18:7, 8]
- What religious conditions will prevail in the last days?
2 Peter 3:37a [Ans. Men and women will scoff at the faith of Christians, denying the evidences of creation and the flood. They will claim that all things continue in a uniform process of evolution that cannot be, and has not been, changed. Luke 18:8; Rom. 1:19-22]
- While the moral conditions of society are deteriorating, while efforts to reduce international tensions are preoccupying us, and while evolution is replacing belief in creation, what will suddenly happen to earth?
2 Peter 3:10-13 [ Luke 21:34, 35]
- How can we be preserved from the coming destruction?
John 3:16 [ Ps. 91:1, 2, 7-10; 27:15; John 6:39, 40]
- From whom do we receive the gift of faith, which we must have in order to believe and be saved?
Rom. 12:3 [ Heb. 12:2; Mark 9:24; James 1:5, 17]
- Through what process does God develop faith?
Rom. 10:14, 17 [ 1 Cor. 1:2124; Matt. 24:14]
- How only can we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?
John 6:44, 45 [Only those who have learned from the Father can believe on Jesus Christ. As we ask God to teach us, while studying the Bible and opening our minds to the evidences of His presence, He will teach us; He will give us faith; and we will be drawn to Christ as our Savior. John 20:31; Mark 16:17]
- What invitation does God give to each one of us?
Ps. 34:8 [ Matt. 11:28-30]
To be understood, the Bible must be studied from a higher standpoint than mere human logic. There must also be the element of conviction from God and an exercise of faith. In His Word, God has given abundant evidence upon which to base our faith in Him. We have looked at one evidence-He can foretell the future. The greatest evidence is the abiding presence of Christ within one's life. God is fair. He says, "Taste and see" for yourself (Ps. 34:8). You do not have to rely on another's faith. His promise is that "You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13).
Will you give God a chance to demonstrate His goodness in your life?