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Bible Study – Where to begin

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

John 3:16 has been described as the Bible condensed into one verse, the truth that God has revealed to us in His inspired Word.  This is the very first Bible verse I memorized as a child.  The Bible is made up of 66 books scribed by 40 different authors in three languages over 2000 years yet the message of the Bible is consistent from beginning to end – God created us for fellowship with Him, He came in the form of the God-Man to be the perfect sacrifice and covering for our sin so that we can fellowship with Him forever.  Everything He wants us to know about Himself – God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are in this amazing book!  The first time the three persons of God are revealed to us are in the first three verses of Genesis:

The Triune God

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was [a]formless and void, and darkness was over the [b]surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was [c]moving over the [d]surface of the waters.Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. New American Standard Bible NASB

So God created everything we know.  The Spirit of God is said to be moving over the surface of the waters, the word translated as “Moving” shares the same Hebrew root with “Hovering”, or “Brooding” like a hen broods over her eggs.  In other words the Holy Spirit is active in creation.  Then God speaks light into existence but the sun and moon would not be created until day four of creation.  So what is the source of the light?  Was it coming from the Pre-incarnate Messiah; a physical manifestation of the Glory of God?  If there is any question about God the Son being part of creation, the apostle John clarifies it for us.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [a]He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. NASB 

God provides Himself for Redemption

Genesis 3:15 And I will make enemies of you and the woman and of your offspring (seed) and her Descendant (seed); He shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise Him on the heel. NASB
Genesis 3:21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.
NASB

The third chapter of Genesis reveals the concept that God would provide a covering for our sin and victory over death in the God-Man Who we have come to know as Yeshua the Messiah.  This verse is considered a prophetic reference of Messiah’s victory over Satan personified by the serpent of Genesis Chapter 3.  Note the reference to “her seed’ which implies a unique birth.

Adam and Eve had used fig leaves to cover their nakedness but man’s attempts to cover his sin are not sufficient for a Holy God.  God made a covering for their sin through the spilling of blood and made garments to cover their nakedness.  This would be a temporary covering for sin until the Messiah would provide the perfect sacrifice for sin.  This is the Good News of the Old Testament, God will provide, Himself, the sacrifice for sin.  This gift of forgiveness for sin and eternal life with God is nothing we can achieve on our own but only by accepting the Grace extended through the blood of Yeshua the Messiah.

God reveals Himself through page after page of scripture.  Hopefully this has inspired you to take a fresh look at the Bible with a focus on our Savior on every page from Genesis to Revelation.  Pray and ask Him to open your eyes.  God’s message of Grace and Salvation is one He has personally written to you.

 

There are some notes to keep in mind when studying your Bible: 

  • All you need to interpret the Bible is the Bible.
  • Always go back to the context of the passage to see what it is actually saying. Many a false argument has been made by taking the Bible out of context.
  • If a passage is using something symbolically the Bible will tell you how to interpret the symbolism. When something is used symbolically 95% of the time that usage is consistent throughout the Bible.

Resources for Bible Study

  • Choose a Bible translation, not a paraphrase for study. Some reliable translations are King James Version, New King James Version or New American Standard Bible.
  • Ryrie Study Bible, NASB offers commentary, historical information and cross references to enhance your personal study. Different versions of the Bible are available at BibleGateway.com where you can compare passages in different versions.
  • Through The Bible by Dr. J Vernon McGee TTB.org offers a daily Bible study online. It offers a five year study of the Bible and study guides. Although Dr. McGee passed away in 1988 the TTB ministry continues and is available in 130 languages today with a global outreach.