If you are a brand new believer and want to start reading the Bible, or someone who has been a believer for a while, but have never got into the word of God, this article is for you.
Why to Start Reading the Bible
The Bible is the Word of God, and just like we get to know people by their words, so we can get to know God by His Word.
The gospel of John says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
When we look into His Word, we are looking into God; His heart and His desires.
Not only is the Bible about God, but it is also about who we are, and who we’re created to be. It is about a relationship between God and man, and what God did to restore that relationship. (For more on this subject see What is the Gospel?).
Here’s a list of scriptures that show the importance of the Word.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
“How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word” (Psalm 119:9).
“But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4).
“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.“ (1 Peter 2:2).
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart“ (Hebrews 4:12).
Where to Start Reading
The Bible is a big book, and it can be confusing for someone who is brand new to it.
Some people try start in the beginning of the Bible and read it straight through, which is what I tried to do when I first got saved. I don’t recommend this to someone who is just starting out.
Instead, I suggest to start reading the New Testament first. (The New Testament begins with the gospel of Matthew and ends with the book of Revelation).
I suggest this because the Old Testament and the New Testament are different covenants. That’s really what the word testament means, it means covenant.
Now the whole Bible points to Jesus. The Old points to Jesus, and the New points to Jesus. They just do it in different ways.
The Old Testament points to Jesus by prophecy, so it is subtle and hidden.
The New Testament points to Jesus through remembrance and explanation, so it is easier to grasp.
The Old Covenant conceals the New Covenant, but the New Covenant reveals the Old Covenant.
I also recommend that you grab a highlighter, and that you highlight everything that you understand. When you finish the New Testament, do it again.
After you do this process anywhere from 2-4 times, then go back and read the Old Testament. You’ll find that your understanding of the Bible will increase dramatically.
How to Start
We have already briefly covered how to start reading the Bible in the section above, but I want to go a little more in depth.
There are two things to keep in mind when reading the word of God.
First, don’t just read the word, become the word. (That sounds a little wordy, let me explain what I mean).
We aren’t just reading the Bible to read it, we want read the Bible to act on it. James put it this way,
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:22-25).
So as we read, we should be focused on what the word is saying and how we can act on it.
Second, we need to remember that the Author is with us as we read.
The scripture says that Holy Spirit inspired the word of God (2 Peter 1:20-21) and He is our teacher (John 14:26). Which means He understands the Bible a whole lot better than us and He is willing to teach us.
Now taking this knowledge, we can read the word with God, and allow Him to teach us by talking with Him and asking Him questions.
Remember, this is the number one reason we read the Bible: to know God.