1. The Psalmist had a passion for the word of God, that is a real good place to start (Psalm 119:23-24, 159). The Christian who loves Jesus Christ as The eternal Word is in the best position to really learn the truth from the Scriptures, why? Because Jesus is the Way, the Truth & the Life (Jn. 14:6) Remember, He is the Word of Life (1st Jn. 1:1).
2. Pray for wisdom in the Word, (James 1:5) Please do yourself a favor and read the Bible for more than just knowledge, ask God for wisdom while spending time in the Word, and His Spirit will give it. Jesus taught us to “ask…seek…knock” (Matthew 7:7-11) and it will be given. Really good things from Heaven, come straight out of the Bible, if we pray about what we are reading!
3. Have a spiritual attitude, instead of a physical mindset that says, our IQ is high enough to delve into an ancient manuscript to decipher intrepretations that can be adapted to a modern lifestyle. Yes, we are reading it in a second language written centuries ago, but a spiritual attitude, that says, God’s Spirit relates the point of what I’m reading, better than my own IQ, is going to reveal truth to me. That is better than trying to work it out with my own intellect. Paul taught us to be spiritually minded when reading the Scriptures, Read 2nd Corinthians 2:14 – 3:3 to enjoy this perspective before you dig deep to study God’s word, or else, your time with the Bible can easily turn into nothing but an academic exercise instead of a spiritual one.
4. Have the number one goal in your Bible study to do this: God’s will. When our objective to learn what God wants us to do with His wisdom, is to put it in our behavior, we are really being a disciple of Jesus Christ. This is actually a promise that Jesus makes to all of his disciples in John 7:16-18. If you want to really know the truth, make your goal in learning to obey The Father’s will, not your own desires, but His.
5. Accept it: Some parts of the Bible are deep! So be prepared to read some passages more than twice and compare them with other passages, before you draw a conclusion about what it is really teaching. Peter admits that some things Paul writes are very hard to understand, 2nd Peter 3:15-16. Be thankful that the whole Bible isn’t complicated and realize that the effort you make in comparing Scripture with Scripture in view of what other people say, is a noble-minded approach to learning the truth. When God sees us really persevere with our study, He esteems our mind as beautiful, Acts 17:11.
6. Admit that we all have pre-conceived ideas about Jesus and the Bible. Try to push aside and challenge prior beliefs about The Word, before you make conclusions. Afterall, the biggest mistake the Leaders of Israel made with Jesus, was to ignore the facts of what kind of “King” Jesus was proving to be. John 18:33 – 19:15 is the story of how the preconceived ideas of Jewish Rulers towards the Kingship of Jesus turned Pilate against Jesus, even when he saw Him innocent. We can all be guilty of looking the truth in the face, without realizing the right conclusion, if we do not deny our own pre-conceived ideas.
7. Read & learn from the Bible with complete awareness that the words of Jesus are at the center of God’s eternal good news. Jesus reminded us that if anyone rejects this good news, it will one day be the standard of judgment against people who refuse to accept that His good news can cleanse, empower and enlighten their life. Jesus gives us this warning in John 12:48.
8. Perhaps this last quality is the most important. We must believe that what we are reading is actually God’s word, not of human invention. Paul knew that faith in the divine origin of Scripture, is essential, and if we don’t believe it, we will not grow in true discipleship to the Word of Life, which is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior. Read 2nd Thessalonians 2:13.