How do I read and understand the Bible?

Reading your Bible is crucial to growing in faith. Reading the word may be overwhelming, but once you develop a system, it is a wonderful experience.

The Bible is a spiritual book. It is spiritual food. In order to comprehend this spiritual book, we need Holy Spirit to reveal the truths in God’s word. So the first step to reading the Bible is to invite Holy Spirit to join you. Spend a few moments worshipping Him and making a place where He is welcome.

Once You have invited Holy Spirit to join you, begin reading. Some read many chapters a day and read through the Bible many times. Some will read more slowly, meditating on the meaning of the words, dissecting the meaning of words and reading various versions in order to get a fuller meaning. The most important thing is that you spend time daily reading the word of God. God’s word is God’s message to you. He will reveal Himself to you through His word, as well as revealing his ways and principles. The word of God will help you discern what is spirit and what is soul. Hebrews 4:12 tells us “the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” We need the word of God to help us stay out of deception or error.

The word of God will help your mind operate with the mind of Christ. Daily we are inundated with messages from every voice imaginable, from the demonic realm to human reasoning. Reading the word will keep our thinking aligned with God. In Ephesians 5:26 it says that Christ cleansed the Church by the washing of the water of the word. This illustrates what happens to us as we continually read His word.

The Bible is spiritual food that will keep our spirits strong and healthy. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus said to Satan when he tried to tempt Him, “But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” As natural food is to our natural bodies, the word is spiritual food for our spirit. It is also a cleansing for our mind and a sure word to stand on for our bodies. Allow Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth.

Here are some general prompts you can ask yourself about the scriptures you’ve read or heard to help dissect the text:

  1. Is there a theme to these verses or chapter (or book)?
  2. What does this scripture say about God and who he is?
  3. What lesson or truth can be learned?
  4. How can I apply what I’ve read to my life?