Faith Evangelical Free Church

How to make the Bible come alive

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The Bible is an amazing book.  It tells us about God, how we can know Him, and how to live life as He intended us to live.  Learning to read the Bible so that we can gain insight and know how to apply it to our lives is a skill we can learn.  Below are some questions that are helpful to "dig beneath the surface" and gain insight into what the Bible is saying to us. 

Four General Questions
 
1.  What is clear?  I may not understand everything in this passage, but what seems to be clearly stated or implied in this passage?  What seems to be the author's point?
 
2.  What does this passage teach us about God?  What do we learn about God, His nature, character, or heart from this passage?  How does God act, speak, or respond?  What characteristics are exemplified or described?
 
3.  What response is called for from this passage?  Is it... 
a. To know or believe a truth?  What difference would this truth, principle, or promise make in my life if I built my life upon it?  How would I be different if I fully believed this teaching?
 
b.  To do something?  If so, how do I do that?  What are some ways I could work this out in my life?  What keeps me from doing that: what obstacles, hindrances, or fears do I face? 
 
c.  To stop doing something?  Why do I do that?  When do I do that?  What would help me stop doing that?
 
d.  To worship God for who He is?  How can I express my worship, reverence, or awe in light of who He is? 
4.  What is the human need for this passage or truth?  Why is it important for me (or the people who first read this passage) to know and understand the message of this passage?  What deep seated questions, fears, longings, or emotional, psychological, spiritual need does it address?  
 
 
Questions for Stories or Historical Sections
 
1.  Persons & Personalities:  Who are the characters in the passage?  What are they like?  Where are they in their understanding of who God is?  How are they like or unlike me, or people around me?
 
2.  Relationships:  What relationships exist in this passage?  Are there friends/enemies, families, citizen/king, follower/leader, godly/ungodly?  What are the character's relationship to God?  How are my relationships like those in this passage?
 
3.  Plot:  What is the plot?  What problem, conflict, need, or desire is seen in the story?  How do the characters respond to the problem?  How might I face that same sort of problem in my life?
 
4.  Process:  Are there any choices or decisions that are made that affect the character's life in some way?  Is there a process working for good or bad in one or more of the characters?  Do you see them growing or changing in some way?  What can we learn from this process, and how might that process happen in our lives?  
 
5.  Passions:  What are the emotions and feelings in this passage?  How would you feel if you were in their position?
 
6.  Point:  How does God deal with the characters?  How does He address their need?  How does truth or righteousness affect their problems?    
 
Questions For Application
 
1.  How does the point of this passage relate to:
a.  The different relationships in my life?
b.  The different activities I'm engaged in every day?
c.  My attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs?
2.  What rewards might come to me if I fully applied this truth to my life? 
  • What problems might come to me if I fully applied this truth to my life? 
  • What problems might come to me as a result of NOT applying this truth?
3.  What is one step I can make or one thing I can do to apply this passage?  How do I propose to do that?  What keeps me from applying this truth? What would help me apply this truth?  When is it most difficult for me to apply this truth?
 
4.  What is my personal prayer regarding this truth?
 

Faith Evangelical Free Church * 2200 S. 10th St. West * Missoula * MT * 59801