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Understand the Bible & Apply it to Your Life.

My aim this morning is to give a brief overview of the what the bible contains, who wrote it, why do we need to read it, how do we read it, and how can we apply it to our lives. And a view of the different translations that you may have not come across before. No matter if you have been reading the bible all your life as a

Christian or become a Christian, I believe you will get something this morning.

If you don't understand the bible, you won’t truly understand how much God loves you and that would be a shame. Because ordinary is not what God has called you to be.

So, what does the word Bible mean? the word Bible in Greek is ta biblia or “The Books.” Old English called it bibliodece from the Latin word “Library” but in the 14th century it was replaced with the French word bible as we know it today. The Bible contains 66 books. and is separated into two parts - the Old Testament which contains 39 books and the New Testament which contains 27 books. The written works range from prophesies to letters, to stories, laws, songs, poetry, and historical facts spanning thousands of years of history.

Who wrote the Bible and why?

God inspired different people from all walks of life at different times in history to record His words in the various books contained in the Bible. The words that we read may have been penned by men, but the Holy Spirit guided those men as they wrote every word. As Pentecostal Christians we believe that every word written in the Bible is true. If you believe one word of the Bible then you need to believe them all, there is to be no picking and choosing which one suits us at a particular time to make it into something that we want it to say, its to be read as it is it is because it is an historical account.

As Peter states in 2 Peter 1:21 “For no prophesy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

The Bible reveals to us who God is and what is His truth. The Bible tells the story of His love and salvation for humanity and instructs us His people on how to live a life according to His plan and purpose for our lives.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “For all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Why do I need to read the Bible?

Well reading the Bible provides us with instruction on how to live a life that is pleasing to God, it gives us truth and hope and wisdom, it teaches us how to love the way God loves because God is love.

Who agrees that we need all of these in this chaotic world right now?

To get truth

John 8:31-32 “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in my Word, you are truly My disciples indeed. 32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Now we may not all be Jews, but through Jesus we have been grafted into the kingdom of God.

Woohoo! Did you hear that, Church? Stay in His word and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Fact: Did you know that in a recent study about Generation Z (1997-2012) revealed that what they desire the most is to find out the truth. In a world that is filled with so many lies. Our young People need the truth and when it is shared in a loving non-confrontational way, they will embrace it.

To get hope

Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.”

What is that hope? John answers that question in 1 John 5:13 “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” The hope we have is eternal life.

To get wisdom

We need wisdom in every decision we make.

We receive wisdom when we read the bible Proverbs 1:20 says “Wisdom calls out in the streets, she lifts her voice in the open squares.”

However, wisdom doesn't work by osmosis, I guarantee you that if you were to put the bible on top of your head and expect wisdom to just pour out of it into you, you’re in for a very long wait and a flat spot on your head!

We need to open it up and read it. I encourage you, if you don't have a paper Bible get one and start to read it. You will be amazed at how many ads wanting to sell you something won’t appear! How many social media posts won’t pop up.

A paper bible will help you focus better on God’s word without being distracted. Who here is easily distracted? I know I am. Now there is nothing wrong with a bible app on your phone, it’s great for a quick reference for different translations, for listening to the Bible when it’s not practical to carry a

paper version with you. I have one, but please do yourself a favour and make time to read a paper bible each day, you will be amazed at how much more focused you will be.

The bible is the most published book in the history of the world, 100 million Bibles are sold each year. It is not an accident that this happens. People have given their lives to translate scripture. Tyndale and so many others were put to death to give us a translation of the scriptures in our own language. We don’t have an excuse not to read it, God is trying to get wisdom into us.

We are so privileged to have a personal Bible today, if you lived in the early 15th century the bible was only read by the priest to the congregation. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that bibles were available to the general public.

Reading the Bible renews our minds.

The Bible teaches us that when we are born-again, we become a “new creation”. Ephesians 4:22-24 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Reading the Bible helps us to keep our lives free from sin.

In Psalm 119:9-11 we read:

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against You”.

Reading God’s word and memorizing it is part of God’s plan for you. When the word is in our heart, the Holy Spirit can use it in our day-to-day lives.

How do I read the Bible?

We need to eat the word of God.

Ezekiel 3:1-3 1. “Moreover, He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” 2. So, I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll. 3. And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So, I ate, and it was in my

mouth like honey in sweetness,”

Psalm 81:10 ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.”

Eating a book takes it all in, assimilating it into the very tissues of our being. Readers become what they read, If Holy Scripture is to be more than just gossip about God, it must be internalized. Words- spoken and listened to, written, and read - are intended to do something in us, give health and wholeness, vitality

and holiness, wisdom and hope, the words make us come alive. Reading the Bible should never be mundane or boring, if it is, it’s time to check what you’re focusing on in your life.

We can’t afford to become complacent; it is too late to be playing around with the word of our Creator.

The Bible is a completely different book than we have ever read before, so we need to read it in a completely different way than we read a magazine or newspaper or instruction manual. The Bible was written with the Holy Spirits inspiration, so we need to read it Spiritually. When we read Spiritually, we have wisdom as our goal not just information.

The Bible is God revealing Himself to us. Our Bible does not merely convey information about God, but if received rightly, it is God’s word supernaturally at work in us. If all we are after is the theological ideas and salvation facts, we will miss the richness and complexity that is involved in every page of Scripture.

Set time aside regularly. There are no rules about when to spend time with Him, but many people find the best way is to start or end each day reading the Bible. Spending time with God is not a law to follow or a formula to get on God’s “good side”. God longs to have a close and personal relationship with us, but like any

relationship it works both ways talk then listen for the answer.

The only way to really get to know Him as He desires, is to spend time with Him, we can only know Jesus as the Word of God represents Him to us. You will be surprised by what He says about you!

Communication is the key to any healthy relationship, and your relationship with God is no different. God can speak to you in many ways but the most common way for God to communicate something fresh to you is through the reading of His word.

Also don't be surprised as you begin to read the Bible more you may get tired quickly. It comes as no surprise that the enemy (Satan) will use any trick in his toolbox he can, to stop you reading God’s word, he knows that if it gets in you, you will be unstoppable. That's why you start with ten minutes at a time. Start slow, and when you become proficient you can do what Jesus did and use the word as a weapon against the enemy

and kick him out of your life.

The Bible is a mirror, as we read it, it reads us, it speaks to the inner most parts of us. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two -edged sword, cutting between soul

and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

As you read the bible, let the words paint a picture in your mind, God created us to have an imagination. Imagine yourself being there in what you are reading. Read the Bible with your heart not just your head and you will find something amazing every time you open the pages.

Where do I start reading?

A good place to start reading the Bible is the Gospel of John. This book will give you a good understanding of who Jesus is and what His ministry is about. Start by reading for 10 minutes at a time. It is better to read for a short time and get an understanding of what you’re reading than reading for a long time and possibly misunderstanding what you are reading. God wants you to understand His Word. A good practice to get used to doing is to ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading before you begin, involve Him and he will speak to you!

After you have read John, read the rest of the New Testament, and start reading a chapter in the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament. They are a collection of poems, songs and prayers written by people who experienced all of life’s ups and downs just like us, and through it all were encouraged by God’s goodness and un-

failing love.

In order to really understand the Bible, we need to study and read it regularly. John 14:26 “But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” But He can’t bring back to your remembrance something you haven’t read.

Jesus promised a teacher to all who believe in His name. The Holy Spirit will guide us as we search the scriptures, He will help us in our everyday walk with God, all we must do is ask for His help! But there is one very important key to doing this.

For the Holy Spirit to have an active part in what we are reading in the Bible we need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. When you activate Him in your life you will get new understanding, the words will jump off the pages into your heart and you will get revelation. When you do this, you will be fully equipped.

It’s part of the work of sanctification that God wants for every Christian person on this planet.

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

How do we apply God’s word to our lives?

As we read the Bible, our minds are renewed, it’s good to read the Bible aloud because then we are speaking God’s word, and hearing God’s word. As we speak it and hear it, it renews our mind. (Demonstrate out through mouth in through ears) You may have heard some people say reading the Bible brain washes you.

My answer to them is absolutely, bring it on, my mind needed a good wash, it was filthy with the lies that I had been told and believed.

If you are struggling with a particular sin now that you can’t seem to overcome, like Unforgiveness, guilt, condemnation, foul language, Lust, lying, envy the list goes on and on. Can I encourage you that the answer you’re looking for is right in front of you, it’s in The Bible. Look up scriptures on any area where you want a

breakthrough, trust me you will find a lot. Write those scriptures down and declare them over your life every day.

God’s word is voice activated, so speak it out often and you will get victory in that particular area, because God’s word brings truth, when you turn it into action.

Become so full of the word that there is no room for anything else, then you will get breakthrough.

James 1:22-25 “But Be doers of the Word, and not just hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his face in the mirror, 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 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.”

2 Corinthians 4:13 “I believed; therefore, I have spoken. “Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,”

Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”.

As we read the Bible the Holy Spirit will begin to change our perception of who we are, who God is and how much He loves us. The Bible is our instruction manual on how to do life, relationships, and everything else.

Bible = (Basic, Instruction, before, leaving, earth). When we do what God says to do in His instruction manual the Bible, we will see our lives change for the better. It’s quite simple (Read it, do what it says and repeat)

When we become born again through giving our lives to Jesus, we become true Spiritual beings living in Physical bodies. We need spiritual food, and only the spiritual food that comes from God will do.

Not what the world calls “spiritual” that stuff will get you into a world of hurt and suffering, it will make you sick.

View the Bible as the fuel bowser that fills your Spiritual tank each day. Just like a car needs fuel, we need Spiritual fuel from God. I guarantee you that if you don’t fill your spiritual tank each day with the word of God you will fill it with something else and you will eventually get spiritual amnesia, forgetting how much God paid for your redemption. His Son Jesus died on the cross so we could be set free from the bondage of sin and death, because He did that, we get to spend eternity with Him in heaven, how good is that!

John 7:38 “He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

And what does living water bring? It brings life to everyone who drinks it, and then that water brings life to others.

Who’s thirsty here today? John 7:37 Jesus said” If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”

What about the different Translations of the Bible?

There has been a lot of controversy over the years about which translation is the best. Can I say to you, and this is only my opinion, most people that have an issue with the different translations usually haven’t read


The Bibles available to us today are divided into three broad types:

1. Word for Word

2. Meaning-to-meaning (also called thought for thought)

3. Paraphrased.

Word for word Translations

These most accurately follow the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek text. These versions include The King James Version and the New King James Version. Others are NASB, ASV, RSV.

Meaning-to-meaning Translations

These can be valuable in putting the Scriptures into more understandable wording.

These are NIV, The Good News Bible, The NLT (New Living Translation) The revised English Bible. Others include NEB and CEV. Some are a balance between Word for Word and Meaning to meaning versions. Meaning to meaning means that you can use more than one word to describe something. Hebrew and Greek can have

many different words to describe something. Just like the word Love in the bible can have four different meanings for the same word.

Paraphrased Translations.

Their goal is to make the Bible easier to read in modern language. However, be cautious in working with these translations as they should be used as a guide only, to better grasp the story flow. These include the Message Bible, The Passion Translation, The Amplified Bible, The living Bible.

Rule of thumb when reading the Bible, God does not want you to be confused, use a word for word Bible or a meaning for meaning Bible as your go to Bible, one that you can understand. And use a paraphrased bible to help you grasp a word or passage that you don’t understand, sometimes paraphrased bibles can unlock the meaning of a scripture for new and mature Christians alike.

EUGENE H. PETERSON The author of the Message Bible a Paraphrased version of the Bible said this. “The primary organ for receiving God’s revelation is not the eye that sees but the ear that hears- which means that all of our reading of Scripture must develop into hearing of the word of God. Print technology is a wonderful

thing, in itself has put millions of Bibles in our hands, but unless these Bibles are imbedded in the context of a personally speaking God and a prayerfully listening community, we who handle these bibles are at special risk. If we reduce the Bible to a tool to be used, the tool builds up calluses on our hearts.”

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

In closing can I say respectfully to everyone here including myself, please take reading your Bible really seriously. As seriously as the food you eat each day, the water you drink and the air that you breathe. It is alive and active and It will change your life for good if you apply it to your life. The word of God needs to do a work in all of us, before it can do a workout of us. So, if you haven’t picked up the Bible today, start now! Today is the day to breakthrough and break out and discover what God has waiting for you.

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