Let’s face it: discipleship isn’t fast. It takes love, patience, and a commitment to help others grow. When we invite others to dig into the Word with us, it takes time for God’s truths to cut the heart and transform the mind. Yet this is how God works: His Spirit changes the believer verse by verse, insight by insight, day by day, as he or she becomes more and more like Jesus.
Although there are other ways to study the Bible, studying the Scriptures one book at a time is incredibly effective and fruitful. In fact, it’s a great blessing to see Him work in this way. That said, here are six reasons why you should use a book-by-book approach for disciple making:
- It deals with a wide variety of life issues. The Bible has a full measure of many life issues, meaning that it is still relevant for today. Examining the Bible in a book-by-book manner shows an individual how to handle these issues in a way that glorifies God.
- It keeps the text in its context. Serious errors are almost certainly going to occur when a verse is taken out of context. Exploring the Word of God book by book displays the verses in its surrounding paragraphs, chapters, and book, paving the way for faithful, in-context interpretations of the Scriptures.
- It presents the full counsel of God. The amazing truth is that through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the entire Bible is united in its message, speaking truth to struggles and issues that we still see today. Studying the Scriptures one book at a time reminds us of what the Bible really is: the objective, God-breathed standard of truth for all matters of instruction (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
- It promotes biblical literacy. Although there is one unified, inspired message of Scripture, God used multiple writers over a period of 1,500 years to communicate this truth. Studying the Bible book-by-book helps us to develop Bible interpretation skills as we learn differences in writing styles, contexts, and genres.
- It provides time for truth to take root. While salvation is immediate, the Bible reminds us that discipleship is a process. In Psalm 119:15, the psalmist wrote, “I will meditate on your precepts and think about your ways,” an activity that takes time and patience. God uses His Word to convict and change believers from the inside out, an activity that lasts a lifetime.
- It stretches everyone. Studying the Bible book by book forces us to explore passages that we might not study on our own. This might be tough at first, but it can lead to new discoveries, new perspectives, and new insights into God’s truth.
I am thrilled to be a part of the popular resource that we offer to churches called Explore the Bible. We follow a steady, practical plan for studying Scripture (Nine-year span For adults and students, three-year for kids and preschool). People who study using our resources can grow in their understanding, familiarity, and appreciation for God’s Word. If you are interested in previewing this amazing resource for your Bible study group for FREE, click here.