As we grow in Christ, it’s important that we learn to dig into the Word of God for ourselves and not depend solely on the instruction of others. Consider the challenge from the writer of Hebrews:
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:13,14 NIV).
One of the best ways to get to the “solid food” of the Word is through “inductive” Bible study. The inductive method makes observations on a passage of Scripture and then draws conclusions based on those observations. Commonly, this method is defined by three parts: Observation, interpretation, and application.
Here are 5 simple steps to study a chapter of the Bible:
1. Read the chapter three times in different versions of the Bible. Pray for understanding.
2. Do a verse-by-verse analysis of the chapter:
List all your questions about the verse and use the methods below to answer as many of them as you can:
▶ Look up all the words you want to understand better.
• Use an English dictionary.
• Use a Hebrew/Greek dictionary if you have one, or an online resource.
▶ Look up cross references to understand what the rest of Scripture has to say about the verse.
• Use your Bible’s margin notes.
• Use a concordance to find verses that use the same words.
▶ Use your own words to explain illustrations or descriptions.
3. Pick one key verse that sums up the chapter for you.
4. Write down the verse that was most meaningful to you and why.
5. Ask, “What is God leading me to do in response to this study?”
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