Bible study tools

Getting More Out Of The Bible

Many of us want to learn what the Bible has to say about our lives, our purpose, our struggles, and our questions. But we don't know where to begin. Perhaps we've never been given the information we need to read and understand the Bible. And perhaps we've never stuck with it long enough to learn. The truth is that understanding God's Word can be hard work, especially at the beginning. But with a little background information, some tools, and the help of other people, we can begin to experience God speaking to us through His Word.  Our hope is that the tools provided on this site will help you grow in the knowledge of God's Word.


Background of the Bible

  • The Bible is not written like a novel. It is not chronological. You cannot read it from front to back and expect the events to unfold in the order in which they occurred.
  • Although the Bible looks like one book, it is actually a collection of 66 different books. These 66 books are arranged like a library. In other words, just as books in a library are grouped by type (history, philosophy, decorating, auto repair, fiction, etc.), so are the books of the Bible.
  • The books of the Bible are divided into two main sections: The Old Testament and the New Testament.


The Old Testament

  • The Old Testament is a record of God's interactions and relationship with his people prior to the time of Christ.
  • God existed before creation, and created everything that exists. His creation was perfect and completely good.
  • Sin entered the world and with it came death: Death to our relationship with God, ourselves, and the rest of creation.
  • God began to reveal His plan to heal and restore relationships broken by sin.
  • What is the plan? God promised to send a rescuer (or Savior). Throughout the Old Testament God revealed what the Savior would be like and what he would do.


The New Testament

  • The New Testament tells us about the life of Christ, the promised Savior.
  • The Savior came: Jesus Christ.
  • Through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus made a way for people to be restored to God once and for all. 
  • The rest of the New Testament teaches us how our new life with God through Christ works in the real world.
  • God then gives us glimpses into what is yet to come.


More Bible Facts

  • These 66 books were written over 1500 years by over 40 very different authors; some were kings, fishermen, and herdsmen/farmers. The list also includes a prime minister, a medical doctor, a slave, a tax collector, and a Jewish Rabbi-to name a few.
  • The Bible was written on three continents and in three different languages.
  • In spite of this large time span over which it was written and the huge cultural, economic, and geographical differences of its authors, there is a consistent message. Think about that: Even a small group of similar people struggle to agree on simple decisions. The fact that a group this diverse could agree on the most controversial of all topics is unheard of. There is no other book like it!


There Are So Many Different Bibles. Which One Should I Read? The version of the Bible you choose is a matter of personal preference and may be affected by the type of study you intend to do. If you are new to the Bible...we recommend a Bible in the New Living Translation (NLT) because it is among the easiest to understand. You can choose to buy a plain NLT Bible, or one that contains explanation notes and study helps, such as a Life Application Bible, NLT version.


   How To Begin Reading/Studying The Bible For Yourself

 Choose one of these Bible Reading Plans: The Essential 100 Bible Reading Challenge, One Year Bible, Bible Reading Plans,

or begin with the book of Mark. Don't forget to pray and invite God to teach you through what you read.


Here are some ideas for you to make your personal Bible reading more effective: 

1. Observe: What does it say?

  • Read the passage through two or three times.
  • Identify the main subject. For clues, watch for repeated words or ideas.

2. Interpret: What does it mean?

  • What is being said about the main subject?
  • Try to identify the author's timeless principle(s).

3. Apply: What do I need to do?

  • Is there an example to follow?
  • Is there a sin to avoid?
  • Is there a promise to claim?
  • Is there a command to obey?
  • Is there a challenge to face?
  • What do I need to do, and when?

As you finish studying:

  •  Write down any unanswered questions you have about the passage. Later on, bring these questions to someone you trust in order to understand better.
  • End your study by writing out a prayer to God in response to what you just learned from Him.
  • You do not need to read large passages at a time-even a few verses a day will do!

Other Resources to help you:   

Bible Gateway, Bible Study Tools ,  Blue Letter Bible, and  Bible Sprout which is a resource whose mission is to educate young Christians with access to the top biblical resources (translations, commentaries, dictionaries) on the web. They have also compiled hundreds of bible questions and answers to help young Christians strengthen their faith to become tomorrow’s leaders for Christ.

Recommended Reading Resource:

Grasping God's Word by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays


Other People

  • In addition to personal Bible study, make it part of your life to regularly study the Bible with others. 
  • We invite you to get involved in a group if you have not done so already. Stop by the Information Wall to learn how to connect. You may also want to go to Our Small Groups Page to learn more.

do you know jesus?

If you died today would heaven be your home? Are you saved? What is salvation?

       The word salvation comes from the Greek word soteria, which means "deliverance, preservation and safety." It primarily involves deliverance from the bondage of sin (Galatians 5:1), but also includes deliverance from enemies (Luke 1:71) and from sickness and disease (Isaiah 53:4 AMP; Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24).

       Salvation is a gift made available to those who repent, believe and confess their belief that Jesus is Lord and that He died and rose from the dead to save mankind (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10). The gift cannot be earned through good deeds or by simply being a "good person" (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is a matter of faith (acting out on what you believe according to God's Word concerning salvation). Furthermore, salvation involves a process that will not only guarantee you entrance into heaven, but will also position you to experience an abundant life on earth.

       Steps to Salvation:

1.  Recognize and admit that you are a sinner.

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they were separated from God. Now all of their descendants inherited the curse of sin and death (Romans 5:12-14; Psalm 51:5). As a result every human being is born a sinner, not because of any wrong they've done but because of Adam and Eve's decision. It is therefore necessary to become saved.

2.  Repent of your sins.

To repent simply means to "change one's mind or direction; to have a change of heart." It involves making a 180-degree turn away from sin and leading a life pleasing to God. Repentance does not mean "I'm sorry." It is a quality decision to ask for forgiveness of your sins and to be cleansed from unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

3.  Confess Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Confession is verbally declaring that Jesus is the ultimate authority over your life. It is to say out loud that He is your Lord and believe that He lived, died and was raised from the dead for the forgiveness of your sins.

4.  Obey the Word of God.

Living according to the Word positions you to enjoy the benefits that your salvation guarantees. Jesus' sacrifice makes you righteous, and God requires that you live a holy life that lines up with His Word (Romans 12:1; Proverbs 3:1-4; 1 John 5:3). The Word must be your foundation and the final authority by which you live. Make sure every decision you make in life is biblically based.

A Prayer of Salvation: Heavenly Father, I recognize and admit that I am a sinner. I turn away from my sins. I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord. I believe that Jesus lived, died and was raised from the dead for my salvation. I receive my salvation and all of its benefits right now. Lord, thank You for saving me this day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen!