Bible Scholar J.I. Packer suggests six questions to ask when reading and studying the Bible, to make sure you are understanding it correctly and putting it into practice in your life.
- What do these words actually mean?
- What light do other Scriptures throw on this text? Where and how does it fit into the total biblical revelation?
- What truths does it teach about God and about man in relation to God?
- How are these truths related to the saving work of Christ, and what light does the gospel of Christ throw upon them?
- What experiences do these truths delineate or explain or seek to create or cure? For what practical purpose do they stand in Scripture?
- How do they apply to myself and others in our own actual situation? To what present human condition do they speak, and what are they telling us to believe and do? *
Here’s a verse from the Bible. Read it, then ask the six questions of this verse.
Matthew 5:16 (HCSB)
16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
God’s Word is alive. I love the way the Bible says, “Don’t just be a hearer. Do what it says!” Jesus Christ will help you daily to live your life in sync with the Word of God. Let the Bible transform your thoughts, your words, your actions… everything about you!
God’s way is the best way.
* J.I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Wheaton: Crossway, 1990), 105.