Learning how to understand the Bible starts with knowing the whole story of Scripture. The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). These are the first words written in the Bible. The last words written in the Bible are “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21). Between these two bookends of history is where the true story we find ourselves in is explained—God’s plan for all of us. And understanding God’s plan will help us understand the Bible.
The Bible Says God is the Creator of Everything
Think of it. . . God was in the beginning, and He created everything. He created the heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon, and our solar system. Even our galaxy, the universe, or multiple universes, and whatever else is out there. As far out as creation goes, further than the most advanced telescope will ever be able to see, He created it.
He created time itself, as well as the elements and building blocks of matter and the physical laws of science that govern the entire cosmos. He created animals, fish, plant life, and every living thing.
The Bible Says God Loves Us and We Need Help
Moving to the end of chapter one in Genesis and through chapter two, God created humankind—the first two people ever—a man and a woman. Adam and Eve.
Then, in the beginning of Genesis chapter three, it is written that humankind rebelled against God. This happened by an act of human will to do something He said not to do. And that amounted to sin. Because of this, God issued judgement on the world, and those of us living in the world from that point on. The results of this impact every person who has ever lived or ever will live. Sin permanently damaged our relationship with God. But God loves us, and there was still hope…
How God Showed His Love for Us
Toward the middle and end of the third chapter of Genesis, the Bible says that God made a way for each person living in the world to come back to Him. And it is based on a personal decision that we can all make, a choice, for every person who will ever live after that.
This decision would involve a coming Savior who would pay the price for the sins of the world—God’s Son Himself. That’s who Jesus is.
Understanding God’s Plan
The rest of the Bible, from the third chapter of Genesis and all the way through the last chapter of the book of Revelation, is God reaching through space and time to:
- Reveal Himself to us.
- Make sure we know He Loves us, and that we understand His purposes on earth.
- Encourage us to seek Him, through turning to Him and putting our faith in God’s Son Jesus Christ, making it possible to have our sins forgiven and be in relationship with God.
- Help us see how we can play a part in what He is doing.
- And to show us how He richly blesses those who seek Him—His people—in this life and for eternity.
Understanding the Benefits of Studying the Bible
Remember this: “. . . men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2nd Peter 1:21). That’s how we got the Bible.
When we spend more time reading and studying the Bible, we come closer to the One who moved people to write it. And that brings us closer to God. So, if you want to get closer to God, then reading and studying the Bible is a great way to do that. It helps us to understand God, His ways, and what He has planned for us. Understanding the Bible strengthens our faith. And it helps us to learn and apply the wisdom, knowledge, and practical advice that God offers to us.
Ultimately, reading, studying, and understanding the Bible builds closeness in our relationship with God. That helps us to gain His perspective on the things that we go through in life.
This also helps us have more peace and happiness. We have more wisdom and can make better decisions. We can know God’s Will. Finally, we can deal with difficult and troubling times, as we begin to see and understand our circumstances the way He sees them.
The Bible and Only the Bible
Other resources can help us understand the Bible and what it says. Here are a few…
Writings from Christian leaders today and in the past, creeds and statements of faith, and books written by Christian authors can have guiding value.
Teachings from churches and denominations, religious groups, and classes taught at Christian schools and academic institutions can be informative and help to grow our faith.
Evangelists, preachers, teachers, pastors, and counselors can give us advice and guidance that can change our lives.
But, the Bible alone, and only the Bible, can be trusted as infallible written truth and the final authority of the faith.
I say this to encourage you not to accept what someone says or writes, just because they say it or write it. People can be wrong. Test what they say or write against what the Bible says. The Bible is always right!
A Final Thought
God loves us! And His plan is for you to know Him and the great things He has planned for you.