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10 Questions to Strengthen Your Bible Study
Are you looking for ways to deepen your quiet time and strengthen your understanding of the Bible? I’ve got 10 power-packed questions that you can add to your Bible study to help you do just that! Not too long ago I was listening to a teaching by a member of The Daily Grace Co . She challenged us to approach our Bible study with some pretty untraditional questions. I’ve spent the past few months adding those questions to my quiet time routine and they have forever changed the way I study my Bible.
I used to think the questions, “what does this verse speak to me?” was sufficient when it came to studying the Bible. But these 10 simple questions will take you to a new depth of understanding. They’ll make you dig deeper. They’ll help you understand why the Bible is relevant to you, and how the gospel of Christ should affect your day to day living.
I’ll show you how it works using the book of Romans.
10 Bible Study Questions That Will Help You Dig Deeper
1. Who wrote this text? What do you know about them?
No, this is not a trick question. We know that all scripture is God-breathed (God-inspired) but God chose and entrusted specific people to be His “ghostwriters.” He spoke the words and had someone else write them down. By taking a minute to consider who the author is and what we know about them we gain two things:
- Evidence of God’s goodness and grace.
- Additional context into what you are reading. You’ll understand a little bit more where the author was coming from and his need to write what he did.
For example, I am always blown away by the book of Romans, written by Paul (formerly known as Saul) very well known persecutor of Christians turned radical apostle Jesus lover. Every book of the Bible that Paul writes is a testament to the transforming power of God in Paul’s life.
Every author in the Bible has a testimony that points back to the goodness of God. And every author was chosen to record their book of the Bible for a specific purpose.
2. Who is the audience? What do you know about them?
Paul wrote the book of Romans as a letter to the new Roman church. Paul was impressed the church, their faith was spoken of throughout the world (Romans 1:9). The church was comprised of both Jews and Gentiles (Romans 1:13 – 15). This letter was written shortly after Christ ascended into Heaven, which left many of the Jews and Gentiles in Rome very confused about salvation, where it comes from, how it works, who it’s for, and what is expected of those who choose to walk in it.
3. What was the purpose of this book and why was it written?
The book of Romans was written to bring understanding and unity to the Jews and Gentiles in the Roman church on topics such as faith-based salvation (as opposed to works), the gospel, and how those two things should affect the way they live.
4. When was this text written?
Did you know the bible isn’t necessarily written in numerical order? That is the reason why knowing when a text was written is important. It helps us piece the historical accounts together. It also helps us know what else in history was happening when these accounts were written.
5. What is the genre of this book?
Each book of the Bible can be identified by one of six genres: Law, History, Wisdom & Poetry, Prophecy, Gospel, Letters. Knowing the genre of the book you are reading will help you understand how to approach that particular book. Psalms is a great example of this! It would be classified as poetry. This clues me into the idea that there is probably going to be a lot of imagery, similes, and metaphors within the text.
Romans is categorized as a letter, which clues me into the idea that the text will be more conversation based; sharing thoughts, concerns, ideas, etc.
6. How does this fit into the bigger picture (creation, the fall, redemption, restoration, etc.)?
This is one of my FAVORITE questions to ask as I study. When I focus my attention on this question I am constantly seeing how each chapter of the Bible (even Old Testament books) reflect the gospel. Romans (especially Romans chapter 5) paints such a powerful picture of the redemptive grace of God. While we were sinners, while we were even considered enemies of Christ (yes, enemies! Look it up!) God’s love toward us abounded so much that He made a way. He did for us what no one else could do. He gave us life and life abundant.
No matter what book of the Bible you’re reading or the history accounted for in you, you can bet that they’ll lead the reader right back to the heart of the Gospel.
7. What does the text reveal about God and His character?
A person’s character is often reflected by consistent patterns of behavior. What better way for God to reveal His character to us than to keep an account of it through the Bible. I LOVE reading the Old Testament for this purpose. I talk more about this in my book Simple and Sweet: Practical Bible Study Tips for Women.
Paul’s letter to the reveals a lot about God’s heart towards people, even the ones “trapped” in sin. Even the ones who haven’t made their declaration of faith. Often we think of sin disqualifies us from being loved by God. But God’s abounds even to the sinner. “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” His Grace is mightier than any abundance of sin.
Here I know Him as my restorer. My saving grace, My salvation.
8. What does this text teach about human nature and myself?
The cool thing about the Bible is that it’s full of historical accounts of regular people just like you in me. Which means that as we observe these biblical accounts we can prepare our hearts to learn a lesson or two about ourselves.
One of the topics that Paul addresses in his letter to the Roman church was the truth about salvation. In all the confusion, the Jews had begun creating their own definition of salvation. People began trying to alter God’s Word to fit the lives that they wanted, instead of doing the opposite; allowing God to renew their lives according to His perfect Word.
I couldn’t help but laugh as I learned this because we are still making this same mistake today. Instead of changing our lives, we would much rather change the Bible. Doesn’t that just sound messy? I was reminded through Romans that God’s grace is PURPOSEFUL, His guidance ESSENTIAL, and our obedience to Him; CRUCIAL! Not simply for the sake of eternal salvation; but also for the lives we live on Earth. In my own strength, I can’t do it. It’s human nature to want to live for ourselves. Living a gospel-centered life requires me to submit to God’s will for my life. 100%. Something I know I can’t do without His grace.
9. How does this new truth change me?
Because the truth of God should do just that, change us. You can’t embrace the Word and stay the same. Did your understanding expand or your perspective shift? Did God plant something in your heart? Were you prompted to let go of anything? Or maybe pick up something new (or something you shouldn’t have let go of)? How has what you learned affected your life?
This truth should change the way I look at people. I should look at them with the same adoration God does. And pursue them with the same loving desperation that He does. I shouldn’t let sin and imperfections create distance between us myself and other people. If anything I should look at those things as a reason plunge head first towards them.
10. What are some action steps I could put into place to honor God with what I’ve learned?
The word of God is living and active (see Hebrews 4:12). Which means when taken to heart, when applied, this truth can and WILL change your life. But it doesn’t happen by accident. It happens through obedience. How can you use what you’ve learned today to honor God tomorrow?
I can work towards growing in the fruits of the Spirit, specifically, gentleness, patience, and kindness, extending those traits (accompanied with grace) to the people I encounter on a daily basis, no matter what kind of lifestyle they live. I can honor God by leading with God-inspired love and grace.
Pushing Past the Surface
See how just those few questions turned the average Bible study into a life-altering encounter with God? In order for me to answer each of these, I have to really reflect on what it is that I’ve read and studied. Suddenly I’m not just reading Bible stories, I am growing in Christ, nurturing my spirit through Biblical accounts.
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