Love Jesus - the Key to Heaven!
Study God's Holy Word
Study God's Holy Word
The Bible is our training manual. It was written for the purpose of revealing Christ, to give knowledge of eternal life and to warn us through the successes and failings of the Bible characters. ‘For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us’ (Romans 15:4). We are commanded to study God’s word, search out for the truth and grow in our understanding (Acts 17:11). Set aside a time each day to learn from God’s word and ask God to speak to you as you read the Scriptures. It is a guide to your feet and a light for your path.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books, written by over 40 authors who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Divided into the Old and New Testaments it consists of law, history, poetry, stories, parables, letters and prophecy. Each book of the Bible is divided into chapters and each chapter into verses. For example, John 3:16 means the book of John, chapter 3 and verse 16. If you read about 4 chapters a day you will have read the whole Bible in one year. As you study the Bible, it will make you wise for salvation (2 Timothy 3:15).
As a new believer I suggest you begin by reading the New Testament, for that deals with the coming of Christ and the training of His disciples. The gospel of Mark is the shortest of the gospels and gives you a good overview of the life of Jesus Christ. The gospel of John is also highly recommended. After you have read all four of the gospels, read the book of Acts to know the history of how Christianity started and spread so powerfully throughout the world. New Christians should be taught the main doctrines that are important to understanding the Bible, so they can get closer to God.
In English, there are many translations or ‘versions’. Choose a modern one that you can clearly understand, such as the New International Version, Good News Bible (for simple English) New King James, or the Amplified Bible can be helpful. Bibles are also available today on CD, DVD, on the internet and computer software. It is also handy to have a smaller sized Bible that you can easily take with you wherever you go. It is wise to have a notebook to record any Scriptures the Holy Spirit highlights by causing a particular truth to jump out at you.
Expect God to speak to you as you read His word. Revelation comes from relationship. Building a closer relationship with God and receiving deeper revelation by the Holy Spirit through God’s word go hand in hand. If you want to build a closer relationship with God, you must read your Bible. Ask the Lord to show you what it actually says, what it really means and how it applies to your life. What is God saying to you today? To become a strong Christian you must be disciplined in reading, seeking and studying God’s Holy Word.
WHAT DO THESE TERMS MEAN?
The Holy Trinity – The one true God has eternally existed as three divine, distinct and simultaneous persons; the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2). The word “Trinity” is simply a doctrinal word used to explain one God in three persons; three persons in one God. In His supreme majesty, sovereign ability and glorious nature, God is a Trinity.
The Divinity Of Christ – Jesus, while being eternally at His Father’s side, become a man. Jesus is the one and only incarnation of God (John 1:1,14,18). He is a divine being, for in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). He is called the Son of God because He is God (Matthew 14:33) and the Son of Man because He is man (Matthew 26:2).
The Holy Spirit – He is the eternal Spirit of God (Hebrews 9:14); a divine person who speaks (John 16:13; Acts 10:19-20), loves (Romans 15:30) and wants to have fellowship with us (2 Corinthians 13:14). The Holy Spirit has a mind (Romans 8:27), feelings (Ephesians 4:30) and a will (1 Corinthians 12:11). It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our guilt in regard to sin, righteousness and judgment, and draws us to Christ (John 16:8).
Satan – He is the ancient serpent known as the devil (Revelation 20:2); a spiritual being who fell from Heaven and is the leader of rebellion towards God (John 8:44). He is the tempter (Matthew 4:1-11) and the enemy of mankind (1 Peter 5:8). Unfortunately he is leading the whole world astray (Revelation 12:9).
Demons – Angelic beings who disobeyed God and were cast out of Heaven along with the devil. They seek to afflict, torment and curse the human race (Luke 8:27-39). Demons are often associated with the false worship of idols (Deuteronomy 32:17; Revelation 9:20). We are commanded to cast them out by the power of Jesus’ name (Mark 16:17).
Angels – Having refused to side with the devil, they are holy and faithful to Christ (Mark 8:39). They are spiritual beings sent by God to serve those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14). All of God’s angels worship Jesus (Hebrews 1:6).
Heaven – The dwelling place of God and of those who are permitted to behold His glory forever (Revelation 4-5,7). After Christ’s death and resurrection, Jesus returned to Heaven to prepare a place for those who will follow Him (John 14:2-3). We are commanded as believers to store our treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21), knowing that we are citizens of that place (Philippians 3:20). A true Christian is escorted to Heaven after they physically die (Acts 7:55-60; 2 Corinthians 5:8). Jesus will reward those who live for Him (Colossians 3:24).
Hell – A prison for lost souls (2 Peter 2:4-9), where unbelievers are separated from the love and majesty of God (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). It is an eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). Many people deny the existence of Hell or think they are too good to deserve such horror, torment and shame (Daniel 12:2), yet people need to realize that if they die in their sins they are lost forever (Luke 16:19-31). You cannot reject God and not go to Hell (Luke 12:4-5). This is why salvation is so important.
The Second Coming – The Lord Jesus Christ will return from Heaven in all His glory and power to judge the world and separate the righteous from the wicked (Revelation 19:11-21). This is not a secret coming, for it will be visible from the east to the west and the nations will mourn because of Him (Matthew 24:27,30). Do not get caught up in date-setting or unsound end-times speculations (Matthew 24:36-39). Yet we must long for His appearing and hasten that day by preaching the gospel to all nations (2 Timothy 4:1-2,8).