TiO 45 – Alpha – How and Why Should I Read the Bible
The Main Idea
The Bible is the single most popular, influential, and important book ever compiled. It contains the very words of God and points us to the very Word of God, Jesus.
Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)
Q1: Would you consider yourself a reader? What was the last book you read?
Q2: How many books do you read a year? What kinds of books do you read?
Q3: When you were a child, did your parents read to you?
Dig a Little Deeper
The Bible is described as being inspired and inerrant. Big words, for sure.
Inspired: God is responsible for moving people to write the words that he had for them and for the world.
Q1: What does the phrase “The Bible is inspired” mean to you or make you feel?
Inerrant. There are lots of ways in which inerrant is described. The word means “free from error”. But the best definition today is: “True in all that it claims to teach.”
Q2: What does the idea that the Bible is “free from error” mean to you?
Q3: If the Bible is “true in all that it claims to teach” what does that mean about what life situations it speaks into?
The Bible tells us the story of God and the relationship that he formed with human beings, the unfaithfulness of those humans, and the hundreds of years that it took to repair that relationship. And it tells us of the faithfulness of Jesus and how he made a way for human beings to be truly human again.
Read Luke 4:16-21
Q4: What does this story tell us about Jesus and his relationship to Scripture?
Q5: What does this story tell us about the truthfulness of Scripture and the reliability of the prophesies found in it?
The Bible is the most important book ever put into the hands of people. It tells us about God. It tells us about his will for us. It tells us about sin, it tells us about the consequence of sin, and it tells us about a renewed relationship that we can have with God through Jesus. It tells us our history, it speaks to our present, and it tells us of our future.
But we, too often, take it for granted. We seek the will of God but we fail to look in the most obvious place: the words that God has left for us.
Carolyn ended her sermon by talking about the need to read scripture. Like prayer, talk of our need to read scripture is surrounded by guilt and the sense that we are not good enough because we fail so often. But this is important that we need to try. Here are some points of advice that Carolyn gave:
- Be intentional: find a place and a time where you can read
- Choose a version that is readable: start with a version that you can understand, but graduate to one that is translated well and accurately. Talk to your small group leader or to a leader in the church about a version that he or she recommends
- Pick a place to begin reading and then read: a gospel is a great place to start, Mark for example
- Choose a reading plan: Don’t worry about reading through in a year or two or five. Like exercise, reading the Bible must start with something you are able to do and which is sustainable. You can think about reading more each day when you are reading something each day.
- Ask God to give you insights as you read
- Ask people you trust about passages that are hard to understand
- Write down what you learn
- Take time to memorize passages from the Bible.
Q1: Have you found successful ways to turn Bible reading into an enjoyable habit? Share those with the group.
Pray together that God would give you the desire to be refreshed and enlightened by regular reading of the Bible. And then make a plan and follow it.
In this section we are provide the scriptures referenced in this study. Some are core to the lesson, others can optionally be read and discussed as part of your time together.
Luke 4:16-21 (NRSV)
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Here is a link to the Alpha video from last week. It is about 30 minutes long and well worth watching as you prepare to study this Talk it Over together.