Ask Your Preacher
What is truth? Please explain John 8:31-33.
Dear Define It,
Jesus says that if we live our lives in the truth, we will be free. In Jhn 17:17, Jesus says that God’s Word, the Bible, is truth. The truth that will set us free is the truth that can only be found in the Bible. Rom 1:16 says that the Bible is God’s power to save mankind. When we use the Bible as our instruction manual for life, we will be saved. If you would like to know what the Bible says you must do to be saved, please read our post, “Five Steps To Salvation”. The Bible is God’s roadmap for our lives.
How do I get into the Bible and how do I read the Bible?
Starting To Study
Dear Starting To Study,
The key to any kind of worship or Bible study is to make it a regular habit. Daniel had a habit of praying (Dan 6:10). Make a decision to put Bible study into your day first (Matt 6:33) and schedule other things around it. Most people fail to study their Bibles because it isn’t a part of their regular life. Make it a part of your morning routine, your lunch break, or bedtime ritual. Somehow schedule it into your life and make it a habit.
After you do that, it is just a matter of what you want to learn first. Many people read a Psalm a day, a chapter of Proverbs each week, or use a ‘read the Bible in a year program’, or you grab one of those five things you want to look at and read away. Any of these is a perfectly acceptable system. In fact, you can buy Bibles that are organized, so that you read a little of the Old Testament and a little of the New Testament every day. For new Bible students, I often recommend reading the gospel of Matthew or the gospel of John first, so that you become acquainted with Christ’s life; then follow that up with the book of Acts and familiarize yourself with the first century church.
The goal is to study your Bible, not just read it. God tells us to study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim 2:15) and to meditate upon God’s Word (Ps 119:15). You could read through an entire book of the Bible in an hour or so but fail to appreciate any of it. Read your Bible with a notepad beside you and a pen or highlighter in hand. Write down your questions and get them answered. Highlight meaningful verses. If you don’t understand something, don’t move on until you do. It is more important that you understand than that you read a large portion of text. And lastly, enjoy your Bible reading time; you are reading the most influential and meaningful book on the planet!
Hello, AYP. I thought after they walked on water, Jesus and Peter climbed into the boat in Matt 14:32. Why does Mark 6:51 say that only Jesus climbed into the boat? Help me please before I consider this a contradiction.
Wanting The Dots To Connect
Dear Wanting The Dots To Connect,
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all are narratives of Christ’s life, but they each tell things from different perspectives. As you may have noticed, Matthew doesn’t include all the same stories as Luke, and John tells things differently than Mark… the books are designed to give different angles to Jesus’ life here on Earth. In fact, John said it would be impossible to tell of everything that Jesus said and did on this planet – so they only told us the details that were important for their particular purposes (Jhn 21:25).
This brings us to your question about Jesus walking on water. Matthew covers the entire story of Jesus walking to His disciples upon the water, but Mark simply sums up that particular occurrence by saying, “He went up to them in the boat” (Mk 6:51). Mark isn’t contradicting the story of Peter that Matthew tells; he just omitted that section of the story. In the end, they tell the same story… Matthew was just more detailed.
Many people think that after Saul was saved and regained his sight, he began his ministry without interruption. But in fact, he later says he was sent to the desert for three years. I remember reading it, but I don't know where to find it. Can you help me with that verse please?
Stuck In The Desert
Dear Stuck In The Desert,
The verses you are thinking of are Gal 1:15-18. After Saul's conversion in Damascus (Acts 9:17-19), Saul (more commonly known as Paul) left Damascus and went into Arabia for three years. It is during this three-year time period that Paul had his vision of Paradise (2 Cor 12:2-4). It is only after those three years that Paul eventually visited Jerusalem.
Why is there a New Testament if God never changes?
God never changes, but humans do, and mankind wasn’t ready for Christ’s law in the beginning. Gal 3:24 says that the Old Testament law was a tutor to lead people to Christ. Just like beginning arithmetic must be taught before you dive into calculus, the Old Law prepared people for a greater and more perfect law. The Old Testament taught people about sin (Rom 3:20), and it showed that all mankind had sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23). The Old Testament law was added because of sin and as a preparation for Jesus’ entrance into the world (Gal 3:19). The Old Law could never save people because all a law can do is condemn the law-breaker – only the gift of Christ’s blood can provide forgiveness for the sinner (Gal 3:13). The New Testament combines God’s laws with a plan to provide forgiveness for those who break those laws.