Steps for Advancing in Spiritual Growth

Tools useful for those new to serious Bible Study.

Provisions to the student will include

E-Sword (KJV) - Free if downloaded on line (accepts donations) Contains a downloadable English Dictionary.
Power Bible (KJV) - $19.00 for CD's
Online Bible Software (KJV) - Free download

Study resource books may include

Young's Concordance
Strong's Concordance
Unger's Bible Handbook
Copies of different KJV study Bibles
Copies of different Bible Dictionaries
An Unabridged Dictionary
Wilmington's guide to the Bible

NOTE: A student should prepare to buy for himself a study Bible, a Bible Dictionary, a Good Concordance, a large quality English dictionary, and a Bible handbook. These are essential tools. By having these, one does not need to rely on the electronic age to be able to satisfy personal spiritual needs. These can be carried to the ends of the earth. They enable one to live under almost all conditions of energy and communication scarcity.
It should be recognized that commentaries, while useful to the newer believer, will soon be found to often lack meaningful resource and answers to the student's questions. It is often said that they speak to the obvious and ignore the difficult. Commentaries tend to be devotional at best. They provide a helpful breadth of illustrative material for those who speak frequently, several times a week.

Seven steps of Bible study

Daily Reading in the Bible is especially important. Begin at the front and read to the end. Get the whole story. If it seems tough in spots, skim over, but keep reading.

For fast readers, you need to read the Bible through in a year. Three chapters one day and four the next. Alternate the number from day to day. If you are a prolific reader and have enough time, read ten chapters a day and you will finish in a few short months.

Slow readers should try to averate reading at least a chapter a day. At this rate it will take three plus years. At whatever speed, read the scriptures daily.

Monthly outlines of Books of the Bible

We will, in graph format, title each chapter of various books of the Bible. Then the books will be divided into topics or logical information blocks. Using different sources, we will compare how various authors divide the book information logically.

The recommended order of book study will include the Books of John, Acts, James, Ephesians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, (either 1 & 2 Kings or Chronicles), Daniel, Zechariah, Malachi, Revelation, etc.

Develop lists and notes relating to Bible topics

Lists will include the nature of the natural man, the carnal man, the spiritual man, the traits of pastor, deacons, godly men, godly women, children, the church, the names of God, etc. Put the results of your notes in your card file, or your journal, or your notebook, or your business file.

Diagram Bible passages and learn how to use traditional English grammar and skills in interpretation

This is extremely important, but beginners and Babes in Christ may not be able to stomach this. It takes maturity and tenacity to do serious study.

This section will include the details of Bible interpretation according to grammar and the rules of the English language. This will include establishing meaning according to parts of speech, verb tenses, how modifiers and their antecedent affect the meaning of words and phrases. This section will also deal with kinds of reasoning, comparison, simile, metaphor, allegory, etc.

Develop skills of different methods of Bible study and analysis.

The focus of this will include use of cross reference skills, comparing verses with other verses; contextual comparisons with the local passage, the chapter, the book, and the Bible, and sometimes seeing how it is used correctly and probably incorrectly in secular literature.

There will be development of skills to see the difference between the teaching of secular and Biblical literature, including that found in newspaper, magazines, and other published media.

  • Part of the teaching of this area will be to gain skills in discernment of what is published.
  • Some advanced skills will include recognizing forms of comparison, illustration, simile, metaphor, parable, allegory, etc.
  • Also to be studied will be popular forms of reasoning such as inductive, deductive, linear, circular, conditional relationships, analogy, hypothesis, and many fallacy forms.

Possible suggested ideas might include taking a Disney film or story and determining the doctrinal teaching of that story and comparing it with Bible truths.

Develop Christian service projects and weekly activities

  • The student will learn the skills of loving thy brother and loving thy neighbor.
  • They will search out in the Bible how love was demonstrated.
  • Taking these statements and principles, they will then develop plans to actively demonstrate that love to others, tell what they did, tell why it was a Biblical act of love using the Bible to explain why, what, and how it fulfilled Bible admonitions.
  • In the beginning they would do simple projects. Later they would develop more complex efforts.

Learn the characteristics of spirituality and learn practical applications of this.

  • This lesson series would take the student from the generalities of understanding what it means to be a Christian and learn about the characteristics of true spirituality.
  • Then they would develop practical applications of this for their own personal life.
  • This section will include lists, definitions, Biblical examples of these things in action, etc.
  • The individual will learn to understand that the Christian life is an active willful life and not one of passivity.
  • They will discern the nature of the natural person, the spiritual person and the carnal person.
  • They will learn how one moves from one condition to another. The intent will be that they will love that which is spiritual and hate that which is carnal or worldly.
  • They will also study how to minister to others so that they also may enjoy the spiritual, fruitful life.

Develop address lists and records of personal characteristics of people to whom you may minister

This is the reach out portion of the class.

  • The student will learn how to become a part of the lives of others.
  • The student will develop plans to reach out to members
    • of their church,
    • of their personal families, and
    • of members of the community.
  • The student will develop a record keeping system of names, addresses, and pertinent information.
  • Then they will note information about each person in the record relating to their
    • work,
    • families,
    • their friendships,
    • personal interests,
    • skills,
    • hobbies,
    • likes and
    • dislikes.
  • They will note any other bit of information which will be helpful in reaching out to that other person in love and with the gospel.
  • They will begin developing plans for ministering to such people as they know and meet.

This will be a servant building skill and tool for reaching out. This is where the understanding of a spiritual person will be put into practice by practicing these skills within the church, the family, the neighborhood and the world.

Participate in personal Bible studies. These are sometimes called studies in discipleship. Be wary though, that the leaders of these studies are truly born again. They need to evidence personal practices which indicate that the are living lives separated unto holiness, lives separated from fleshly and worldly ways, they do not propose compromising Bible truths, and they do not try to merge "Christian" ways with secular and worldly ways.

Go to the section about the church. The church is the only divinely devised way provided by God for social fellowship which is "Christian" in this day. While there are hosts of people who by degrees degrade the importance of the local church and denegrate the value of participation in the local church, they all disagree with The Creator when they do. Their opinions are based upon personal opinion, experience, and self authority but not upon the Scriptures. Such opinions lead to forms that tend to idolatrous and terrible results.