In this short read, David Helm talked about a practical and personal way of reading the Bible with someone, whether they be an unbeliever, a person new to the faith, or an established Christian, for four tangible benefits: salvation, sanctification, training and relationship. It is divided into two parts: first for the what, why and how to do one to one Bible reading, and the second for some simple frameworks and ideas to start reading the Bible with another. The idea is that reading the Bible should not only be benefiting your own life, but the lives of your family members and friends. The main objectives are:
a. to help non-Christians see the message of the gospel and the saving word of God,
b. to encourage Christians, both new and established, to build one another up, instruct one another, teach and admonish one another with the wisdom of Christ’s word,
c. to train people for greater ministry responsibility, and
d. to build relationships of substance, anchored in the word of God.
The second part of the book teaches readers some strategies and frameworks such as what questions to ask while reading and studying the Bible, how to approach different biblical genres, which are the recommended books to read for which situations, and a sample eight-week plan to read the Gospel of Mark.
The book is very direct and straight to the point, but it is also meaty and clear, and as soon as I’ve read it, I have used the strategy for sharing the gospel to one of my friends. I have also approached friends that came to my mind while reading this, even though we haven’t spoken for quite a long time. I was surprised how many of them were very willing to read the Bible with me, seeing it also as an opportunity to ask the questions that they have in mind. Although I have only tried it with people I already know, the book suggests some tips if you would also like to use this discipline with someone you don’t have an existing personal relationship with.
Overall, I think that this is a great resource particularly for evangelism and discipleship ministry. Some of my takeaways are:
- The hardest part is inviting someone to read with you, and the greatest hindrance will be an unbiblical view that you are not ready for this. We don’t need to be Bible scholars in order to read the Bible with others – we only need to trust in God and pray that through His grace, He will make His words understandable.
- Reading the Bible is for all people at every stage of their spiritual life.
- It is important and beneficial for us to turn to God’s word for everything we do, for instruction, training, rebuke, correction, building relationships with others.
- Rest on the power of the gospel that is in God’s word. In the power of the Spirit and through the instrumentality of his word, God will honour your commitment to be in discussion with someone on the message of the gospel.
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