Wednesday, February 6

Step by Step in the Word

As I mentioned a couple of posts back, I’m currently in the book of Romans. I’ve been slowly working my way through a more in-depth study of the Bible, but I’d been putting off tackling Romans, since it’s quite a daunting book. But I’m glad I finally took the plunge because it’s been such a bolster to my faith. This post will be a little different than my usual entries, because I thought it would be helpful to share my process. I’m not a theologian or even a seminary student, just a stay at home mom with two little ones to keep up with. It’s certainly slow going, but no less enriching. And of course I don’t always have time for this kind of study. In between my in-depth studies, I like to read through Proverbs for a month or immerse myself in the Psalms.

I hope this simple method will be a useful tool for you. I find the repetition does wonders for my comprehension and memory. Also, I didn't include it in the steps below, but it can be nice to have someone studying along with you so you can discuss what you've read.

Step 1 – I read through the chapter once or twice sans highlighter or commentary.

Step 2 – I read the commentary on the chapter in Thru the Bible by Dr. J Vernon McGee. If I still have questions about something after reading Dr. McGee, I look up more commentary at Matthew Henry’s complete commentary is my go-to pick.

Step 3 – I listen to an audio-recording of the chapter on Bible Gateway’s phone app. I usually have to listen to it two or three times because I’m a terrible auditory learner. It helps if I read along while listening.

Step 4 – I read the chapter one last time and this time I use my highlighters to highlight verses that stick out to me. I use five colors: pink for love, blue for doctrine, green for instruction, orange for warnings, and yellow for miscellaneous inspiration.

And that’s it! I’m a little over halfway through Romans and I expect the rest will probably take me at least a month. I’ll be sharing more of my favorite passages in future posts, but for now I leave you with this gem from Romans 10.

Romans 10:9-11 (NIV)
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”