One Step At A Time Christian Growth Series - Step 3 - The Bible
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
(1 Peter 3:15)

Holy Bible—It’s the only book that can honestly have the word “holy” before it. Proverbs 7:2 says: “Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.” The phrase “apple of thine eye” means pupil or center of your life. God’s Word is to be the center of the Christian’s life. It is to be the hub of the wheel where all spokes tie together.

The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalms 119, with 176 verses! Its theme is the Bible. Almost every verse in that chapter mentions God’s Word.

God has given us His Word to reveal Himself to us so we can know Him and what He expects of us. Job said: “...I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than necessary food.” The Bible was so important to Job that he would have chosen the Bible over eating any day.

The Bible is called seed to sow, milk to drink, meat to eat, a mirror to see ourselves, water to drink and to wash with, the law, light to direct, a hammer to break stoney hearts, and a sword to divide the thoughts and intents of our hearts.


  • George Washington: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
  • Charles Dickens: “The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world.”
  • Andrew Jackson: “That book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests.”
  • Abraham Lincoln: “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this book.”
  • Horace Greeley: “It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the ground work of human freedom.”


Psalms 119:89, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” The Bible has always been. It was in heaven before it was given, word for word, to man about 3,500 -4,000 years ago.


Many people have said “The Bible is just a book authored by man.” That is not true. If man could have written the Bible, he wouldn’t have! Mark Twain once said, “It’s not what I don’t understand of the Bible that bothers me, but what I do understand.”

2 Peter 1:20-21 states: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” These holy men did not write what they willed but what the Holy Ghost moved them to write.

2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God...” Inspiration means “God breathed.” In other words, God dictated the words to holy men so they would write the exact words of God. It was much like a boss would dictate a letter to a secretary.


Psalms 19:7, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.”

Psalms 119:160, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”

Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”

Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

Jeremiah 36:32, “Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.”

2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

As scrolls which contained the Word of God became tattered, scribes (professional copiers) would make new copies and destroy the old ones. How do we know they made no mistakes? There was a penalty of death for scribes who made any mistakes. King Jehoiakim burned the book of Jeremiah and God had him rewrite it again. It’s the Eternal Book. Besides that, how could God command us to “preach the Word” and not give us the Word to preach? There are no mistakes in God’s Word.

A bank in New York has a $1000 reward for anyone finding just one contradiction in the Bible. No one has ever claimed the money.


Presently, there are hundreds of “versions” of the Bible. Many people want the Bible in modern-day terms to make it easier to understand. The version God has chosen to bless for the English speaking people is the 1611 Authorized King James Version. In the 1600’s King James of England wanted the common man to have a copy of the Bible, which was written in Hebrew and Greek. Fifty-four (54) of the best Hebrew and Greek scholars in the world assembled to translate the scrolls into English. Other translations were written but were taken from other scrolls that ungodly men had tampered with by trying to remove words about the blood and deity of Christ.


Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

Job 26:7, “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.”

Isaiah 40:22, “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:”

Hebrews 1:2, “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;”

Years before science proved it, the Bible said: man’s blood is what keeps him alive; the earth is suspended in space; the earth is round; our planet is not the only one God created.


Vance Havner said: “There are more Bibles sold and less read than any other book.”

Patrick Henry said: “The Bible is worth more than all other books written, but it has been my misfortune never to have found time to read it.”

2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” We must read God’s word to know more about Jesus. Studying God’s Word is profitable! (2 Timothy 3:16) The four ways it profits us are:

  • Doctrine: Teaches us what is right to believe.
  • <[any tag]></[any tag]> Reproof: Points out error in our life.
  • Correction: How to correct what is wrong in our life.
  • Instructions in Righteousness: Teaches how to stay right.


1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

The Bible contains promises, warnings, commandments, wisdom, and principles. Principles are applications of truth to our lives. All of the Bible is profitable for us today.

The Bible keeps us from getting offended! Psalms 119:165 says: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

The Bible keeps us living clean! Psalms 119:9 says: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

God’s Word transforms our thinking! Romans 12:2 says: “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

The Bible increases our faith! Romans 10:17 says: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

The Bible reveals God’s will (plan) to us. Its 30,000 promises provide us with a wide variety of help in time of need.


The Old Testament has 39 books which cover much of the Israel’s history. Many prophecies say the Messiah or Saviour is coming!

The New Testament has 27 books which begin with the four gospels (accounts of Jesus’ life), followed by Acts which is the history of the first Church, and then by many epistles (letters) to Churches and Christians. The last book, Revelation, sounds the reminder that Jesus is coming again. Here is the theme of each book:


Genesis—”How it all Began”
1-11 Early History of Human Race
12-50 Early History of Jewish Race

Exodus—”Redemption Makes a Difference”
1-17 God’s power
18-24 God’s perfection
25-40 God’s provision

Leviticus—”Redemption Has a Price”
1-10 Price of Redemption-Sacrifice
11-24 Practice of Redeemed-Separation
24-27 Promises to Redeemed-Success

Numbers—”Advancing for God”
1-14 Old Generation
15-20 Wilderness Wandering
21-36 New Generation

Deuteronomy—”Truth is Worth Repeating”
1-3 Review of Journey
4-11 Review of Commandments
12-30 Review of Judgements
31-34 Moses’ Final Moment
Joshua—”Claiming Your Inheritance”
1-4 Entering the Land
5-12 Conquering the Enemy
13-24 Dividing the Inheritance
Judges—”Faith through Compromise”
1-2 Apathy
3-16 Apostasy
17-21 Anarchy

Ruth—”Redemption Satisfies”
1 Ruth’s Salvation
2 Ruth’s Service
3 Ruth’s Love
4 Ruth’s Marriage

1 Samuel—”Leading God’s People”
1-7 Samuel
8-15 Saul
16-31 David

2 Samuel—”Turning Victory into Defeat”
1-12 David’s Victory
13-24 David’s Defeat

1 Kings—”Morals of Nation Determined by Character of Leaders”
1-11 Solomon’s Reign
12-24 Divided Kingdom

2 Kings—”Morals of Nation Determined by Character of Leaders”
1-10 History of Israel
11-17 History of Israel and Judah
18-25 History of Judah

1 Chronicles—”Making a Place for God”
1-10 History of David’s Family
11-23 David’s Reign
24-27 Preparation for Temple

2 Chronicles—”Making a Place for God”
1-9 Solomon’s 40 Year Reign
10-36 Judah’s History Until the Exile

Ezra—”Building for God”
1-6 Zerubbabel—Return to City
7-10 Ezra—Rebuilds Temple

Nehemiah—”Rebuilding for God”

Esther—”Providence of God in the Lives of His People”
1-2 Preparation
3-5 Opposition
6-10 Vindication

Job—”Patience in Testing”
1-2 Job’s Circumstances
3-37 Job’s Critics
38-42 Job’s Correction

Psalms—”Singing to God”

Proverbs—”Living with Wisdom”

Ecclesiastes—”Selfish Living Never Satisfies”

Song of Solomon—”Love Makes a Song out of Life”

Isaiah—”Surrender Brings Blessing, Rebellion Brings Judgment”
1-35 God’s Judgement of Nations
36-39 God’s Dealing with Individuals
40-66 God’s Promise of Peace

Jeremiah—”No Pleasure Sin Can Offer is Worth One Moment out of Fellowship with God”
1-25 God Teaches Jeremiah
26-51 Jeremiah Preaches to the People

Lamentations—”Eulogy”-A Funeral Sermon of Jerusalem

Ezekiel—”Glory to the Lord”
1-3 God Calls a Man
4-24 God Judges His People
25-48 God Restores His People to Their Land

Daniel—”Sovereignty of God in Government of Men”
1-6 Daniel’s Personal Victories
7-12 Daniel’s Prophetic Visions

Hosea—”Breaking God’s Heart”
1-3 Israel’s Unfaithfulness Pictured
4-7 Israel’s Sin Proclaimed
8-10 Israel’s Judgement Pronounced
11-14 Israel’s Restoration Promised

Joel—”National Sin Results in National Judgment”
1-2:27 Day of Lord Pictured
2:28-3 Day of Lord Described

Amos—”National Sin Results in National Judgment”
1-2:3 Heathen Nations
2:4-9 Hebrew Nations

Obadiah—”Opposing God’s People Brings God’s Wrath”
1-16 Judgment of Edom
17-21 Blessing on Judah

Jonah—”The Backslidden Propeht”
1 Resignation-Lesson on God’s Patience
2 Repentance-Lesson on God’s Pardon
3 Revival-Lesson on God’s Power
4 Rebellion-Lesson on God’s Pity

Micah—”Hearing the Word”
1-2 Judgment is Coming
3-5 The Deliverer is Coming
6-7 Trust God Today

Nahum—”Judgment of God”
1 God is Jealous
2 God is Judge
3 God is Just

Habakkuk—”Doubting God”
1-2 Burden of Habakkuk
3 Prayer of Habakkuk

Zephaniah—”God Pours Out Wrath on Sin”
1-2:3 Judgment on Judah
2:4-3:8 Judgment on Nations
3:9-3:20 Salvation for the People

Haggai—”Consider Your Ways”
1 Selfishness-Lived for Self
2:1-2:9 Sinfulness-Lived in Past
2:10 Lived Unclean

Zechariah—”Lord of Hosts”
1-6 Israel’s Future
7-8 Israel’s Fasts
9-14 Israel’s Folly

Malachi—”God has No Pleasure in Believers Who Justify Sins”
1-2 Israel’s Sin
3-4 Prophesy of Lord’s Return


Matthew—”Jesus is King”
Mark—”Jesus is Servant”
Luke—”Jesus is Man”
John—”Jesus is God”
Acts—”Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles”
Romans—”Justification by Faith”
1 Corinthians—”Living for God’s Glory”
2 Corinthians—”Problems a Man faces in The Ministry”
Galatians—”The Gospel Truth”
Ephesians—”Living Your Blessings”
Philippians—”Priorities that Produce Joy”
Colossians—”Putting Jesus First”
1 Thessalonians—”Looking for Jesus”
2 Thessalonians—”Looking for Jesus”
1 Timothy—”Faithfulness in the Ministry”
2 Timothy—”Faithfulness in Doctrine”
Titus—”Faithfulness in Living”
Philemon—”Jesus Paid it All”
Hebrews—”Making Progress in the Christian Life”
James—”Becoming Spiritually Mature”
1 Peter—”Why Should Christians Live Holy?”
2 Peter—”Remember the Truth”
1 John—”Assurance of Salvation”
2 John—”Don’t Leave the Truth”
3 John—”Cults”
Revelation—”Jesus-Coming King”


There are four important questions to ask when reading your Bible:

  1. Who is speaking?
  2. Who is being spoken to?
  3. What does it mean?
  4. What does it mean to me?


The Bible is not hard to understand if we will just read it. The average word in the Bible is only five letters long. Many new Christians try to wade through the Bible from the beginning and often get bogged down with hard names to pronounce, and with genealogies. It is best to have three or four places you read each day. A good start is:

  • 1 Chapter in Psalms—for sweetness
  • 1 Chapter in Proverbs—for wisdom
  • 1 Chapter in Mark-for Christ—likeness
  • 1 Chapter in Genesis—for finding out how it all began!


Strength for the day is needed at the beginning of the day! God’s manna for Israel was to be gathered early before the sun melted it. Let God speak to you through His Word each morning before the cares and pressures of the day occupy your mind.


Read prayerfully. Before starting, ask God to give you something for the day. Read obediently. God does not onlt bless the amount we read, he blesses how much we obey. James 1:22 says: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”


It is not how much we read but how much we meditate on what we read. There are two times a Christian is to meditate on scripture—day and night.

Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

Psalms 1:3, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”


A Christian should always have a Bible with them-to read a verse of comfort, to use time wisely, or to witness.


Parents are commanded to teach its truths to their children. Deuteronomy 6:7 says: “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

Paul told Timothy, in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Share what you know with others.


There are three methods of Bible Study:

  1. Topical study: choosing a topic and, using a concordance, looking up all references where it occurs
  2. Expository study: studying a passage of scripture
  3. Textual study: the study of one or two verses.

The Best of Vance Havner
Knight’s Master Book of Illustrations
Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations
Knight’s Up to the Minute Illustrations

Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.
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