7 Important Bible Chapters to Study!

When it comes to Bible study, many of us are clueless about where to start. Very often, we end up just using whatever current chapter we’re in in our devotional reading, That’s good – but if you slack off the habit, you may have missed the more important Bible chapters to really dig into!
I’ve tried to lessen that slightly by my lessons in Hebrews, and Galatians. However, essentially you have to read the Bible for yourself, read the words and apply the rules I’ve given you on it.
So, which chapters are the ones to ensure you have studied? There,s 1189 chapters to read in the whole Bible!

  1. John 3. Absolutely. Study this chapter in detail. We’re so used to hearing this chapter that often we miss out on the fact that this chapter teaches a LOT about Christianity we must really understand – and as you read on my blog the other day about how I just don’t recognize Evangelical Christianity any longer, you’re aware of my often repeated points that most of us not only don’t read the Bible, only a few actually understand what they’re reading!
  2. Ephesians 5. Important chapter about how to walk as a Christian.Try copying this passage into Evernote, and breaking it up into a checklist of do’s and don’ts. For those people who blather on and on about how you don’t want life to be a series of do’s and don’ts rules, I’ll give you a hint – you’re on the left hand side at the Great White Throne judgment -Go back and read John 3.
  3. Romans 6. Another essential chapter to study on how to walk as a Christian. I’ve got most of this chapter highlighted in my Logos.
  4. 1 Timothy 2. This chapter gives essential information to pastors on how their congregations should behave. Tim Laheye includes this chapter in his list of Bible chapters to study for a Christian.
  5. Romans 8. The New Life. This explains the reasons why Ephesians 5 and Romans 6 were written!
  6. 1 Thessalonians 4. It’s not just a Rapture chapter! It has information on how to live as Christians as well.
  7. Isaiah 53. Every detailed study of the Bible must at some point include a study of the person of Jesus Christ. There are many Christological patterns throughout the Bible – but Isaiah 53 is so clear cut that if you can get someone to read it and ask them who it’s talking about, you only get ONE answer. Study this!

These are just the starting point, and there’s many more for sure! But these seven mark important chapters and topics to study!


Highlighting Your Bible

This was an odd practice for me to get into. In Judaism, to mark anything on the Bible was considered a desecration! Christians on the other hand do it all the time. I don’t think God considers this a sin… rather, a tool for all of us to be involved in!
There are a million schemes for it – you just have to find what works the best!

Minimal: This is the most common one, you just underline something that means something to you.
Alternating: I used this one for my hardcover Bible. I had four markers, and the system was fairly simple. Green was anything bad, then I alternated the next three colors. That way it wasn’t one big blob of one color on a page.
Systematic: David Cloud writes of this manner. You just have to determine what’s important. For instance, circle the verse number for each of the ten plagues if egypt. Underline Generations throughout Genesis. Circle the words “Day” in Genesis 1-2. Pencil underline every time the author refers to himself in an epistle. Highlight the word Hell in the gospels in Red. Use different colors for different things in different books. This way you can use 66 different meanings for a circled verse number, and you’re not trapped into something that may not work, or be too complicated.

Margin notes. DON’T write down notes on the Pastor’s Sermon in the margins of your Bible. It takes a lot of whiteout to remove those later. Trust me! Instead, get a Bible cover that comes with a notepad in it, and use that to write down notes on the sermon.
DO write down cross references. I’ve taken my hard cover bible and made notes on answering Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’ve written down cross references to share the Gospel. I’ve written down other passages that seemed to me to be speaking on the same subject.

Find what works for you, and don’t feel trapped you have to choose one system!

8 Steps to Effective Bible Study

Here’s a way to do effective Bible study with Logos. As I’ve mentioned before, you can do a LOT with Logos 7 Basic. It’s free, and you can get the King James for only $10. Yes, they should offer it for free, but Logos has so many tools… Like many of you, I was opposed to Logos for many years (despite being a Logos user back in the 90’s), but yeah… once I tried it… I was sold on it. I don’t think I could go back to anything else. It’s funny though, I still find myself turning back to Quickverse out of nostalgia. This was how I started in Bible study with computers in 1994, Quickverse and Logos. I used to alternate between them every day. If Logos had offered the “How to use Logos” videos back then, I might not have used Quickverse as much.

So… how’s the first and easiest way to start Bible Study with Logos?

  1. Set up a one year reading plan… Twice through the New Testament in one year, once through the Old. this is the David Cloud reading plan. Go to Documents, start a new reading plan, choose Old Testament by pericope in the King James in one year by yourself (you can invite others as well…). Then do the same, but for the New Testament by pericope in the King James in six months by yourself. Go to the documents again, and COPY the NT reading plan, then open it and edit the copied one to have a July 1 start date.
  2. Start your Bible reading, by clicking on it from your home screen. Now, go to Layouts, and choose Bible Journaling.
  3. Open the TSK if you bought it or if you bought a package that has it. Keep it in your Bible window, not the Journaling one.
  4. highlight a single word in the verse, and choose “add note to Bible journal”. The entire verse will highlight by default, but in the context menu you still can choose the word if you just want to comment on a single word.
  5. Notate anything that is Law of First Reference (the first time it is mentioned in the Bible), if it is a contrast (today I’m reading Psalm 22, and David constantly and clearly contrasts his own situation with Christ’s), if it is a Hapax (something mentioned only once in Scripture). you don’t have to write commentary right now on the level of a John Walvoord here… you can just write “only time this word is mentioned” or “first mention of straw” or whatever.
  6. If you looked something up in Greek or did a word study on it, notate that. you’re trying to record your Bible study, and no, you WON’T remember what you just learned today!
  7. If you see in the TSK anything else in the Bible related to this verse or word, notate that as well.
  8. If you looked in a commentary and found anything of interest, HIGHLIGHT and DRAG that important part into your Bible Journaling window INTO the verse – otherwise, it ends up at the bottom. Logos is hard wired to have the right priority – Bible first, commentary second.

READING something in the Bible does not work. I attended schooling once where you were required after you got home to type up your notes that you took by hand. Why? It aided memorization.

you’ll find by USING these techniques, your understanding of the Bible will grow by leaps and bounds. But start TODAY, otherwise you’ll get the same results you got from your diet and exercise program… you’ll get very good at procrastinating and nothing else!

James 15

“For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.” (James 3:7–12, KJV)

The central thought here is, “out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. This ought not to be.”

So, no cursing. By this, we do not mean “don’t use profanity.” See, it’s a contrast – bless/curse.

Bless others, Bless your enemies. don’t wish the worst for them. “I hate so and so. I hope he gets fired.” Yes, and he’ll go through economic hard times doing it.

A major, major theme in the Bible is that God is really concerned with how we treat one another. Bless people. do not curse them.

James 13

If you’ve just tuned in and didn’t know it – yes, this is a Fundamentalist blog!

“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” (James 3:2–6, KJV)

We had started out chapter three with an ijnunction that not every Christian should desire to be a pastor. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s almost a unique statement in the Bible, BECAUSE for one of the only times I can recall, it is the conditional statement (“because”) that is the dominant thought, and not the originating statement. Things are usually said the OTHER way by God.

Now, we carry on the conditional statement, and we make it clear – this is the tongue we talk about. THe issue of not everyone should be a pastor is now left behind. The original language reads “Gar” – for, because, not “De”, and, but.

Anyone who says a knowledge of Koine Greek is useless is only justifying their not learning it! It’s actually not that hard. Well, not for me, because apparently, I have a gift for learning languages. I easily pick up words and phrases. If you’re interested in learning, I have six months of lessons on my greek and hebrew blog. I still plan on adding to that, by the way, but right now – I’m a little busy. Actually a lot busy.

Around the time that this book was being written, there were two famous Rabbi’s, who were influential. One of them is Hillel, the other Shammai. Rabbi Shammai had a saying that was written down in Pirke Avos that reads, “There is nothing better for a man than silence.”

liberals will say that James was influenced by Shammai. That’s because for theological liberals, the thought that God wrote the Bible is intolerable. Yet, literally, that’s the facts. James may indeed have been influenced by Shammai, or may not. He may not even have cared! We don’t know.

Because God chose the words that James wrote down. Indeed, the very letters! So, whether James was influenced by Shammai or not, it’s irrelevant. James did not choose the words of his epistle – God did.

However, the fact remains… James is saying “curb your tongue.” How many people have been murdered over words? How many wars erupt over words?

Words offend in many ways. Tone of voice here is lumped in here, because often it’s not what we say, but how we say it.

Think before you speak! Is this helpful? Is this hurtful? Does it absolutely need to be said? Are you saying it to help… or to run someone else’s life?

James 12

“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” (James 3:1–2, KJV)

Here’s an oddity in the flow of thought in the Bible – this is the first time that the conditional statement (vs. 2) is the dominant thought, not the originating statement.

Verse 1 – not everyone should seek to be pastors, because pastors will be judged at much higher standards than regular Christians.

Verse 2 – We offend people in many different ways.

We’re about to start speaking of the tongue. What you say. Trust me, sometimes I wish I’d paid more attention to the Jewish proverb, “There is nothing better for a man than silence.” Surely, there are many times I’ve thought, “If only I could keep my mouth shut!” Between my anger rising up when it is not needed or unjustified (why think first when you can just act first and regret it forever???), and my saying the wrong thing at the wrong time – See, this is why I went years without really saying anything in my 20’s! Good thing.

Why are the two enjoined together? Pastors HAVE to talk. Pastors find themselves having to talk a LOT. Every word you say is literally another chance to offend a Christian.

Teaching has to be done, but those who teach must understand their responsibility, as those who teach will be judged more strictly. A teacher’s condemnation is greater because, having professed to have a clear knowledge of duty, he is all the more bound to obey it.

J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 827.

James 11

“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:20–26, KJV)

Let’s recall what we’ve learned so far. James is talking to saved Christians.

Where people go wrong in studying this book is to assume that ‘justified’ here means ‘saved’. And so, Messianics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Roman Catholics all insist we have to do works to be saved. However, clearly, the Bible says elsewhere that we are saved by faith and not of works, lest any should boast.

Do we have a contradiction here? Liberals say yes, but this letter is not to them anyway, as they are not saved – and James is talking about “Brethren”, meaning saved Christians.

And that’s the key to James. These people are already saved! So, obviously, if they’re brethren (already saved) THEN… this justification is different from salvation.

“Flimsy faith is dead; so are empty, faithless works. James’ argument is not pro-works/anti-faith or pro-faith/anti-works. He has simply said that genuine faith is accompanied by good works. Spiritual works are the evidence, not the energizer, of sincere faith.

J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 826.

So James begins to offer examples, much the same way Paul did in Hebrews – indeed, the same example as Paul. If we grant that Paul’s writings are inspired by God (remember, this is called Mechanical inspiration), then we must say that James’ writings were inspired by God also, and inerrant.

James and Paul quoted the same passage—Genesis 15:6—to prove their points (cf. Rom. 4:3). Paul said that Abraham was justified by faith, and James said that Abraham was justified by faith evidenced by what he did.

J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 826–827.

One of the key concepts here to walk away with is that if you walked down an aisle or raised your hand at a crusade of some kind and repeated someone’s prayer sixteen years ago – and your life remained exactly the same as prior – um… you’re very probably not saved. Up until the last 100 years, Christianity has always maintained that if you are a Christian, there will be a before/after change in your life. If before/after are exactly the same, except that you somehow think you’re a Christian – um, you’re not.

Now, if you begin to worry about “Does my life please God?” as I’ve said a hundred times, that’s a really good worry. That means you worry about that. That means you’re showing evidence of salvation. It’s not too far from that to reading and studying your Bible. To growing your prayer life. To growing in sanctification.