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A Beginner's Guide

Let’s assume that you just got saved. Let’s also assume that you’ve never opened a Bible in your life. What’s next?


There are 3 essential ingredients to spiritual growth:


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

2) “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).


3) “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Talbot W. Chambers said, "Doctrine without duty is a tree without fruits: duty without doctrine is a tree without roots." Spiritual growth begins with good sound grace doctrine starting with a clear understanding of the all-sufficiency of Christ's payment for our sins, as well as our identification with Him through the operation of the cross. We are dead with Christ (Romans 6:8). We are buried with Christ (Romans 6:4). We are risen with Christ (Colossians 3:1). We are one with Christ (Ephesians 5:30). We are in Christ. This key doctrinal understanding as only Paul can teach begins in the book of Romans.


I’m reminded of something Pastor J.C. O’Hair used to say: “You’re not ready to study the book of Romans unless you’ve read it 100 times.” Study Romans first. Read it again and again and again in the King James Version until you practically have it memorized. If you don’t understand a verse or two, don’t worry about it. Just keep reading and rereading. After you’ve read Romans at least a dozen times, try this:



Do you have Romans down yet? Good. Go through a similar process for every letter of Paul’s from Romans to Philemon. Also consider the following:



Once you have a good handle of basic Bible doctrines try these books:



My prayer for you is the same as Paul’s prayer for the saints in Ephesians 1:


17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Have you solved the Mystery?


Joel, FBC Librarian

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