The 2020 Journey features a reading plan that gives the reader a survey of the different types of New Testament literature: Gospels (Luke and John), historical (Acts), Pauline letters (Romans and Philemon), general church letters (Hebrews, 2 & 3 John, and Jude), and prophetic (Revelation). In the 10 New Testament books, it also covers the long and the short of the New Testament—two of the longest New Testament books (Luke and Acts) and the four one-chapter New Testament books (Philemon, 2 & 3 John, and Jude). This survey of the New Testament genres underscores that the message is the same in all the books: the story of Jesus Christ’s first advent, His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, and the start and spread of His church.

To get the most of this reading plan, as with all the other Journey reading plans, you must approach your reading prayerfully and consistently. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you in your study. In the words of John 16:13, the Spirit “will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” The study of Scripture also requires consistency. You cannot read it occasionally and hope to have it inform your thought life and your daily interactions with others. That’s why The Journey typically has a five-day a week reading plan and encourages you to catch up on the weekends if you miss a day or even better to reread what you have read during the week.

Applying the six C’s of Bible study is essential for gaining a correct understanding of Scripture:

  1. Determine the CONTEXT of the particular passage. Each passage has a historical, cultural, literary, and theological context. A study Bible like the ESV Study Bible provides helpful insights into the context of each passage.

  2. Gather the CLUES. Each passage is filled with “clues” (key words, people, contrasts, locations, repeated words and ideas, etc.). Be like a good detective and ask the who, what, when, where, how, and why questions. Then ask yourself: What is the main idea of the passage? What does the passage say about the main idea? Then record all the things the passage says about the main idea.

  3. COMPARE with other Scripture. The best interpreter of Scripture is other Scripture. Start with what the author says about the particular idea in other places in the same book or in other biblical books by the same author. Then check what other biblical authors say about the same idea.

  4. CONSULT outside sources. Only after having exhausted your work on the first three C’s is it time to consult commentaries; Bible handbooks, dictionaries, or encyclopedias; or websites like Dr. Tom Constable’s notes.

  5. Draw your CONCLUSIONS about the passage. Try to answer in one sentence the question: What is the universal principle this passage is teaching? Another helpful approach is to try to title the passage in a way that captures the main idea.

  6. COMMIT to take action. The purpose of studying the Bible for the believer in Christ is to grow in godliness. Thus, you must apply in your daily life what you learn from your study of Scripture. Ask yourself these kinds of questions to help yourself apply what you are reading and to grow in godliness: Is there an example to follow? A sin to avoid? A promise to claim? A prayer to repeat? A command to obey? A verse to memorize? A challenge to face? Is there a doctrine taught that I need to understand better?

Applying these 6 C’s faithfully in your Bible study will help you get the most out of Join The Journey.

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