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Question

I read my bible like a story but I want to read it spiritually. I feel unsure if I am a Christian.

Answer

Thank you for your question regarding reading the bible and about being a Christian. 

It’s really great that you read your Bible like a story, because that’s exactly how it was put together! Although it’s made up of 66 separate ‘books’ (some are poetry, some history, some narrative (story), some letters etc.) they all form a part of one big story - the basic plot is this:

God created and loved the world, the peak of his creation was human beings (Genesis 1, 2). But people rejected God and instead wanted to be like God themselves (the Bible calls this ‘sin’) (Gen 3). God made a promise to restore this broken relationship (Gen 9, 12, 15; 2 Sam 7 and lots of other places!) He chose a nation (Israel) to bless, so that the world would see how awesome he was and come to love him too. God loved Israel, and he rescued them from slavery in Egypt, but the people disobeyed him again and again, and failed to love him back. He gave them laws to help them live in peace, but they did not keep them. Through prophets, God begged his people to come back to him, but they didn’t and eventually He judged them by ‘exiling’ them - Israel was invaded and the people taken captive. God never gave up or stopped loving his chosen people, and after a time, he brought them back to their land. (All this takes place in the Old Testament, the first 39 books of the Bible).

The New Testament (The last 27 ‘books’) reveals God’s solution to the problem of people’s sin. He sent his son, Jesus Christ as a human being. Jesus lived a perfect life of love and obedience to God, and then died in the place of all who have faith in Him. God accepted Jesus’ death on our behalf. On the cross, Jesus rescued his people from being ‘slaves’ to sin and he spared them the punishment for sin by taking it himself. The New Testament also shows us how Jesus rose from death, ascended to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to work through his first followers (you can read about that in Acts). It also shows us that God chose people from every nation, not only from Israel. The last book of the Bible is Revelation, which re-tells the whole story in amazing picture language. It tells us of the time when Jesus will come again, and it gives us an idea of the new and eternal life God has promised to anyone who has faith in Jesus.

So the Bible is a dramatic, real life story, of amazing love, betrayal, sacrifice, hope and rescue. Most excitingly, it’s a story that we are a part of! So to read your Bible ‘spiritually’ is to simply know that God’s promises are for you, to trust that Jesus died for you and to be confident that he will speak to you as you read.

In 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul writes I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit. So if you trust in Jesus to be your Lord, if you have got to know him in the pages of the Bible and want to live for him, then you can be sure that you are a Christian!

When we trust Jesus, we believe that he died on the Cross to fix human beings’ broken relationship with God, that he rose to new life, proving that he was stronger than death, and he ascended to heaven where he prays for us and represents us before his Father. When we believe, God’s Spirit comes to live in our hearts, pointing us to Jesus, changing us to be more like him and helping us to understand God’s word.

The primary way God speaks to us today is through our Bible reading. So when you read your Bible, it’s a good idea to try and find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Whether you’re reading for a short or long time, always begin by praying. Thank God for what he has done for you through Jesus. Pray that his Holy Spirit would open your heart and mind and help you to see more of Him as you read. Then take some time to read and understand, asking God to help you grow in faith. Sometimes it helps to use bible reading notes - these suggest a part of the Bible to read and help by explaining what you’ve read. As well as this, finding a church where the Bible is taught clearly will help you to start getting to know God more and more as he speaks to you.

I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com

In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey:
www.lookingforgod.com/churchfinder

Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world. 
www.lookingforgod.com/your-questions

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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