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When I was a Bible Courier behind the old Iron Curtain and in Islamic countries for six months between 1978-1979, we always had to leave behind our Bible. We knew if we were imprisoned, that ONLY the Scriptures we had memorized would be with us. Nothing else. Are you ready for sickness, disaster, hospitalization–or even persecution? These verses are the HEART of the Scriptures. They give you all that is needed to feed your soul, wear the armor, and walk in wisdom. Join us as we study through the 52 Greatest Chapters of the Bible for 52 weeks and learn these key verses along the way!


Well, good morning and welcome to this 52 Key Chapter of the Bible Study. If you want to look down here, I want to go through all of the pieces that you need in order to go through this study with me. Some of you are on week nine, some of you are week 10, some of you have already finished, but for many of you this might be the first time. You say, how can I jump in and get started on this study?

The first thing you do is you go to our site at Facebook, the 52 Greatest Chapters of the Bible, download these two items you see in front of you. The first one is the 52 Key Chapter Study using the Devotional Method. I tell you the resources you need, what the Devotional Study Method is, a simple pattern for you to follow, and our goal.

I’m going to go through each of these items, this morning, with you but let me start in the Bible.  Our real goal is not to actually just grow our knowledge base. Most people can just Google things and find out facts and information.

In Jeremiah 15 right here, the book of Jeremiah chapter 15 and verse 16 right here in my Bible, and you can find that in yours, and you should notice how it’s all highlighted. I’ve written in my Bible. This is the key verse for this 52 chapter study and I’ll read it to you. “Your words were found.” Now, the “your” is God and it’s Jeremiah’s speaking. He’s saying, “Your words got were found, and I…” that’s Jeremiah, the author of this book of the Bible. “…I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name O LORD of hosts.”

Now look up from your Bibles, this verse summarizes everything we need to know for our Bible study. It’s God’s word. That means we take our Bibles, we search, we underline, we mark, we journal in our journals, but the whole goal is to eat it. “Your words were found, and I ate them.”

Now, do you remember what Jesus said in Matthew? For “man shall not live by bread alone.” Bread, food, food and water just keeps us existing, but that’s not real life. Jesus said that’s just existence. Did you know, most people around you just exist? They have their bread and water, their food, whatever, their coffee, and their big meals, but they’re just existing. The Lord said, if you add this component, “Your words” – God’s word, and you eat it, you digest it, you make it a part of your life.

Look at the middle of verse 16, “And your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Now, stop for a minute from your Bibles and think. Most people are looking for happiness. They’re in a pursuit of happiness. They’re looking everywhere for happiness. Money may not buy happiness, but it sure buys a lot of places to look for it. Do you know what the Creator of our bodies said? The Creator of our soul, of our existence. He said there’s only one way to have true happiness, peace, joy. Right here, “For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.” The Bible resonates in the hearts of those who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This study will just be a very difficult academic exercise if you don’t start by bowing to Jesus Christ. If you’ve never called in the name of the Lord, if you’ve never asked Him to save you, that would be actually the doorway to this Bible study. So, theme verse, chapter 15 of Jeremiah and verse 16 is what we’re looking at as we go through the mechanics.

Now, look down on your chart and you can get this from the Facebook 52 Key Chapters of the Bible. You need a Bible you can mark up, that’s this one right here. You need a 52 Key Chapter Study Sheet. See, right over here in my notebook, I’ve taped it. You might want to enlarge it. It is really hard to see because the print is so small. So, I think I might put this on the copy machine bigger, so I can see it. There are 52 chapters or passages that we look at. 24 in the Old Testament and 28 in the New Testament.

Then, you need a personal journal. Now, this is just a plain old notebook. You can get a mole skin, whatever you want. I just have a page for every day of study. This study I did yesterday, and then here’s yesterday’s study. There’s a little extra space, when you want to keep adding to what you’re learning. So, you need one of these notebooks.

The fourth item that you need is a MacArthur Study Bible. Right here, you can see the MacArthur study Bible. This is a complete verse by verse study of every part of the scriptures.

Now, you can see here, this is between the Old and New Testament, it’s called the intertestamental period maps. All kinds of background information, charts, on the historical figures and the biblical events, then the New Testament. The gospels are introduced. A chronology of the life of Christ, the life of the apostles, the history of the church. A harmony of the gospels. This is everything that Jesus taught with a chronological time column. Then we get to the first book, Matthew.

Look up from your Study Bible. For every book we study, every chapter that’s here in this chart, it’s preceded by; like week one is Genesis 1 and 2. You would go to the book of Genesis. You’d find what parallels this introduction with the book named, the title, the background, the historical setting, you read all those things. You see the interpretive challenges. What that means is, the areas that have caused people controversy over the years. Then the outline of the book that the study Bible gives to you.

Right here is the beginning of the Bible itself, the actual text of the book we will study. Now, notice here’s the text at the top, then keyed in, see 1:1. So, that’s chapter 1, verse 1 right here. This whole note from here to here is about this verse. Verse 2. Verse 3. Verse 5. Verse 8. There’s not a note on every verse, but there’s a note on most verses and certainly a note on every verse that is going to impact your study. Part of the whole package of the long survey of the Bible we’re doing, through the 52 key chapters, is using this study Bible as a reference, as a kind of a knowledge source.

Back to your suggested resources. A Bible you can mark up, right here is mine. The 52 Key Chapter Study sheet right here, it is a personal journal, that’s what this is taped into. The MacArthur Study Bible that we already looked at. Now, I have a systematic theology book. Now you say, what on Earth do I need a book, look how thick this book is. This is called A Systematic Theology. See the cover, Wayne Grudem. You say why on Earth? That is so controversial. There’s only one frame of reference that this book teaches. Yes, and it’s the one that I happen to personally be most comfortable using to guide a group. I have taught through every page of this systematic theology, three times. It’s the most consistent overview. It acknowledges all of the various views that are among believers. In fact, in the back of the book it says the Anglican view, the Armenian view, the Baptist view, the Dispensational view, the Lutheran view, the Reformed or Presbyterian view, the Renewal or Charismatic view, and the Roman Catholic view.

Now those are all the branches of Christendom. Now, they’re not all accurate, they’re not all orthodox, they’re not all biblical, but they are the visible Church, the representation of Christendom.

This systematic theology looks at everything, every branch of Christendom believes, lays it down for you, gives a bibliography here, and a scripture memory passage. It ends with a hymn. The atonement, that I’m on chapter 27, look at the hymn. “When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and poor contempt on all my pride.” by Isaac Watts. This systematic theology is vital, because in our 52 key chapters of the Bible survey, year long survey through the Bible we’re going to look at every attribute of God. There are over two dozen different attributes of God that really govern everything we understand from the Bible. It’s how God has revealed Himself. They are best defined in this systematic theology. They’re defined in a way that is transformational. It’s not academic. It’s not just, hey, I know a big word. The perspicuity of the scripture or whatever theological term you want about truth. It’s transformational, not academic, transformational. Grudem’s Systematic Theology.

So, look down here on your study sheet, the suggested resources. You need your Bible, study sheet, journal, MacArthur Study Bible, you need a systematic theology. Two other items that really have helped me and I will just add these even though I don’t want to overload you. Personally, I’ve added into my digital device, my smartphone number six, a portable audio Bible. I use the NIV dramatized Bible. It’s from a group that actually has read the Bible with characters. When it’s a man in the Bible, there’s a man’s voice. When it’s a woman in the Bible, it’s a different voice. When there’s the different scenes of storms, there’s thunder. Demons have horrible screechy voices. The reason I use that is when I’m driving in the car, I often listen to the portion of scripture I’m studying that week. When I’m walking, when I’m riding, whatever I’m doing, I like to listen to the scriptures. In fact, just in driving the car, I often get through the whole Bible every three months, just listening when I’m driving. Instead of the news and the weather listen to the Bible.

Finally, number seven, an electronic Bible study program. I use Logos. There’s a free version. You can have it on your phone, your computer, or you can pay money and add books to it. Wayne Grudem is on that Logos Bible program and cost, I don’t know, $10 to get this huge book in an electronic form. The MacArthur Study Bible is on the Logos Bible study software. So those two items are strongly suggested.

These, you must have.

You must have your Bible.

You must have your notebook.

You have your study sheet.

What’s the purpose of going through this? Do you see the simple pattern? First, pray. What I pray is that the Lord would, see right here is Psalm 119:18, open my eyes. Then, I open my Bible and I read the passage. As I’m reading the passage, notice what I do. I marked down lessons. I have already titled the passage we’re in and that’s right here. On your sheet is my suggested title, but you can be creative, make your own. Get a title for the passage or chapter you are on. A couple of days ago it was Job, God, Satan, and suffering as Job as the lessons that you find is you’re reading the scripture. You actually pause after you read and write them down. In Job, the first one I found in Job was; God’s man Job was wealthy. It’s just observations. It’s just learning to start picking up the lessons from the Bible.

Here’s the most important part. After you get all these lessons, how are you going to apply those to your life? “Thy words were found, and I did eat them.” That’s the eating part, not just academically saying that God allowed Satan to harm Job, that’s just a fact. The lesson is, Lord I’m going to trust You, that You’re going to protect me from evil, from Satan, from everything around me that would harm me but when troubles come, I’m going to like Job, when we study chapter 1 and 2, I’m going to worship You and commit my life to Your care.

So, quick overview. If you want to understand the scriptures, number one, you have to know the author. That’s what I shared. You are called by His name. You have to call on the name of the Lord. You have to be saved, born again, converted as the Bible says. That’s really the only way you can understand the Bible. If you want to understand the Bible, you get a Bible, you get a notebook, add a study Bible to it. Personally, prayerfully read through the assigned portion of scripture, write down lessons, applications, and truths. Then put a prayer.

Let me just close with my prayer from week 10. This is what I prayed, and I’ll pray it again, and pray for you. Lord, you have transplanted me into Your way, Your truth, and Your life. I’m so grateful for your blessings, and joy, and peace, and contentment, and the stability you bring to my life. I want to walk Your way. I want to follow you. I want you to keep me from walking, or standing, or sitting in the way of the ungodly. Lord today, I hunger for Your teachings as my divine teacher. I want to meditate day and night to follow Your way. Help me to bear fruit for Your glory. I rest in the truth, You know my ways. You are living in me. You’re growing and guiding my steps each day. I surrender to You for Christ’s sake, Amen.

“Thy words were found, and I ate them.” That’s what today has been. “and Your word was to me, the joy and rejoicing of my heart;” Why? “I’m called by your name O LORD of hosts.” You want to be a solid, grounded, biblical Christian? Get in the Bible. Eat it by personally applying it to your life each day. Join us on this journey. Go to our Facebook site, download that chart. Oh, these are all a playlist, these videos, all the instructional background ones on YouTube, but more than anything else, make this a devotional journey to knowing God.

God bless you.

Have a great day in the word of God today.

Check Out All The Sermons In The Series

You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, 52 Greatest Chapters Of The Bible here.

Looking To Study The Bible Like Dr. Barnett?

Dr. Barnett has curated an Amazon page with a large collection of resources he uses in his study of God’s Word. You can check it out here.