For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
Where should I start?
You want to give the rest of your life into the authority, protection and love of the Son of God? Praise Yah! Here’s what you need to know. There’s 66 books in the Bible and everyone of them are profitable to make a man or woman perfect unto salvation. So, with you being new, where do you start?
His Way is easy but not without challenges!
The beginning of your walk starts with a decision in which you should make a commitment to Him confessing from the heart that Yahushua — or Jesus — is Master and that His death and Resurrection gives Him full authority over your life (Romans 10:9). If you truly believe this then your works will show as you submit to whatever His Word instructs — no matter how it feels to you — for the remainder of your time. This means turning away from sins that keep us out of the Kingdom of God (Mark 7:21-23, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11) and knowing that if you stumble it is because you were not walking in the Light (John 11:9-10) yet thanking God for His grace and another chance to walk in the Truth before He requires your soul. Though it may seem hard or even impossible, it’s important to understand, the Way of Yah is not hard but the way of a sinner is hard (Proverbs 13:15) and nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). You will be challenged to sacrifice the positions held in your life by family, your friends and even yourself to maintain righteous living. People are going to disagree with you, and until you have a good understanding of the Word, things will be confusing with all the different opinions and denominations but this is a test to see if you trust His Word or just go with the majority of the people that pressure you. Certain traditions that you used to enjoy, activities that you customarily take part in will need to be let go. Things that used to make you happy and the way you used to look at the world will all change. So the first thing you need to take into consideration is, do you have what it takes?
In Luke 14:23-33, Jesus — whose name is Yahushua in Hebrew — called the great multitudes that followed Him (Christians by definition) to consider if they have what it takes to be worthy to be His disciple.
In the beginning…
After you are sure that the promises of God are worth it and you are ready to dedicate the rest of your life to faithful obedience to the Word, it’s time to find out what the Word actually says. I always advise to start in the Gospels simply because it gives the most information specifically about our Savior and teaches us Salvation. Choose one of the Gospels then work your way through the New Testament. After you have read the New Testament then you are in prime position to see how much you don’t understand by starting at Genesis. From Genesis, work your way all the way back to the New Testament and repeat for the rest of your life.
Your first time reading the Bible straight through will be tough, most likely. There are a lot of things that may seem “dry” at first and there are plenty of genealogies that seem to go over every member of our ancestors family which can be challenging to get through when you first start. Stay committed, though, because eventually you will see the value in these details that you initially felt (in your mind of course) are a waste of time. It’s really amazing how interconnected and deep the Word is and the more you learn the more you notice there’s more to learn. Also, the more you will find out, it is extremely easy to make a mistake and misinterpret if don’t consider all of the Word.
Stay away from commentary!
Being confused and tempted to misinterpret the Word is almost inevitable early on so most people want to know, which Bible should I choose? I always suggest the King James Version because it’s stood the test of time (over 400 years) and it is very easy to compare the English translation to the Hebrew words using Strong’s. That said, even though I think King James has the best version in English, it is still less than perfect. In fact, all translation are less than perfect but these imperfections are usually limited to number errors not so much the overall teaching. A lot of Bibles that are produced come with commentary written inside, I always advise against buying these types of Bibles because it teaches you to depend on the commentary for understanding. If it turns out the commentary is at all inaccurate it would be tough for someone who is just starting out to recognize the subtle error and that error becomes a part of that person’s fundamental faith. Very dangerous.
You would be more profited if you get a Bible without commentary and speak to someone who is experienced and familiar with the Bible in a way that you can ask question real time (never trusting what they say, only trusting what you read). An even better option than that is to take your time and continue to read and let the Bible interpret itself as you read. For example, if I read Matthew 3:2 “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” and I wonder to myself, what exactly does Repent mean? I would be able to keep reading my Bible daily and eventually find Ezekiel 18:30 “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions” which would give me a witness that repent means to turn from sin. A good tool to help you do this is a cross reference book called “The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge”