Where to Start for a Newbie

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ohiooo22

New member
Jan 17, 2020
5
8
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#1
Hi everyone!

I grew up Christian, but haven't been to church in about 5-6 years and am currently on the fence about Christianity. I am wanting to try and read the bible again, but I have no idea where to start. I was wondering what you all thought was a good "starting point" for someone like me to slowly step back into Christianity.

Thank you all in advance for your help!
 

FlyingDove

Senior Member
Dec 27, 2017
872
288
63
#2
Hi everyone!

I grew up Christian, but haven't been to church in about 5-6 years and am currently on the fence about Christianity. I am wanting to try and read the bible again, but I have no idea where to start. I was wondering what you all thought was a good "starting point" for someone like me to slowly step back into Christianity.

Thank you all in advance for your help!
Start with the gospel of John & read thru to Philemon.
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
31,563
9,713
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#4
Something else you may benefit from is looking to see if there are any Alpha courses running in your area. Some churches run them at least once a year, and they are an excellent, comprehensive introduction to Christianity. I am providing a couple of videos here for you but would still encourage you to go in person; dinner is often provided (sometimes for a small fee) though I would hope you would partake of the fellowship and question/answer period following each week's video also :)


 

Blade

Active member
Nov 19, 2019
328
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#5
I would say.. read the book of John a few times :)
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
4,885
1,989
113
#6
Hi everyone!

I grew up Christian, but haven't been to church in about 5-6 years and am currently on the fence about Christianity. I am wanting to try and read the bible again, but I have no idea where to start. I was wondering what you all thought was a good "starting point" for someone like me to slowly step back into Christianity.

Thank you all in advance for your help!
A good place to start would be addressing what is keeping you on the fence?
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
3,950
782
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#7
You know the prodical son returned to the arms of the father.
What I think you should do is irrelevant what God wants you to do I have no clue.
May I suggest to spend time and ask him. Talk to him. Pour out your concerns , doubts and fears to him.
Christianity is not religious instructions it is honest relationship with you creator.
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
1,872
1,976
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#8
Hi everyone!

I grew up Christian, but haven't been to church in about 5-6 years and am currently on the fence about Christianity. I am wanting to try and read the bible again, but I have no idea where to start. I was wondering what you all thought was a good "starting point" for, someone like me to slowly step back into Christianity.

Thank you all in advance for your help!
Hello ohiooo22, I'm in agreement with several others above, start with the Gospel of John.

I also agree with @Roughsoul1991. You are probably aware of this fact, but CChat is a good place to ask questions/get answers about God and the Christian faith, about what you don't understand and/or whatever is bothering you about them, so ask away if you'd like to :)

~Deut
p.s. - we can also answer questions about Bible that you want to have answered as you read through it.
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
1,872
1,976
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#9

jb

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
4,163
248
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#10
Hi everyone!

I grew up Christian, but haven't been to church in about 5-6 years and am currently on the fence about Christianity. I am wanting to try and read the bible again, but I have no idea where to start. I was wondering what you all thought was a good "starting point" for someone like me to slowly step back into Christianity.

Thank you all in advance for your help!
Read the 4 Gospels, starting with Matthew, then the book of The Acts of The Apostles...
 
Dec 30, 2019
1,266
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#11
I have no idea where to start.
Start with the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew and with the first three chapters in Genesis. The rest of the Bible explains what you read there. Also the beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount shows us how to be happy. Although you may need a commentary to understand. The Holy Spirit of God is to be our Teacher and our Guide so we can pray and Ask God to help us understand what we are reading.
 

ohiooo22

New member
Jan 17, 2020
5
8
3
23
#12
A good place to start would be addressing what is keeping you on the fence?
When I was growing up and going to church, I never felt that connected to the church or God overall. It felt like I was just learning stories and verses, but had no way to apply it to my life overall. Now I just don't understand how one can trust, connect, and dedicate there lives to something they can't actually see. I also don't understand how people can read some verses and follow exactly what they say, and then completely ignore other verses. Those are the first questions that come to mind haha!
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
11,052
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#13
I've always been told someone searching should begin with John, then do Matt, Mark and Luke. Then read Genesis. It is the story of God's creation and his people. Then read the rest of the NT up to Philemon. (Forget about Revelation, until you have read the rest of the Bible. I have read it 50 times, studied it, and it is still a very difficult book)

Read the rest of the Pentateuch. That's Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. I would then go to the Psalms and Proverbs, then finish the historical books, and last, do the prophets. They are a challenge, but get easier with each reading. Except Ezekiel, which still is difficult for me to sort out, even with commentaries.

If you run into an issue, post it here. You may get some different sides, if you are lucky. Oh, and read the Bible daily, the first time is hard, but I promise it gets easier. And most of all, as others have said, find the living God. He wrote the Bible but he also came to earth as a man, and died on the cross, and rose again from the dead. Read 1 Cor. 15 to learn more about that!
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
4,885
1,989
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#14
When I was growing up and going to church, I never felt that connected to the church or God overall. It felt like I was just learning stories and verses, but had no way to apply it to my life overall. Now I just don't understand how one can trust, connect, and dedicate there lives to something they can't actually see. I also don't understand how people can read some verses and follow exactly what they say, and then completely ignore other verses. Those are the first questions that come to mind haha!
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When I was growing up and going to church, I never felt that connected to the church or God overall. It felt like I was just learning stories and verses, but had no way to apply it to my life overall.
This is similar to my life. I grew up in church learning the stories and popular scriptures to teach a child. I never understood what it meant to follow Jesus. I thought I was a Christian but only because I didn't know any better and it was what my parents had taught me.

I grew further from church and God. I never reached a point though where i fell into disbelief, because God provided moments that grew my faith and understanding.

Long story short ( more details in my testimonial posts) I had a car accident that left me in chronic pain. Struggled for years that forced me to search for any answer that could help me want to live another day. I remember moments I was in so much pain I thought it would be nice to just die and be pain free. These dark times led me to search for answers in psychology, philosophy, Buddhism concept of meditation, prosperity gospel teachings, and then ultimately once all those failed I had a revelation one night.

This night changed my life and directed me to read the Bible from front to back. At this point I had never actually read even one full chapter of the Bible even from growing up in church. After a year and a half I finished the book. It was too good to put down regardless even if one doesn't see it as true.

In reading the Word for myself, I throughout the book saw many parallels to my life and had plenty of scriptures that helped me. You never know what you are missing that God can tell you if you haven't read His book.

Now I just don't understand how one can trust, connect, and dedicate there lives to something they can't actually see.
I never saw George Washington. I have never seen his bones, DNA test, a real photograph, or was alive to see any of his life. But I still believe he exists. Why? Because of eye witness accounts, historians, artifacts, letters, people wrote down his words, historical events line up with the story behind his life, geography lines up with his stories locations, and his life had a huge influence on history.

Alexander the Great in comparison has historically very very little in historical data and not even a original biography but only a biography written centuries later. But yet our history books do not doubt that Alexander the Great was real.

A word called apologetics can help you. Apologia
in Greek meaning the defense. This is a large field of expertise on the defense of the Christian faith. The evidence surrounding Jesus and the Bible is by far the most abundant compared to many historical figures and books that most colleges accept as true but those people or literature has very minimal information to rely on in comparison. Another example would be Pilate. The same guy who released Jesus to be crucified. Historians actually have very little evidence of his existence in comparison to Jesus. But the evidence they have they feel is enough to believe he truly lived and he did crucify a man named Jesus Christ.

All this and more increased my faith in Jesus Christ. But maybe you meant you cannot see God. Mainstream Christian doctrine holds to the trinity concept made evident in John 1 and 100s of other places on scripture that Jesus was God incarnate or God in the flesh. God is a spiritual being but contained in no boundaries. He works within the spiritual and physical. If you come to faith in Jesus then we must believe his words in

John 14:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Another perspective though. What do you mean by see? You probably mean physically with your eyes possibly your personal image of God. But seeing God has different views. In scripture if you viewed the face of God you would instantly die due to God's all holy, powerful, perfect being. Our sins separate us from God and cannot mix with a holy, powerful, perfect, righteous, and just being. We would instantly be destroyed as to why we have to have a mediator or redeemer to protect us from judgment.

With this in mind. God was seen through miracles, the actions of angels, the prophets, prophecies, dreams, visions, fulfillment of his written word, answer to prayers, God guiding others to do his will, and personal testimonies that changed the life of the individual or even the astonishing design with nature as Paul once taught in
Romans 1:18-20 (NIV)
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

When people today say they see God. This is a mixture of what they mean when they see God. I have seen God speak to me in His Word, prayer, life events, nature, design, other Christians who brought a message that only God knew I had been praying, the historical implications of prophecies, blessings, supernatural peace and encouragement, and all the evidence above I see God in Jesus and see Jesus as evidently and historically true.

I also don't understand how people can read some verses and follow exactly what they say, and then completely ignore other verses.
Either they are hypocritical Christians and not truly followers of God or they are ignorant to what they are commanded to follow. Not all Christians are mature or wise in the knowing of scripture.

Saved or not saved we still deal with sin and the flesh. Which mean even the church isnt perfect. I personally do great in some scriptures but others struggle in. To some on the outside they could see the struggle as me possibly ignoring them but in reality it is a work in progress. God is the only one who can see the heart and mind. So a majority of our time should be focused on ourselves and through this we often grow to see others more out of grace, forgiveness, patience and in encouragement to help them grow closer to God.