How we may Read the Scriptures with the Most Spiritual Profit

This is a fruitful outline from a written sermon by the English Puritan Thomas Watson.  This godly man did not have an easy life, as he faced much persecution and lost all of his young kids during his lifetime.  In the midst of suffering, Watson found his hope not in his situation but in God and in the words of Scripture.  Reading Watson’s sermon gave me much spiritual profit and here is the basic points that Watson makes.  I tried to write the points word for word, which is why some points are in outdated english but many points are simplified so they can be understood easily.

How we may Read the Scriptures with most Spiritual Profit

  1. Remove those things which will hinder your profiting
    1. Remove the love of every sin
    2. Take heed of the idols which will choke the word read
    3. Take heed of mess around with scripture
  2. Prepare your hearts to the reading of the word.
    1. In controlling our thoughts
    2. In getting rid of unclean affections
  3. Read the scripture with reverence
  4. Read the book of scripture in order
    1. “we do not read a friend’s letter in the middle”
  5. Get a right understanding of scripture.
    1. “if the word shoot above our head, it can never hit our heart.”
  6. Read the word with seriousness
  7. Labor to remember what you read
  8. Meditate on what you read
    1. “Reading brings truth to your head, meditation brings it into our heart.
  9. Come to the reading of scripture with humble hearts.
  10. Give credence (acceptance as true) to the word written
  11. Highly Prize the scriptures
  12. Get a passionate love for the word.
  13. Come to the reading of the word with honest hearts.
    1. Willing to know the whole counsel of God.
    2. To read it that we may be made better by it.
  14. Learn to apply scripture
    1. “A medicine will do no good, unless it be applied”
  15. Observe the commands as well as the promises.
  16. Let your thoughts dwell longer upon the richest passages.
  17. Compare yourselves with the word.
  18. Take special notice of those scriptures which speak to your particular situation.
  19. Take special notice of the examples in scripture
  20. Leave not off reading the Bible till you find your hearts warmed
  21. Set upon the practice of what you read.
    1. “reading without practice will be a torch to light men to hell”
  22. Make use of Christ’s prophetical office
    1. Tread often the threshold of the sanctuary (Go to church)
    2. Pray that God will make you profit