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GOSPEL OF JOHN. This is the only Gospel which tells frequently about LOVE of GOD
The Gospels are, in my opinion, the best place to start for a new Christian. In my experience, the Gospel of John is used most often, when sharing the Word of God for the first time, in ministry situations. I think that's because he focuses on the love of God, incarnate in Christ. I've seen Gospel of John "tracts" used frequently, in street ministry and I've seen it in translated versions, for use in non-English speaking mission work. If I could offer this one suggestion, in love ~ if you are the person recommending this to the new Christian, why not offer to spend time with him/her, reading it together? I think it's so important for us, as Christians, to walk together with one another - it's an integral & necessary part of discipleship. There are many who won't believe in the love of God if the people who introduce them to Him just dump the message and leave. On the other hand, if you are the new Christian, I would urge you to find someone who is willing to walk beside you and encourage you in your faith. Often that encouragement goes both ways, and you may find that the 2 of you will be learning new things together. Be blessed!
Romans. Read it and read it again. It is a masterwork on what we believe and why. Paul lays out the case for the Gospel of Grace, how we are saved and why we are damned without it. for believer and non believer alike, it is must reading. and I believe the question was for ONE book...correct?
It depends on the audience in some ways, therefore I think that all of the answers that have been offered already are good ones. If you're talking about someone who has never read the Bible at all, many times Mark can be a good book to start with because it's the shortest of the four gospel accounts. One thing to remember, also, is that readability is important. Even more pressing than which book one should read first could be the issue of which version will be best understood by the individual reader. I would suggest taking some time to show different versions to your friend to read. Study tools (such as commentaries, concordances) as well as Bible studies and devotionals are also really helpful because the Bible is so complex. Also, eBible's question and answer forum is a great way for a new Christian to get answers to difficult questions if these kinds of tools prove too difficult to navigate. I hope this helps.
Before you begin, seek a place where you can be alone, without noise or interruption. Then in total humbleness, pray. Thank the Holy Spirit that He is alive and well in you. Thank Him that HE is the ONLY interpreter and applier of scripture, removing all guess-work. Now begin with the first chapter of Matthew, then Matthew 2:1-6. Now flip over to the Book of John and there read John 1:1-10. Next check out Hebrews 1:1-4. Turn now to 1 John (not the same as the Book of John) and read verses 1 through 4. Notice that you are reading only short excerpts, not entire chapters. At this point it is important for a Christian to understand just who Jesus is. Discover that by reading Acts, Chapter 9, then Acts Chapter 13. You note there the transition from a Jewish covenant to a Christian covenant. You've just experienced a solid introduction to God's Word. Be blessed as you now read the Book of Romans, as recommended by Ray.
Start with the four Gospels. You need to learn the life of Jesus, read about Him. The Gospel of John really gives more than the others because he was with Christ every step of the way. Get to know the God that died for you. Keep an open heart to what He might try to show to you.
I recommend the Gospel John. It will give you your foundation to faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that if your foundation is wrong then whatever you build wil be shaky.
Actually it's best to ask this new believer what they do know and don't know or understand and go from there. You can't just jump into Paul's letters without first starting at the beginning, no one jumps in the middle or end of a text book. You lay the foundation first.
First and foremost, there is no "best book" in the Bible. The Bible says that ALL of scripture is God breathed and is profitable for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness so that the believer is thoroughly equipped for every good work. Every word comes from God and every word is like gold. It is said that in the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and in the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. The importance for any new believer regarding the whole Word of God rests in the attitude in which the Word is read and received. The Bible is The Heavenly Father's love letter to every family member of God's kingdom. Always remembering that we are all saved by the grace of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, and that eternal judgment rests only in the divine hands of our Creator and Savior provides the foundation by which we breathe in the whole Word of God. A gratitude attitude, a mind open to the instruction of the Holy Spirit and the ever present knowledge that we are finite in our knowledge of God's Word are key. Start in Genesis to learn the foundation of the earth and God's creation. Start in the Gospels to learn the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Start in Romans to receive the full inspired instruction that the apostle Paul provided to a church in need of direction. Read the major and minor prophets, the Psalms, or the Proverbs to learn the way to follow, obey and honor God. Read Revelations to see what has been fulfilled and what is yet to come. Start in Ephesians or Colossians to learn what needs to be used and what needs to be removed to live the Christian life. The choice rests in the heart and direction provided to the believer through the guidance of the Holy Spirit because He is our ultimate teacher. Regardless, teach the new believer that it is good to know God's Word. It is good to know how God's Word came about and how the Bible was created. It is good to know the history of both the old and New Testament and how they came about. It is good to know that the Bible is true by virtue of the proofs that exist in the history of the texts, the archaeology that supports the historical recounts in the text, the fulfilled prophecy within the texts and the unrefuted death and resurrection of Jesus Christ told within the texts. The Bible is a living and breathing Word that communicates with our spirit, and has the ability unlike any other writing to always speak to us in any situation and to guide us toward God's path and Will for our lives. If anything, each and every book teaches the believer that life is always about God, and never about man. All that being said, I would advise that a new believer should be directed to read those passages that confirm the essentials of the Christian faith ( i.e. salvation by grace alone, the Trinity, baptism in water and baptism in the Spirit, the hypostatic union of Christ, etc.). Then read the Old Testament, or the New Testament, or both at the same time. Use two book marks, one for a normal reading through the Bible and the other for directed or concentrated study by topic or book. Just read it and feel the power and life changing effect of God's Word as you're drawn to the Eternal Creator.
Ask the Lord to reveal His word to you. Open His book and read wherever it opens.
To understand that God is a loving God rather than a condemner (as many people have heard from early childhood on), I recommend John to new Christians and then the other gospels in order, thereby reading John again.
My suggestion would be the book of James. It is practical for all of us, but especially to a new Christian or one considering to become a Christian. It is considered by some to be the Proverbs of the New Testament.
I pray that whether your question was for yourself personally as a new Christ follower or to help guide someone you know that The Lord would guide and direct your journey with Him and that He would protect you from any attaches from Satan to discourage, dismantle, or destroy your faith in God. I pray that you will use what others have said as tools. I am excited for your (or the person you know) new found faith in Jesus Christ and pray that He becomes Lord of your life being a devoted disciple/follower of Him. I trust in Gods promise that His Word does not return void or empty so whether you start in Genisis or John or Romans or a different book, I pray that you continue to dive into God's Word, God's live letter to you and all mankind. I trust and know from my own experience that if you continue to pursue after Him, He is faithful to show/reveal Himself to you. He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion ( Philippians 1:6) I am so excited for you and pray blessings and a hedge of protection upon you.
I think Luke will be the best read for new Christians since it covers Christ's life from before birth to ascension. If you want to read the Bible like a novel (single continuous timeline), go for the historical books i.e. Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 Maccabees, Luke and Acts.
As a new Christian I have begun reading from the beganing. Now I am almost through Judges and I am finding is my pace has dramatically slowed down. I am drawn to learn more about each and every verse and have been drawn to other chapters and verses. As Kelli Hamann has stated this is a very complex book. This is a book of teachings not just stories from the past. I look forward to using the advise of Don Watson now that I have read what I have I look forward to meeting Jesus through scripture. May God bless you all.
I agree with most of the answer and want to add a suggestion based on experience; Do not gave entire Bible to somebody new or novice in the Word of God , because is unable to understand it in spiritual way and satan might lead him(her) astray from the Truth.
I say let them start wherever they want. To take the joy of reading and discovering the bible on their own time is much more enjoyable and fulfilling (taking from my own experience) than telling them "go here."
I find that Psalm 91 is very encouraging. I recommend first starters of the Bible to definitely read it. Psalms91 1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. 9Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. 14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
God does say that His Word never returns void, so all scripture is important. God's love and compassion for me is the written Word of the Old Testament that always leads to Jesus. Eyewitness accounts of disciples and apostles let me see, hear and understand Jesus' love and compassion for me. My favorite accounts of Jesus are written by His disciple John. John realized the love and compassion of God delivered to us in Jesus and the work Jesus would do on the cross. John talked about Jesus with the conviction of a person who knew without doubt that they were loved by God and by Jesus. I want that! And I absolutely want that for anyone who would be interested. Starting with Jesus, the tangible manifestation of God's love is sort of like starting with the biggest present first!
I think the best book for a new Christian to start with is the book of Romans. I starts by explaining how we have fallen from grace and cannot depend on our own strength or obeying of laws to live right. It then goes on to explain what grace, faith and righteousness are all about. Even the concepts of God's love, His sending His Son to die for our sins and restore us to God's original plan and how to live the Christian life and exist with fellow men is explained. After this book, then the new Christian can read the book of John to get to know more about the ministry of Jesus here on earth and carry on from there.
I would show them Luke because it tells them of Gods great miracles. And great lessons from God. Or if they have a I phone or smart phone them suggest that they download the app e-bible one and do daily bible versus I use it and its amazing.
I believe the book of Romans, Galatians and Colossians, those three tells the believer why, and how they were saved and it also shows them how they should live as a Christian. They will also need a good reference, study bible.
I am convinced that our God has taken care of that. I strongly suggest that the book to start with is Genesis. That book lays down the foundation upon which every biblical issue is based: Creation, the Law, sin, grace, rebellion, Christ's substitutional death - everything is wrapped up in Genesis. Then move on to Exodus. That way, you protect yourself from the plethora of human traditions that have taken centre stage in the "Christian" world. You'll get to know the Word first hand, and nobody needs take you captive by hollow philosophies. That's my firm recommendation. Bless.
The best book on living life as a Christian is the letter of James. Next I would recommend that a new Christain read where Jesus was teaching his disciples how to live a life pleasing to God found in Matthew, chapters 5-7, known as the "Sermon on the Mount."
My opinion is this that God has given us a library of 66 books. The Latin word biblia, translated as ‘bible’, literally means ‘books’. The 39 Old Testament books, which cover over 2,000 years, were written by a variety of authors and include many types of literature. It is no surprise, therefore, that many people come to the Bible wondering how it all fits together. God did not arrange the Bible topically so that we could study themes individually: He arranged it so that we could read a book at a time. The Bible is God’s truth about Himself and how we should relate to Him, set in the context of history. It tells how people, principally the nation of Israel, came to experience God for themselves and respond to His Word. Far from being a dry theological textbook, it is the vibrant story of God’s redeeming work in the lives of his people. Given these two major shifts, Genesis is a most profitable book for a baby Christians to read. Discipleship is key here, guide the new baby as they read the Word of God. They will gain an insight of God's plan of redemption in Exodus....Above all, Leviticus will be an eye opener to the Christian walk-it gives us insight into those four vital things: the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, the fullness of Christ, and godliness of life.
A new believer should be taught the gospels and selected New Testament letters such as Colossians and the three Letters of John that contain doctrinal teachings. The gospels contain the story of God's love and His intervention into human history so that He may redeem us. They also need to read Genesis 1-3 to appreciate the story of the creation and fall of man in order to understand the works of the cross and the significance of God's redemption plan for us. As the young believer advances in their faith, they should be introduced to deeper teachings that are intended to ground them in the way of Christ and to identify their spiritual gifting so that they too can teach others. Paul noticed that the Corinthians were spiritually immature and this explained their divisiveness and pride (1 Corinthians 3). Paul informed them that he fed them on milk [basics] rather than on meat [harder truths] because they were not ready for deeper truths of God's revelation. Apollos, who also happened to minister at Corinth at one point, was a great preacher who is described as mighty in the Scriptures, but he was raised through a deliberate discipleship program. When he preached in Ephesus, one faithful Jewish couple, Priscila and Aquilla noticed his incapacity and took him to their home and taught him the deep truths of Christ which he lacked (Acts 18:24-28). This is where we all began. Apollos knew the Jewish law but was deficient on the teachings concerning the way of Christ. Apollos went on to serve as one of Paul's trusted ministers. This is what discipleship and mentorship does to believers who are willing to learn. As the believer matures further, he will teach others too. Paul told Timothy to commit the gospel message to able men who will teach others (2Timothy 2:1-2). Eventually, the young believers matures and with appropriate spiritual guidance, they should learn to grow in the word of God so that, as the Bible teaches in Ephesians 4:14-16, they shall not be easily swayed by all manner of doctrines and the craftiness of men but shall be in a position to discern spiritual truths, shunning fables and falsehoods and standing firm in the truths of Scripture. 2 Timothy 2:15 says "study thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (KJV). Spiritual growth is a long dreary journey that never comes to an end in this world. It require patience, persistence, consistency and a diligent heart. During one of my seminary internships, I was referred to a certain church assembly where I was scheduled to teach on prayer. Some church elders said that they did not require any teachings on prayer because they had outgrown that phase in their spiritual journey. They were simply unteachable. I was referred to a group of intercessors who gladly received the training with open hearts. Some later confessed to me that they were inspired by the teaching series and that they wanted more! The truth is that no one ever outgrows the learning process that God subjects us to. There is always room for learning for every child of God irrespective of how long they have walked with Christ. We can progressively grow in diligence and be a blessing to others as well. Let me conclude by stating that effective spiritual transformation through the word of God requires the diligence of David (Psalms 119:11-12, 105), the devotion of Ezra (Ezra 7:10), and the prudence of the Bereans (Acts 17:11).
In my opinion the shortest books of the NT are the best place to start. They hold the instructions for becoming a faithful Christian. Simple to read and understand. It's hard to get confused by ready Jude or 1,2 Peter.
If someone was in the kingdom of darkness and now is coming to the kingdom of light he or she should know first hand who is the new Lord of their life. They should know how this new Lord thinks, what he wants from them, what are the criteria to be part of this new kingdom. It is for me as Christians see that most of the answers suggest to a person know the opinion of other persons and not go straight and know his or hers on Lord. Letter is not scriptures, scriptures was the WORD that YHWH spoke by the mouth of His Son YEshua. Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Prophets, those is the instruction that people first learning a about the new Lord of their lives.
Romans. It starts with the fact that the gentiles WERE without hope, lost and undone. Then brings in the Jews and that all of mankind needed a Savior. Then it addresses what was done for us by the Lord Jesus Christ and that it was a free gift. It also addresses the fact that the flesh is weak and will never be "cleaned" up, that Christ died for sinners because he loved us and we can't be separated from that love. Then gives instructions one how to live godly "in Christ."
I can only speak from my experience. For me, I began reading the gospel according to John. It is good to listen to what is written and refrain from projecting onto the text. Let the Good Word tell you, just listen as you read. You don't have to understand everything all at once (though we want to), just listen and understand what you are able. And know that it is the Lord Himself that has saved you, no other.
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