Hi [ExPreacherMan], This is really a lengthy letter but I will try to be as brief as possible.
Through my addiction to alcohol and being destitute, about 10 years ago I was forced to come to believe in God to get out of my predicament. I did and started going to church. Actually several as I couldn’t get comfortable with any.
My whole [life] turned around and I was forced to realise that it was God doing all the turning. As my work in AA has me getting others to come to believe in God, I thought I’d start reading his Word. I have been reading the bible for about 7 years and thought I was doing so well because everything in my life was going so great.
A couple of years ago, one of the people I was helping asked me “how did you come to have such a strong faith, where did you get it?” I wasn’t able to truthfully answer them.
I started attending bible studies here in Australia and then on the internet. I learned a bit but decided I didn’t know enough. I started a bible study with some Jehovah’s Witnesses a few months ago and although I can’t believe any of their doctrine was impressed with their bible knowledge.
We just don’t have any basic Christian Bible studies here. I came upon your link from another site and felt like I might hit the motherlode.
Can you offer me any advice on reading the Bible, which Bible to use and maybe a beginners program of Books to read.
Sorry for taking up all you space. Thanks in advance for any help.
Bill, thanks so much for your note and questions. We agree that you have hit the “motherlode” here at ExPreacherMan.com. We welcome your thoughts.
You have made many statements and proposed questions which deserve answers. We, our regular friends and commenters here will do our very best to help you in your search for Biblical Truth and answers.
1) First, and very obvious, we noticed that you did not mention the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ and His salvation. Jesus is the very Center and Reason for the entire Bible from Genesis through the Book of Revelation. The most accurate Bible to use is the Authorized King James Version (KJV) Bible. We would recommend first reading the Book of John which illustrates God’s Free salvation and, perhaps along with that, the Book of Galatians, which is best described as God’s teaching and emphasis upon His free Grace and Faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation — without dependence upon our good works.
2) You are correct about the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Through their own perversion of the Bible they call “The New World Translation,” their teaching is false for many reasons. For one, they do not believe in the Deity and Saving Nature of our Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ. Without Him, no “religion” has any power to save. Th JWs also falsely teach that “salvation” can be earned by one’s good works.
3) AA is seemingly an effective organization for convincing those with addictions to overcome them and we are so encouraged that you have done so. AA was a place where you may have begun your search for Truth but is not the place to find correct Bible doctrine and teachings about personal Faith in Jesus Christ as the only Way of Eternal Salvation.
In order for you to understand and explain to others about faith it is essential that you are trusting Jesus Christ yourself, by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone as your own Savior..
Bill, our first concern is that you understand and believe the GOSPEL which is; that Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh, died for all your sins, past, present and future; thereby paying the death penalty we deserve to pay; He was dead, buried and then arose from the grave for you. He is alive today. By believing (Faith) in The Savior Jesus Christ alone, you can be absolutely guaranteed of Eternal Life with God’s Righteousness, in Heaven with the Lord Jesus. A great place to start this journey from here is to read and believe God’s Word contained in our article on Eternal Life For You. << Click
We are aware there are many very active Calvinist/Presbyterian Churches in Australia, and we would recommend you steer clear of those folks — they breed confusion.
Then we highly recommend you open and download two excellent free booklets from our web site: Two Free Gospel Booklets << Click writtenby our good friend, Dr. Tom Cucuzza.
Sadly, there are not many books we recommend that are clear and free of error about the Gospel message of salvation. One outstanding exception and an example of the very best is Secure Forever by Dr. Tom Cucuzza. His book is available from Amazon in standard book form or in E-Book downloadable format. Secure Forever! << Click
Our friends here may have a few other good recommendations.
Bill, be assured that we and many others here will be praying for you and your friends. Thanks again for your note.
In John 3:16-18, Jesus said:
For God so loved the world [you], that he gave his only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him [Jesus] is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God [Jesus].“
In Jesus Christ Eternally, Jack