The SWORD Bible study method is an easy way to study the Bible. With this method, you learn how to read and understand the Bible and apply what you learn to your life.
The SWORD Bible study method uses an image to bring you into a deeper understanding of God’s Word. This imagery allows you to ask key questions that apply to almost any scripture.
You gain a more intimate knowledge of who God is and what He expects of you as you do this. Learn the SWORD acronym SPEC. SPEC stands for Sin to avoid, Promises to claim, Examples to follow, or Commands to obey.
The SWORD Bible study method is simple. This could be the ideal study method for you if you enjoy asking analytical questions and gaining a deep understanding of your faith.
Sometimes we just need to take in God’s Word and apply it to our lives!
We will go more in-depth about this Bible study method and the practical ways to apply it to your daily time with God. You will be given some tips and recommendations for your Bible study, an example, and so much more!
For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. -Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
Table of Contents
What is the SWORD Bible Study Method?
The SWORD Bible study method uses the image of a double-edged sword. This is to remind you of three key elements when reading scripture. It simplifies Bible study and asks questions that deepen your relationship with God. SWORD is an easy way to spend time in God’s Word and apply it to our daily lives.
This method helps you learn how to read the Bible by making it a habit to find out what scripture is saying. You will no longer feel overwhelmed by the Bible but will instead be focused on God revealing Himself to you.
As mentioned, the SWORD Bible study method uses imagery in this study and not an acronym, like in many other studies. The SWORD is a weapon of great power in the Bible. As you work through this study, you are to imagine a sword pointed up towards Heaven.
The point of the sword is facing God while a man holds the handle. The sides of the sword are key in cutting through the words to find the meaning.
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. -Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
Why Use the SWORD Bible Study Method?
Many Bible study methods are available today, and it takes time to learn everything the Bible can teach us. In fact, it is a mission we should be pursuing our entire lives.
You can read the Bible without studying it. Yet, you will find your faith grows when you make it a daily habit to spend time meditating on God’s Word.
There are a few key benefits you will find in the SWORD Bible study method.
#1. The SWORD Bible Study is Simple.
As previously mentioned, the SWORD Bible study method is simple. Maybe you feel that highlighters, word studies, and concordances are overwhelming.
This study method will help you break down God’s Word into manageable pieces that make sense in practical ways.
#2. The SWORD Bible Study Reveals God’s Character.
By asking specific questions that relate to almost all scripture, you will better understand who God is.
God consistently reveals Himself to us throughout scripture. We simply need to identify His defining traits.
#3. The SWORD Bible Study Brings You into Focus.
The questions you ask will bring you into focus. You are not reading a story about people long ago, but you are turning the scripture into practical elements in daily life.
Focusing on what the scripture says to you about your life, God’s Word becomes a personal guidebook for life!
#4. The SWORD Bible Study Gives You Confidence in Obedience.
The SWORD Bible study method will guide you towards confidence in the Word. You will learn what sin is and how to avoid it. Plus, you will understand God’s promises and claim them over your life.
By following the examples through history, you know when and what to obey and become confident in your spiritual walk.
Consider adding the SWORD method of Bible study to your study tools today.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. – 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)
How to Use the SWORD Bible Study Method
As mentioned, SWORD is to be used as an image that reminds you to ask key questions while reading scripture. Let’s take a closer look at what questions you can ask and how they fit with a sword.
As you go through each question, you should be working toward a deeper and more intimate relationship with God. A key element in this spiritual goal is to come into the presence of God.
It’s a good idea to pray before beginning your Bible study. Invite the Spirit into your environment and ask that It guides you through the scripture. Remember to be bold in your prayers as well as your studies.
The sword represents four sides.
The tip points up to God. The question for this side is, what do I learn about God?
The handle of the sword points down and is held by men or people. The question here is, what do I learn about man or myself?
The sides of the sword cut through our lives and ask that we examine what we can apply. Here is where you use the acronym SPEC.
Let’s dig deeper into each of these sections.
Step 1. What Do You Learn About God?
Remember, the tip of the sword points upwards towards heaven. This image reminds you to ask what you learn about God in this scripture.
The Bible is God revealing Himself to His people. We can learn more about His character, His actions, His thoughts, and His emotions.
This section asks what the passage is teaching you about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. There are no right or wrong answers.
Look at Luke 9:57-62 for an example.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” He said to another man, “Follow Me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” -Luke 9:57-62 (NIV)
What Do You Learn About God from The Cost of Discipleship in Luke 9?
- Jesus was fully aware of the total cost of discipleship to God.
- Jesus looks to the intentions of the heart when calling.
- Jesus refused to allow the call to serve God to be belittled by human comforts.
- God’s calling over our lives will ask for sacrifice.
- God’s calling should receive priority over everything.
Your answers may vary from what the Spirit revealed to me. Practice writing down the key phrases that led you to these thoughts. Keep track of your thought processes as you work through the passages.
Allow the Spirit to speak to you and guide your heart through each question. Engage in conversation with God and meditate on the passage and question before moving on.
Step 2. What Do You Learn About Man?
This question should inspire you to look into the current standings of the world and your own life.
Questions that can arise in this section may include: what you learn about people in general, what you learn about yourself, how this applies to your likes, what this verse says about your personality, and what you learn about your strengths and weaknesses.
You can also ask yourself if you can identify with anyone in the story. Look at the thoughts and intentions of the people.
The Bible is to be used as instruction for how we live our lives and interact within the Kingdom of God. When reading a passage, you should allow the Holy Spirit to convict you and open your eyes to how He sees man.
What Do You Learn About Man in Luke 9?
- Enthusiasm to serve will not sustain discipleship.
- Family can be a distraction at times.
- Man cannot strive for God and look backward at the same time.
Apply this section to yourself as well as to those around you. You are seeking to see through God’s eyes to gain a better understanding of the nature of man.
Step 3. Is There a S.P.E.C. in the Passage?
The final step in the SWORD method of Bible study is to ask four take-away questions. These questions are going to summarize the passage and give you the application for your life.
- Is There a Sin to Avoid?
- Is There a Promise to Claim?
- Is There a Command to Obey?
- Is There an Example to Follow?
God calls us into obedience. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 makes this very clear, as we are called to be ready to punish disobedience.
Your Bible study should bring you into a closer and more intimate relationship with the Lord. As you do this, your desire to obey God will grow.
What Does God Ask of You in Luke 9:57-62?
- God asks that we place His Kingdom as the highest priority in our lives.
- Do not grow weary when your ministry/calling does not quickly manifest. Be reminded of the man who volunteered to follow Christ without considering the sacrifices.
- You are commanded to follow Christ and preach the Kingdom of God.
You may not find answers to all four questions of SPEC in each passage. This is an outline of questions to open your heart and soul to God’s will.
Pay close attention to what God is asking of you in each passage you read. This is where your growth, ministry, and calling manifest.
But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. -Deuteronomy 4:29 (NKJV)
Other Bible Study Methods
Perhaps you are now excited and motivated to study the Bible more but feel that the SWORD Bible study method is not the right one for you.
Don’t worry! There are plenty of Bible study methods available to suit every level and interest! Regardless of which method you choose, make sure you are praying and entering into the presence of God during this special time.
Here are a few other acronym studies you can apply to your Bible.
- A.P.P.L.E. can help you develop a deeper understanding of the attributes of God.
- F.E.A.S.T. can assist in cultivating necessary skills for outreach.
- G.R.O.W. is as it seems and grows your personal relationship with God.
- H.E.A.R. encourages you to hear the Word of God.
- I.D.E.A. can lead you to understand your identity and calling from God.
- P.O.W.E.R. leads you into a stronger level of prayer.
- S.O.A.P. is scripture-focused and digs into the application of the Word.
- T.A.S.T.E. encourages you to talk with God in building a more intimate relationship.
Use these different methods to reach your spiritual goals. Try them out as they apply to different passages of scripture. Each one may be useful at different times.
Does one of these Bible study acronyms speak to you? If you would like me to write an article or create a Bible study printable based on one, let me know in the comment section. By doing that, you will help me provide the best value possible for readers like you!
Bible Study Tips
1. Make a Bible study schedule.
Make sure that you designate a set time for your Bible study. By doing this, you train yourself to recognize this time as devoted to God. It also prevents you from getting “too busy” and not getting to your study!
2. Make a Bible study corner.
Make a Bible study corner, table, wall, or anything that can be a specially designated space! This is, in a sense, your “war room.” Creating a space for Bible study will help you recognize the right mindset!
3. Read the passage aloud.
You should read the scripture aloud. This reinforces the message and causes your brain to recognize the verse. You should also consider praying aloud.
4. Write out the passage.
It is proven that we remember better when we write things down! Try writing out scripture during your Bible study, and then meditate on it!
5. Have a Bible study with your spouse.
God didn’t intend for man to be alone. That is why He created us as a pair! Having a Bible study with your spouse can bring you closer to God and closer to each other.
You can also encourage one another.
6. Set spiritual goals.
Setting spiritual goals can go a long way in bringing you into a more intimate relationship with the Lord. As you grow in Christ, your ministry and outreach will also grow!
Use the Spiritual Goals Worksheet to make the fundamental goals process simple!
Learn more about spiritual goals in Spiritual Goals | How to Get Started (with Free Worksheet).
More SWORD Bible Study Resources
A SWORD Bible Study Video
A SWORD Bible Study Method Free Printable Worksheet
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Easiest Way to Study the Bible?
The easiest way to study the Bible is to start reading the Bible. Block out a specific time each day to spend in the Word. Pray before you start, and keep a notebook handy. Write down the date and the passage you are reading. Then simply note anything that speaks to you, any questions you have, or research you would like to do.
What Is the HEAR Bible Study Method?
The HEAR Bible study method is a comprehensive way to study the Bible. It encourages you to highlight scripture, explain what is happening, apply it to your life, and respond with action. The creator wanted a practical way to study God’s Word and apply it to life while hearing what He says.
What Is a Good Study Bible to Have?
Finding a good study Bible is a wonderful journey. The version that speaks to one person may not always work for another. The version you chose should be one you find easy to follow and understand.
These are some Bibles that I use daily. See which ones work for you!
- I LOVE the Tyndale NLT Inspire Bible and use it as my journaling Bible.
- The CSB She Reads the Truth Bible speaks the most to me for my daily devotions.
- Consider the NLT THRIVE Creative Journaling Devotional Bible for both!
- The CSB Study Bible for Women is my in-depth study Bible.
- I use the Seek Find: the Bible for All People (Contemporary English Version) for every day scripture purposes.
Here are some more great study Bibles for you to consider!
- The Woman’s Study Bible: NIV
- The KJV Cross Reference Study Bible
- NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
- The Amplified Study Bible
- NKJV Study Bible for Kids
What Does SOAP Stand for in Bible Study?
The SOAP Bible study method is a practical way of studying the Bible. SOAP stands for scripture, observation, application, and prayer. You first write the scripture you are studying. Then you make a note of any observations you receive about this scripture. You finally apply this to your life and end your study with a prayer.
You should have a strong understanding of the SWORD Bible study method and how to use it in your daily time with God. If you enjoyed this article, leave a comment with your thoughts, ideas, or inspirations!
If there is another Bible study acronym that you find useful, let me know! I would love to feature it!
I pray you are on your way to reaching your spiritual goals and developing a more intimate relationship with the Father. Remember, your walk is not a race against others!
Check out all of the amazing free resources available, or contact me if you have any questions! Don’t forget to share this on social media with friends and family!
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. -Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)