Last Updated on August 16, 2023 by Avi Steen
As a devoted Christian mom, I understand the desire to dive deeper into the Word of God while juggling the responsibilities of daily life. That’s why I’m excited to share a simple and beginner-friendly approach to studying the Bible—the SOAP Bible Study Method.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how this method, which I related to much from my nursing background, can become the best thing for your Bible study routine on a daily basis. By using this method, you’ll uncover profound insights from scripture, making your journey of faith even more fulfilling.
How I Learned This Method
Coming from a nursing background, I discovered that the SOAP method’s parallels with the nursing approach made it easier for me to grasp and apply. Just as SOAP stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan in nursing, it takes on a new meaning in the context of Bible study.
This personal connection allowed me to relate to the simple method and integrate it seamlessly into my daily life. It was an easy way for a new believer to study each Bible verse and understand more clearly what God’s word was saying.
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What is the SOAP Bible Study Method?
The SOAP Bible study method is a remarkably simple yet effective way to engage with God’s Word. It consists of four key steps, each bringing you closer to the heart of scripture.
S – Scripture:
Choose a passage of scripture for your study. It could be a single verse or a longer passage that speaks to you.
When selecting a scripture passage, let your choice be guided by the Holy Spirit or by the current needs of your spiritual journey. It’s like selecting a spiritual meal for the day.
You might choose a verse that has been on your mind lately or a passage from your daily reading. The key is to choose something that resonates with you at that moment.
O – Observations:
Delve into the passage and make observations. What themes, messages, or lessons stand out to you? Take your time to grasp the context and details.
Observation is the heart of this method. As you read and reread the chosen passage, the second step is to pay close attention to details, keywords, and the overall flow.
Consider the historical and cultural context. What emotions does the passage evoke?
What does it reveal about God’s character or His plans for His people? Note any repeated words or phrases. Sometimes, even seemingly insignificant details can hold profound meanings.
This step is about gaining a deep understanding of what the scripture is saying.
A – Application:
Consider how the scripture applies to your life. What lessons can you learn? How can you implement these teachings in your daily life?
After understanding the scripture’s message, the next step is application. Ask yourself how the scripture can impact your daily life.
What lessons can you learn from it? How can you put these teachings into practice? This is where faith meets action. Perhaps the scripture challenges you to be more patient, forgiving, or loving.
It might encourage you to take a certain course of action or change a specific behavior. The application step bridges the gap between theoretical understanding and practical living.
P – Prayer:
Engage in a heartfelt conversation with God. Thank Him for the insights you’ve gained, ask for guidance in applying them, and open your heart to His leading.
Prayer is the culmination of the SOAP method. After studying the scripture and considering its application, take the time to engage in an intimate conversation with God.
Express your gratitude for the insights you’ve gained through this study. Confide in Him about your desires, challenges, and struggles related to the scripture’s message.
Ask for guidance, wisdom, and strength to live out the lessons you’ve learned. This step deepens your connection with God, inviting Him to be a part of your growth journey.
Incorporating these steps into your daily routine not only helps you understand the Bible in different ways but also transforms your personal relationship with God. As you consistently use the SOAP method, you’ll find yourself connecting with scripture in ways that enrich your faith and bring God’s word to life in your daily experiences.
It’s one of my favorite bible study methods and is really great for those diving into the Bible for the first time.
When to Use The SOAP Method
The SOAP method can be used in various situations:
– During your dedicated Bible study time, this method is a practical way to enhance the depth of your study.
– As a quick daily devotional, allowing you to stay connected with God’s Word even on busy days.
– When encountering a challenging situation, you can seek guidance and comfort from scripture.
– When studying with your family, it’s an excellent tool to promote meaningful discussions and spiritual growth.
Simple Bible Study Method Using SOAP
Starting on a journey of deeper Bible study using the SOAP method is easy and fulfilling. Begin by selecting a Bible passage that resonates with you, whether it’s a verse you’ve never explored before or a familiar passage you want to understand better. Let’s break down the steps:
- S – Scripture: The first step is to choose your Bible verse, write it down, and read it multiple times to absorb His word.
- O – Observations: Take note of keywords, themes, and emotions within the passage. Consider the historical context and the message the author intended to convey.
- A – Application: Reflect on how the passage relates to your life. Write it down in your own words. What actions or changes can you make based on the teachings?
- P – Prayer: The last step is to engage in a heartfelt conversation with God. Share your thoughts, express gratitude, and seek His guidance.
Spending time with God in this way helps us realize the good work He’s doing in our daily lives. This will also help you have a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father.
SOAP Method of Bible Study Examples
Let’s explore a couple of examples to illustrate how the SOAP method can bring scripture to life:
1. Example 1: Psalm 23 – The Lord is My Shepherd
– S – Scripture: Psalm 23:1-3
– O – Observations: The psalmist depicts God as a shepherd providing guidance and comfort. Shepherd: to tend to sheep, guard, or guide.
– A – Application: Embrace God’s guidance in your daily life, finding reassurance in His presence. Ask for guidance in your day. Lord, what are my next steps today?
– P – Prayer: Thank God for His shepherding care and ask for His continued guidance.
2. Example 2: Matthew 6:25-34 – Do Not Worry
– S – Scripture: Matthew 6:25-34
– O – Observations: Jesus teaches about the futility of worry and the importance of seeking God first. Worry: give way to anxiety.
– A – Application: Trust in God’s provision and prioritize seeking His kingdom in all areas of your life. Give away worries and anxieties to Him as they arise in your day.
– P – Prayer: Surrender your worries to God and ask for His strength to live worry-free.
Other Bible Study Methods
While the SOAP method is a wonderful way to engage with scripture, there are different methods to explore:
1. Scripture Verse Mapping: Dive deep into a single verse, uncovering layers of meaning and application.
2. Bible Journaling: Combine artistic expression with scripture, creating a visual record of your insights and reflections.
3. Verse By Verse Bible Study Method: Study the Bible systematically, exploring one verse at a time in its context.
4. Topical Bible Study: Explore specific themes or topics across various passages, gaining a thematic understanding.
5. Chapter Analysis: Study entire chapters to grasp the overarching messages and connections within a book.
Disadvantages of the SOAP Bible Study Method
While the SOAP method offers many benefits, it’s essential to recognize its limitations. One potential drawback is that it may not delve as deeply into the historical or cultural context of a passage. Additionally, focusing solely on the personal application might overlook broader theological insights.
God’s Word About Effective Studying
The Bible emphasizes the importance of studying and meditating on God’s Word. In Joshua 1:8, we’re reminded that by doing so, we will find success and prosperity in our spiritual journey. The Holy Spirit, our guide, helps us understand scripture’s depths and relevance to our lives.
How to Add the S.O.A.P Method to Your Quiet Time
1. Set a Consistent Time:
Choose a specific time in the morning that works best for you. Consistency is key to forming a habit. Whether it’s before breakfast, after your morning coffee, or right after waking up, having dedicated time each day will help make your devotional routine a regular part of your day.
2. Create Space:
Designate a quiet and comfortable space for your devotional time. This space should be free from distractions and conducive to focused reflection. Whether it’s a corner of your room, a cozy chair, or a special spot in your garden, having a dedicated space can help you enter into a mindset of worship and study.
3. Use a Journal or Notebook:
Keep a prayer journal or notebook specifically for your SOAP Bible Study Method. Write down the date, the scripture passage you’re studying, your observations, applications, and prayers. This not only helps you keep track of your journey but also serves as a spiritual record that you can look back on for encouragement and growth.
4. Start with a Short Passage:
Especially in the morning, when time might be limited, begin with shorter passages of scripture. This could be a single verse, a few verses, or even a small chapter. Starting small ensures you have enough time to engage deeply with the passage, making the most of your morning devotional time.
5. Reflect Throughout the Day:
As you go about your daily activities, carry the insights from your morning devotional with you. Reflect on how the scripture’s lessons and applications can be woven into your interactions, decisions, and challenges. This ongoing reflection extends the impact of your devotional time and helps you integrate God’s word into every aspect of your life.
SOAP Bible Study Method PDF (Free Printable)
To make your Bible study journey even more convenient, I’ve prepared a free printable SOAP Bible Study Method. This printable resource will help you easily remember and apply the steps of the method, enhancing your daily study experience.
The SOAP Bible Study Method is a great way for beginners to dive into the Word of God in a simple and meaningful manner. By incorporating this method into your daily routine, you’ll find yourself growing spiritually, gaining insights, and deepening your connection with the Creator. Remember, the journey of faith is both personal and profound, and the SOAP method is a valuable tool to accompany you on this journey.
Octavia Steen is an NBDA certified fertility doula, health coach, certified fitness nutrition specialist, aspiring missionary with the COGIC, and owner of Mother Mindset. She helps future and current mamas become more consistent in faith + fitness and grow closer to God so they can create a healthier lifestyle from the inside out!