Mok Ying Ren
No, I did not come up with this method of reading the bible and you can find many explanations of it online. It was first taught to me by Lim Lian Arn, who was the first person to read the Bible one-on-one with me in November 2019. Perhaps it stuck to me due to its medical meaning – to have a coma, means the patient is comatose. Spiritually, it also has a great meaning. The natural man is dead and comatose in his flesh and until Christ resurrects him to life, there is no way, he can respond to the call of salvation.
COMA is simple and straightforward to remember:
Before each bible reading pray, because it is the Holy Spirit is our primary teacher. (John 14:26)
C – CONTEXT
Context basically means you need to know what is the background of that verse or passage. Who wrote it? Why it was written? Who was the intended audience? John MacArthur, one of my favourite Pastors has the context, done up for you for every book: Grace to you (Change the book at the top bar)
O – OBSERVATION
I enjoy this step a lot because it is simple. You just need to, for example, look out for repeated words, repeated themes. You can look for the structure like a normal English essay.
M – MEANING
This step is often misguided. The question is never about “what does this verse mean to me?”. Because the meaning of the text we ought to figure out is the author’s intended meaning. This means that even if I am not on this face of the earth, the meaning will be the same. So there can only be one meaning of the text that the bible student must endeavour to figure out. There are several rules of interpretation but what I find most helpful is the Analogy of Scripture. This means that whatever meaning you derive from that verse must be consistent throughout the chapter, book, and entire bible. This way, you will never get it wrong.
A – APPLICATION
This is the most difficult step of all. Ever been to bible studies where no one speaks or speak only about superficial stuff? This is because applying scripture to our lives is very uncomfortable. It forces us to come face to face without fallenness. But yet the joy is that Christ found us. At this stage, if you really want to be sanctified by the Word, you need to soften your hearts and submit to the Word. This is the time when we can each share our own different applications of the same truth to our lives.