God’s Word is a life-giving sustenance proceeding from the mouth of God. (See Deuteronomy 8:3; Isaiah 55:10-11; Matthew 4:4.) Dare we neglect such an important facet of our spiritual existence? Many reasons for study abound; perhaps the following will point out the real need for personal study in your life.
- It approves us to God – Study makes us unashamed, approves us to God, shows we are a workman, and enables us to rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
- It equips us with answers – This study course is prepared for this express purpose – to equip us with answers to give others a reason for the ope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15). (See Colossians 4:6).
- It arms us with the sword of the Spirit – Taking the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) means more than having a Bible in our hand. Implied in this passage is the hiding of the Word in our heart and mind for recall in times of need or temptation. (See Matthew 4:1-11.) The psalmist hid God’s Word in his heart so that he might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11).
- Because of the structure of the Bible – Scripture must be used to explain Scripture, harmonizing in context with related passages. Lines and precepts must be brought together from “here” and “there” in continuity and harmony (Isaiah 28:9-13). Study this passage closely along with the following definitions of words it uses.
- Line – a cord, as connecting, especially for measuring; a rule
- Precept – an injunction, commandment, mandate, authoritative prescription.
- Here a little, there a little – signifies incompleteness of the subject in one particular setting; other pertinent facts apply from other places in the Bible. Each subject is complete and entire when the student fully seeks it out.
By and large the Bible is in literal language and is to be taken literally. Symbolic language does exist in the Scriptures; therefore, we must study to discern between the two. Making passages symbolic when they are literal is deceptive and destructive, and vise versa.
- It develops skillfulness and qualifies us to teach – Skillful artisans in the Scriptures are sorely needed, both in the local assembly and in the full-time ministry. Lacking studiousness is the Word is a glaring disqualification for any who desires to teach others (2 Timothy 2:2). Advancement from milk to meat is essential if we are to be skillful in the Word of Truth (Hebrews 5:12-14). Failing to move from the milk of the Word to the meat of the Word signifies the following things:
- We are still a babe (1 Peter 2:2)
- We are unskillful in the word of righteousness (Hebrews 5:13).
- We need someone to teach us (Hebrews 5:12).
- We are carnal rather than spiritual (1 Corinthians 3:13).
- We have not exercised our senses to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:14).
Paul, after being driven out of Thessalonica, went to Berea and found people so hungry for truth that they searched the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:10-11). May God make us modern-day Bereans!