Do you remember the time when you wanted to read the Bible for the first time? You may have heard things like “the Bible is the book of life” or maybe heard someone say “I’ve learnt something from reading my Bible.”
Maybe you wanted to challenge yourself or see what the fuss is all about. You manage to pull out the huge dusty book and flick through the pages hoping that something might jump out and give you a sudden revelation that everyone talks about. Whilst spending a few minutes scanning the different books and passages in the Bible, you ask yourself: “Wait a minute, why am I doing this again?”
As most of you reading this post realise, there is a difference between reading the Bible and studying the Bible. It is important to have an action plan when preparing to study the Word of God. Let’s go and answer the question: What is Bible study and why is it important?
1. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3: 16 – 17)
Bible study, in a nutshell, is all about gaining an in-depth understanding of why the Bible says what it says and how and why it is important to utilise the teachings in our daily lives. As we can read, and discover, each writer of the respective books in the Bible have been inspired by God, all with a common goal, to give to those who have decided to give their lives to Christ a guide to walk the path of righteousness. The word of God records and shares the standards that all Christians should follow and live by.
2. For the word of God is alive 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)
The scripture above is pretty much self-explanatory. The word of God allows us to make us become aware of the moral being that rests within us. We are being judged and will be judged not just by our external actions, but our internal intentions as well. They both have to match up.
3. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in the mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it- not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it- they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1: 22 – 25)
These scriptures (and a few more) outline the importance of reading, understanding and following what we have learnt from the Bible. Our spiritual growth is an active process; Jesus Christ has already set the standard for us to follow, and doing so will transform ourselves to be able, righteous servants for God. We can go forth into the world and be an active blessing to those we come across in our paths of life, which in turn God will bless us for our faithfulness to Him.
Another post for more practical points on studying the Bible effectively will be available in due course.
Thank you for reading and God bless you, my friend.
Tunde T. Amao