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The Bible
And Why We Need To Study It

by John Edmiston

Introduction

Some time back a young Christian said to me "Our church doesn't preach from the Bible any more, we just soak in God's presence, before we had too much of the Word and it was hurting us, now we hardly touch the Scriptures and we just do carpet time, hours and hours on the carpet." I was more than a little surprised by his statement but now and then I hear statements like that. The Bible is seen as old-fashioned, out of date and difficult and bible study is feared because it might make you legalistic, hard, lifeless and wooden like the Pharisees.

By implication really spiritual Christians leave the Bible alone most of the time and just talk directly to God. This is an innocent error. I can see where it comes from too - so many "bible types" are hard and rigid. However there is no reason to sideline the Bible because of bad experiences with a few harsh and unloving people. Lets look at 12 reasons why all Christians should be enthusiastic students of Scripture (they are by no means exhaustive of all the reasons why we should study the Bible).

Twelve Reasons

  1. The Scriptures were written by the Holy Spirit.(2 Peter 1:20-21 NIV) Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. {21} For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

  2. All Scripture is inspired by God. This makes it supremely useful.(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, {17} that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

  3. Jesus had a very high regard for the Bible which He expected His listeners to share.(Mark 12:24-27 NKJV) Jesus answered and said to them, "Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? ....have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? {27} "He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken."

  4. The apostles saw "the ministry of the Word" as a top priority.(Acts 6:2-4 NIV) So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. {3} Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them {4} and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

  5. When a matter was settled in the early church it was generally settled by/interpreted by an appeal to Scripture.(Acts 15:15-19 NIV) The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: {16} "'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, {17} that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things' {18} that have been known for ages. {19} "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.

  6. Church leaders were expected to be able students of Scripture.(2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

  7. They were also to be able to teach Scripture.(2 Timothy 2:24 NKJV) And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.

  8. The Scriptures are useful as the starting point for evangelistic ministry particularly to those who respect them.(Acts 17:2-3 NIV) As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, {3} explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, " he said.

  9. The Scriptures (the Old Testament in this case) testify that Jesus is the Christ and predict His ministry.(Luke 24:27 NIV) And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Acts 18:28 NKJV) for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:3-5 NIV) For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, {4} that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, {5} and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

  10. The Scriptures make us wise for salvation.(2 Timothy 3:15 NKJV) and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

  11. Those who diligently sought the truth through daily Bible study were called "noble-minded".(Acts 17:11 NIV) Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

  12. The Scriptures were written to teach us and give us hope and encouragement for living - which they certainly do.(Romans 15:4 NIV) For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Conclusion

Since the Scriptures are the inspired work of the Holy Spirit who wishes to reveal God to us and to exalt Jesus Christ then they are supremely important for Christian living. No great Christian has ever neglected bible study. The Holy Spirit and the Word are not opposites, they in fact work very closely together. Right from the beginning the Spirit hovered over the waters and the word of God brought creation into being. When Scripture and the Spirit meet in the human heart then wonderful things can take place. I invite you to take the study of Scripture seriously and watch wonderful things happen in your life as a result.

 

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This article may be freely reproduced for non-profit ministry purposes but may not be sold in any way. For permission to use articles in your ministry, e-mail the editor, John Edmiston at johned@aibi.ph.