Bible study is something that most Christians would agree is an important part of our faith. It is after all the Word of God, or as the apostle Paul put it, God-breathed.
When I first started seminary, I’m not sure I completely understood what I had signed up for. I had studied the Bible my whole life, so this should be easy right? (Or so I thought…) The truth is that I learned a lot about the Bible, it’s history, how it was put together, and how to study it the right way… things I had never learned before in my entire life of being a Christian… things I wish I had known earlier.
- It tells the story of God and His people.
I personally believe this is the most important reason to study the Bible. It’s crucial that we know where we come from and why God is after our hearts in the first place. Why is this important you ask? Well, the apostle Paul spent most of the New Testament explaining how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament. When presenting the Gospel, he quoted the prophets and demonstrated who Jesus was (their Messiah and King) and what He did for us based on His fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies. In other words, he went back to their story and confirmed that Jesus was indeed the fulfillment of all they had been waiting for.
As God’s people today, we are part of the story as well. It’s a never-ending story in that the Bible tells us that Jesus’ Kingdom will never end. We get to spend eternity with our King! But how can we rightly participate in the story if we don’t understand how the story began? Isn’t it important how we got to where we are today? If we know the whole story, it will be much easier to understand who we are and God’s heart for us. As Paul wrote in 2 Timothy, the Scriptures make us “wise for salvation.” In other words, we understand what salvation is and why we need to be saved because we understand where we came from and why we needed to be saved in the first place.
- It demonstrates the heart of God.
God is merciful and kind. He loves us deeply… enough to lay down His life for us. The more I study the Bible, the more clearly I can see God’s heart for His people. He is for us, not against us. He longs for no man to perish but for all to be a part of His everlasting Kingdom. We are given opportunity after opportunity and second chance after second chance. Studying the Bible as a whole has taught me just how amazing and loving our God truly is.
- It teaches us who we are in Christ and how to live by the Spirit.
We are given clear examples throughout God’s Word of what it means to live righteously by faith. God’s people endure trials and tough circumstances, and we even see them fail from time to time. We learn the consequences of godly living vs worldly living. We also have Paul’s teachings to encourage us, strengthen us, and to teach us how to live as children of God. Even so, one of the main points conveyed throughout the New Testament is that we are to be “in Christ” – meaning that we abide in Him. We allow the Holy Spirit to not just work in our lives, but to literally empower us to live righteously. It’s an amazing truth we can hold on to.
[clickToTweet tweet=”When we allow the Holy Spirit to empower us, our selfish desires have no choice but to submit.” quote=”When we allow the Holy Spirit to empower us, our selfish desires have no choice but to submit.” theme=”style6″]
- It unifies us as believers, and it is in our best interest to study it.
The Bible does have the potential to divide us as believers as we sometimes differ in our interpretations. But for the most part, I believe it unifies us. It gives us a written standard to live by. Paul tells us that it’s profitable for “doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction” meaning that it is a good thing to know it well. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- The Bible is our sword.
The Bible tells us that we need to be armed and ready for the schemes of the enemy. He is a liar, and the best way to come against a liar is to remind him of the truth. Are you skilled with your sword? Jesus used the Scriptures to stand against the lies of the enemy, and we are called to do the same.
Bible study is an essential part of our Christian walk, and knowing how to study it is just as essential.
More from the Bible Study Essentials series: