Why Bible Study is Important (Part 1)
Over the years, I have come to realize that we make up many reasons for not reading the Bible. Many people say things like “I don’t understand what I am reading,” “I find the Bible to be boring,” “I don’t know how to pronounce some of the names” or “I don’t understand what I’m reading.” Are these valid statements or are they actually excuses? I personally believe that the truth lies in the middle: The Bible can sometimes be difficult to read and understand and it’s easy to fall into a trap of neglecting God’s Word.
I believe in our society and culture the desire to study Scripture for personal application has become a lost art. Many of us have become lazy and that studying Scripture is not a benefit that we see to be essential to our spiritual maturity nor in our relationship with God. Many believe that religious activities, such as going to church and serving in outreach ministries, are enough. However, the Scripture takes a very different position on the value of knowing and understanding God’s Word. My aim in this blog is to give practical application of why Bible study is important to every believer.
First, studying the Bible is important for spiritual growth. In Peter’s writing to the Jews that were “exiles dispersed abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1) whom described these believers as having a healthy understanding that “the word of God is the means not merely to the beginning of the Christian life, but also to growth in it” (Erickson, Christian Theology, 937). Peter assigns much importance for studying the Bible in 1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation.” In these passages, Peter gives us three key points to help us to grow spiritually through studying the Bible.
1. “Like newborn infants,” we are called to have an attitude of a newborn infant. From experience, an infant eats about every three to four hours. They need the milk in order to grow physically and to develop normally. Likewise, as believers we are in desperate need of the Word of God to help us to grow and develop in ways that brings glory to God.
2. “Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word.” As followers of Christ, we are to have an appetite for the Word of God. The only way that one can have an appetite is by first have a taste. The psalmist writes, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). When we give the Word a taste, it will build an appetite to understand everything that we need for “life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
3. The Word of God gives us an aim, and that aim is to “grow up into your salvation.” Notice that this verse does not say, “so that you may know” but instead it says grow. The goal of every Christian should be to grow into our salvation, not for seeking to earn salvation or to gain a lot of biblical knowledge that we do not apply, but to mature in our faith.
The Bible is clear: studying the Scriptures helps us to understand the benefits and implications of our salvation, so that we can experience every benefit and live out in obedience all of implications of what it means to be a child of God Most High.
In conclusion, for the first of our series on the importance of studying the Bible, Scripture teaches us that we are to grow spiritually and growing is correlated to our personal study of the Word of God. Since this is so important to every believer, how, do we accomplish this? We accomplish this in three steps.
Step 1: As you study Scripture ask yourself these question as you observe the text: (Who, What, When, Where, Why). These questions are essential to understanding the context and the people involved.
Step 2: What does this passage mean? What is the original intent of the author (the Holy Spirit and the writer)? What does this text mean to the original audience?
Step 3: How can I apply this to my life? How can I teach this to others?
The ways in which we answer these questions will have significant impact in our spiritual development. I have found this to be a great way to start your study of the Word of God: Always start by reciting this verse, “Open my eyes that I may contemplate wondrous things from your instruction” (Psalm 119:18).