Understanding the Bible isn’t just for pastors. Clarity of Scripture means the Bible is written in such a way that it can be understood by the average layperson. The only prerequisite to understanding the Bible is the normal acquired ability to read texts. This means that understanding God’s Word does not depend on one’s gender, education, or cultural background. Immersing ourselves in the Word of God is the pathway to gaining the mind of Christ, and our aim as believers should be to be like Jesus. This is why God gave us the Bible: that we might know Him and know His ways. Nevertheless, there is a significant difference between reading and studying the Bible. Studying requires personal diligence as one seeks the meaning of Scripture. When you sit down with a passage of scripture, don’t let feelings of inadequacy keep you from the joy of studying God’s Word. Bible study is a spiritual discipline that is a critical instrument for development in the life of every disciple.
“It is important to study and learn because God has taken great pains to reveal Himself to His people. He gave us a book, one that is not meant to sit on a shelf pressing dried flowers, but to be read, searched, digested, studied, and chiefly to be understood.” -R.C. Sproul
Superficial Bible intake leads to superficial Christian living.
Why should you study the Scriptures when you’ve heard the stories before? God’s Word is rich enough to provide new insights every time you study, no matter how many times you’ve read the same passage. Digging deeper in your study means your time will yield greater reward: You can more fully understand the God of the Scriptures and what Jesus Christ has done for us. Because the Bible is transformational, as you routinely study, you can anticipate a closer walk with Jesus. God has so many blessings for those who seek him, blessings only found in his Word.
Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 111:2). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Get more for your efforts.
In the upcoming series How Can I Get More Out Of My Bible Study? I will spotlight elements of effective Bible study that a student of the Word might engage to get more from her efforts. My hope in writing this series is to encourage Christian women to dig into the rich soil of Bible study for their personal edification, for the sake of the church, and for the glory of God. But make no mistake, our efforts are fully dependent on God’s Holy Spirit. You don’t want to miss a post, so be sure to subscribe by email here or visit http://www.debbieswindell.com to learn more.
A preface to future posts, I would be remiss if I did not list my sources for this series:
Howard and William D. Hendricks, Living By the Book
R.C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture
John McArthur, How to Study the Bible
Danny Akin, Charles Quarles; SEBTS Class Notes
George Guthrie, Read the Bible for Life
David P. Murray, Jesus on Every Page