Why should we study the Bible? Couldn’t we just listen to God’s voice inside us? Even if we ought to use the Bible, shouldn’t we just read it, expecting the meaning to become apparent? Doesn’t all this “Bible study” stuff get in the way, slow us down, quench the Spirit?
Let me give some reasons why it’s important that we learn how to study the Bible:
1. Knowing Jesus is eternal life
Jesus said it himself in John 17:3. He wants what’s best for us, and what’s best for us is for us to know him. He prayed accordingly the night before he was killed.
2. The whole Bible is about Jesus
Jesus said it in Luke 24:44-47. Phillip realized it early on (John 1:45). Peter declared it much later (1 Peter 1:10-11).
3. The Bible was written that we might know Jesus and have eternal life
Romans 15:4, John 20:30-31, 1 Peter 1:11-12, Rev 1:1. It’s an old book, but it was written with you and me in mind! It wasn’t written to us, but it was written for us.
4. God thinks it’s noble when we examine the Bible to know Jesus better
Paul explained the main point of the Bible in Acts 17:3. Some Thessalonians rejected this message (Acts 17:6-7), but the Bereans eagerly searched it out in the text of the Bible (Acts 17:10-11).
5. It takes hard work to understand the Bible
Some parts are hard to understand, and those who are untaught or unstable will distort them (2 Peter 3:16). We must be taught well and given a stable foundation if we are to understand the Bible and know Jesus. Granted, many parts of the Bible are abundantly clear (John 14:6, Acts 4:11-12), yet they, too, are commonly twisted.
6. We need God’s Spirit to understand the Bible
Our sin and rebellion against God infects everything about us, even our thinking. No amount of hard work and no foolproof method will guarantee that we interpret the Bible rightly. Countless universities have courses taught by learned professionals who miss the whole point (see #1-3 above).
But when we trust in the Jesus revealed in the Bible, we receive God’s Spirit, who helps us to know Jesus better (1 Cor 2:6-16). Those who believe have access to the very mind of Christ because they have his Spirit.
On this blog, we want to help you know Jesus. We do that by helping you learn to study the Bible. Let’s keep working to master the methods, but above all, let’s keep our focus on Jesus as we do so.