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Do I Have to Study the Bible?

Biblical Authority Devotional: All-Encompassing Authority, Part 14

by Tim Chaffey on June 7, 2011
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Many Christians do not spend enough time in God’s Word. Tim Chaffey, AiG–U.S., explains why it is crucial for believers to study the Bible.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Today’s big question: do I have to study the Bible?

In his two letters to Timothy, the Apostle Paul repeatedly stressed the importance of maintaining sound teaching. The surrounding context of today’s verse warned Timothy to stay away from false and idle teachings. With this in mind, Paul stated how important it is for a believer to be diligent in studying “the word of truth.

Far too many people in modern churches have abdicated the responsibility to study God’s Word for themselves and trust instead in their church leaders to do the heavy lifting of Bible study for them. This problem is nothing new. The author of Hebrews admonished his readers that they needed to progress beyond milk to solid food.

For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:13–14)

Not every believer is called to be a Bible scholar, but we are all commanded to study the Word of God. The Jews in Berea were commended by Luke because when Paul preached to them, “they received the word with all readiness, and search the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

If you neglect a serious study of the Scriptures then you risk falling for a vast array of false teachings. Paul told the Ephesians that Christians should not be like children who are “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14). We must mature and grow in our faith, and a key component of the maturing process is spending time in God’s Word.

The Bible reveals the most important message we could ever read—the gospel. It is God’s message to us. Yet the Bible teaches us so much more than learning how to go to heaven. In its pages we read the true history of the world, beginning in Genesis. We learn who we are, why we are here, where we are going, and who made us. We can know what God expects from us and how we can live a godly life. As we diligently study, being guided by the Holy Spirit, we grow in our relationship with our Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Why would anyone who claims to be a Christian neglect to regularly study the Word of the God they claim to love?

Today’s big idea: we are authoritatively commanded to study God’s Word.

What to pray: ask God to give you a strong desire to study and obey His Word.

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