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What are some great reasons to study the Bible? Or put another way, why study the Bible? Isn’t reading the Bible good enough? And having my devotions? And going to church to listen to the Word being preached?
Why should you study the Bible for yourself?
Before looking at 5 great reasons you should study the Bible, think about what studying the Bible isn’t and what it is.
What Bible Study Isn’t
- It isn’t your regular devotions. Having devotions is important. It’s when you meet with the Lord and let Him speak to your heart about what He wants you to know and do. It’s when you speak to Him about whatever is weighing heavy on your mind and spirit. But it isn’t Bible study.
- It isn’t reading the Bible. Reading the Bible is good. Many people read through the Bible every year. This practice gives you a good overview of Scripture. It helps you place the timeline of God’s story in your mind. But it isn’t Bible study.
- It isn’t watching Bible study videos and talking about them. Attending Bible studies – whether video-based or not – is great. You can learn a lot. You can be encouraged in your faith. And if you do the homework, you will get a fuller taste of the Word. But this isn’t Bible study either – because the hard work of studying was done by someone else.
What Bible Study Is
- It is when you set aside time to read slowly, reread, and then reread again a small portion of Scripture.
- It is when you take the time to dig into the meanings of words and compare different translations.
- It is when you look up lots and lots of related passages to clarify what is being taught in the section you’re studying.
- It is when you think deeply about what God’s Word says, how the first readers let that message change their lives, and why that same unchanging message is meant for you thousands of years later.
And it is done far too infrequently because it takes time and effort. But the rewards of Bible study are priceless. Here are just 5 great reasons to study the Bible.
Study the Bible to Learn Who God Is
John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And just a few verses later, John states that “the Word became flesh…” (John 1:14). Jesus is the living Word of God just like the Bible is the written Word of God.
To know Jesus, you must know the Bible. And if you don’t know the Bible, you don’t know Jesus – not the way you could.
Also, Paul says in Colossians 1:19 that “all the fullness of God” is in Jesus. And Jesus Himself stated that He and the Father were one (John 10:30).
Jesus also proclaimed that “the Scriptures…bear witness about me” (John 5:39).
To know God, you must know Jesus. To know Jesus, you must know the Word. To know the Word, you must spend time studying it.
Study the Bible to Learn Who You Are
A second reason for studying the Bible is so you know who you are and why you exist.
You may have heard this before: God made you on purpose and for a purpose.
It sounds good but is it true, is it Biblical? When you know the Word – which you learn by studying it – you can answer that question for yourself. But just in case you’re wondering, here are some verses to help:
God Made You
- For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb… Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:13, 16).
- Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;… (Jeremiah 1:5).
- He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him (Ephesians 1:4).
- For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16)
God Made You For a Purpose
- Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
- Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10).
You can see just from these few verses that God did indeed create you on purpose and for a purpose. While it’s impossible to go deep here on you why, as you go deep into the Word, God will reveal that to you.
And don’t think it’s going to be something scary and big. It could be as simple as being a faithful wife and mom, serving in the preschool ministry at your church, and teaching your children and others to know and love Jesus.
The point is, if you don’t know why you’re on this planet, just know that you do have a purpose. And as you study God’s Word, you will learn it.
Study the Bible to Gain Wisdom for Life
Life is hard. You are constantly faced with decisions. Some decisions are small and easy – like what to make for dinner. Others are much larger and much harder – like which college to attend, or whether to attend college at all.
But life is made up of decisions. And if you want to have a good life, a godly life, then you need to make good decisions. Godly decisions.
And the only way to make godly decisions regularly is by knowing the mind of God. And guess where you learn the mind of God? That’s right – through Bible study.
God is so invested in you being able to make good, godly decisions, He included an entire book of the Bible on just that topic (Proverbs)! Of course, there’s plenty of guidance in other parts of the Bible as well.
If you find yourself having difficulty making wise decisions, good and godly decisions, start learning better ways by studying the book of Proverbs.
Think of any area of life you struggle with and it’s probably addressed in Proverbs. Marriage. Parenting. Business. Honesty. Friendships. Money. Debt. Sex. Drinking. It’s all there.
And just to make sure you and I know that God’s Word is there to teach us wisdom for life, Paul wrote 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
Study the Bible to Learn Discernment About Truth and Error, Right and Wrong
God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13). Truth brings freedom (John 8:32).
The Bible contains many more verses about the importance of truth and righteousness. And the Bible is also clear about what truth is and isn’t; what righteous living is and isn’t. You are not left on your own to figure this out.
This world is busy redefining truth and error, good and evil, and right and wrong. It’s understandable that someone who doesn’t know the Truth of God’s Word – and the Truth of Jesus – might get confused.
That’s why knowing the Truth, the only Truth, is so important. Satan confused Eve about the truth of God’s Word – and look what happened. You and I are no better. We can just as easily get confused about the truth of God’s Word – which is why you need to return to it and dig into it frequently.
In Acts 17:11, new Jewish believers were commended for “examining the Scriptures daily” to make sure what they were learning lined up with the truth of God’s Word that they already knew. This is the only way to stay faithful to God’s truth in a world bent toward sin.
Study the Bible to Have Healthy Relationships
You were meant to be in relationships with other people. From the beginning, God never intended for people to go through life alone (Genesis 2:18). God places the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6), refers to the Church as the “household of faith” (Ephesians 2:19), and uses marriage as the ultimate example of His relationship to His people (Ephesians 5:25-27).
God also gives detailed instructions for how believers are to treat others (e.g. Galatians 5:13-26; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7). He provides teaching about family relationships (Proverbs 5:15-23; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Peter 3:1-8). All the struggles of healthy relationships have Biblical solutions. When you spend time studying God’s Word, you find them.
God wants you to have healthy relationships with your family members, your friends, your church, your coworkers – with everyone you meet. While there are many reasons for this. But an important reason is that you are the only Jesus many of those people will ever see.
And if they are to know the real Jesus, they must first see Him in you and how you relate to others.
That’s not meant to make you feel guilty or responsible for others’ choices. It is only a reminder that your relationships matter – and they matter eternally. This is why studying God’s Word so you can have good relationships also matters.
Go Study God’s Word…and Live It
These 5 great reasons to study the Bible are just the beginning. This list could have had 5 times as many reasons. There is no downside to Bible study.
Of course, just learning what God’s Word says is not enough. Once you’ve studied God’s Word, and learned His heart and His desires, you must choose to live what you know. The power and beauty of Bible study come when you let it change you from the inside out.
If you are like so many others who think Bible study is too hard, you’re in the right place. Our mission here at Life, Love, and Jesus is to make God’s Word easy to get into, easier to understand, and simpler to live out.
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