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Why Study the Bible? August 12, 2009

Posted by TJ Friend in General Principles.
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“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)

There are many reasons to study the Bible. The three I would like to talk about are truth, temptation and identity. These three ideas encompass a lot of the benefits of studying the Bible. Also, these are three areas of weakness I see in the Church as a whole today. There are too many Christians who are believing lies, unnecessarily falling into sin, and who don’t know who they are in Christ. I truly believe if we would be students of the word, and allow it to transform our minds, then we would no longer conform to the pattern of this world, and there would actually be a difference between Christians and non-Christians.

Truth

The Bible as God’s word lays out the standard of truth. It shows us what to believe and so helps us avoid error. In this postmodern era we are living in truth is becoming more and more relative. The lies of the enemy are becoming socially acceptable. We so easily fall into error, because we are not immersed in the truth. But, if we saturate ourselves in the truths of God’s word, we can recognize what is false. How can you tell the difference between a true dollar bill and a counterfeit one? If you observe and study the real one, then you will be able to tell the slight differences in the counterfeit one. In the same way, if you observe and study the truth of scripture, you will be able to recognize what is false. The enemy is sneaky. He will bring his lies wrapped in truth. We need to be grounded in the word so that we will not be swayed by these “almost truths”.

Temptation

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:4-6

We are in a battle. As it says in Ephesians 6, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. This passage goes on to encourage us to put on the full armor of God. We need to be protected with a helmet, a breastplate, a belt, a shield and boots. But, like a soldier we can not just go out to battle with all our defensive armor and leave our weapon at home. The weapon is what defeats the enemy. Our weapon is the sword of the spirit, the word of God.

It seems that we are going through life in defensive mode. We are just trying to stay alive and not get beat down by the enemy. We need to realize that we have a powerful weapon which can easily slice down the enemy. We can’t just sit back and allow the enemy to continually attack us. We need to turn and fight. Satan has already been defeated, but he wants us to believe that he still has power. He will do whatever he can to kill, steal and destroy our lives, and as long as we don’t fight back he can get away with it.

Read the word. Study it and meditate on it. As you do, you will build up an arsenal of weapons to use against the enemy. Each truth you discover from the Bible is another weapon to be used against Satan. Look at Matthew 4 (or Luke 4). Satan came to attack Jesus with three temptations. Each time, Jesus responded offensively with scripture. He didn’t try to resist in his own strength, but went straight to the word and so resisted temptation. In fact it was Satan who ended up on the defensive and had to flee.

Identity

There are many things and people out there who would like to define us, to make us who they want us to be. Out culture, the media and society in general has tainted our view of what success is, or what we should strive for. We are bombarded every day by advertising and marketing that says we can be better people by buying this or that product. Even our own friends and family have their own ideas of who we are or what we should do. So, if you are looking for an identity, there are plenty of places to find one. Ultimately though, our identity is not in our job or our car or house or even our family. Our identity is found only in Christ.

God is the one who created each one individually and uniquely. He is the one who loves us unconditionally and wants the best for us. He has a plan and an identity for each and every person. If you don’t believe me then read the word. Study it, check it out for yourself. That is why we have the Bible. God wants to reveal Himself to us and reveal us to ourselves. James 1 says that the word of God is like a mirror. It reflects our true selves so that we can see what we really look like.

God longs to impart identity to us. When we realize who we are and who we were created to be out life can be lived with purpose and focus. But, the only way to know what God says about you is for Him to tell you. And amazingly, He already has. He put into words what He wants you to know about yourself and about Him. When you read and study the Bible, the words become like little seeds planted in your heart that bring your identity into fruition.

Reflection:

What is the difference between someone who believes in Jesus and someone who does not? How do they act and believe differently?

What temptations do you continually fall into?

Who or what is the main factor in defining your identity?

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Comments»

1. Mama Bear - August 17, 2009

WOW! This blog on studying the Bible is so timely, and the way you explain it is encouraging and challenging!


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