The goal of Bible study is not just to fill your head with knowledge. Today we’ll begin looking at how we need to obey what we have read. God commands us to act on His Word:
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (Jam 1:22-25)
This passage makes it clear that reading the Bible without acting on it is self-deception. The last verse is especially interesting – the doer of the work is blessed. This idea shows up quite often in the Bible:
The Need to Obey
If you take this passage seriously, it will change how you approach Bible study. You won’t be satisfied with just reading the Bible. Understanding it won’t be enough. You’ll begin to think about the Bible practically and ask, “What does God expect of me based on this passage?” That will become the goal of your reading and meditation, and blessing will be the result.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Jos 1:8)
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Mat 7:24-25)
Figuring Out What to Do
We’ve talked about God’s goals for Scripture before, but just to review here’s a central verse:
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
God’s Word May Require You to…
- Get saved
- Believe a doctrine
- Repent when reproved
- Recover from wrongdoing
- Embrace a new aspect of right living
- Grow up
- Server God more effectively
What you need to do will depend on where you stand in relation to the truth you have studied. That means you’ll need to examine yourself as part of the study process.
When you read, “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit;” (Eph. 5:18), you’ll need to evaluate yourself. Do you get drunk? (The passage doesn’t mean that you can get drunk with wiskey. Also, it’s easy to avoid getting drunk if you don’t start drinking in the first place.)
You also have to consider the question of being filled with the Spirit. Are you Spirit filled? How do you know if you are or not? If you can’t know, how do you know whether or not to repent? If you’re not filled, what do you do about it?
Read More About It
Read Exodus 20:1-17 an evaluate yourself in light of what you have read. Consider each of the seven goals of God’s Word mentioned about to help you see what you need to do about what you have read.