There are a few things you need before you can become a successful student of the Bible. Over the next couple of days, we’ll take a look at the prerequisites for Bible study. Today, we’ll consider the fact that you need God’s Word.
You need God’s Word.
This one seems obvious, doesn’t it? You can’t study the Bible if you don’t have a Bible. But I’m getting at something deeper. I’m asking if you believe that the book you’re studying is God’s Word. If you think the Bible is just a collection of human opinions about God and life, then you don’t have God’s Word. Do you believe the Bible you’re reading is an accurate rendering of what God said when He originally spoke? The Bible claims God as its Author. You can accept that or reject it, but that’s what the Bible says about itself. Here are two key passages:
“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.” (2Ti 3:16-17)
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2Pe 1:20-21)
God inspired about 40 human authors over a period of around 1500 years to record His revelation to us. Even though they were from different cultures and situations, had different occupations and spoke different languages, their writings speak with clarity and unity about a wide variety of subjects.
You really need God’s Word.
Have you ever considered how much we woudn’t know unless God revealed it to us? Here are a few examples:
- We wouldn’t know about events that happened before man was created.
- We wouldn’t know the motives and personal thoughts of Bible characters
- We wouldn’t know about events in the invisible spiritual realm, like God’s conversation with Satan about Job.
- We wouldn’t know God’s thoughts.
That last point is especially important, because God doesn’t think about things the way we do. We really need His insights.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:8-9)
Since you have God’s Word
We’re blessed to have God’s Word, but that blessing comes with some responsibilities. Since God has given us His Word in a language we can understand…
- We must read it.
- We must learn it.
- We must interpret it literally. (We must believe God meant what He said.)
- We must harmonize it. (We must fit the parts together instead of throwing some parts out.)
- We must humble ourselves before it. (When we disagree with the Bible, we need to know God is right.)
- We must obey it.
I think it’s helpful to think about the Bible as if you were standing before God and He was speaking to you personally. Would it comfort you to hear your Father say, “Don’t be afraid, child.” He says that in the Bible – take it personally. Would you share the gospel if God appeared to you personally and said, “Take this good news into all the world.” He said it in the Scriptures – take it personally.
Points to Ponder
- Do you believe the Bible is God’s Word?
- Do you react to the Bible the same way you would if God appeared and spoke to you personally?
Read More About It
Even though we’re not studying the blessings of Bible study today, we’ll stick with this theme in our reading for the rest of the week. Take a look at Psalm 119:97-128 and make note of the blessings of God’s Word that you find in the passage.