This Week's Gospel Sermons
March 6 - 11, 2011 Gospel Meeting At Jackson Drive.
Speaker: Jerry Curry
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April 10, 2011
The Great Value inStudying the Bible
Do you believe the Bibleis the word of God? Do you study it like you believe it? If we believe that the Bible is God’s revelation to man, logically we see there is a great value in reading and studying the Bible. After all, don’t we want and need to know what the Creator has to say to us? Just look at the opening of the 119th Psalm:
Aleph. How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the LORD.
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways.
You have ordained Your precepts, That we should keep them diligently.
Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes!
Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Your commandments.
I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I shall keep Your statutes; Do not forsake me utterly!
The Psalm continues on to instill within us how valuable the word of God is to us. Scripture itself enumerates several reasons that study is so valuable.
Bible study helps us to know God and His Son Jesus Christ. There is no other way of our knowing God than by Bible study. Yes, we can observe His works and discern His existence, but we cannot “know” Him except as He has revealed Himself to us. When Jesus spoke with the Jews about some witnesses to His Deity, He referred them to the Scriptures and said, “it is these that testify of Me” (John 5:39).
Bible study helps us to know ourselves—it reveals man to man. The question, “Where did I come from?” has almost become a cliché it has been asked so many times. The Bible, and only the Bible, reveals the origin of man (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7,21-25). God made man from dust and placed in him a spirit that is in His likeness. We are not here because of some accident or chance as evolutionist claim.
Other clichéd questions are asked; “Why am I here? What is the purpose of man?” Again, the Bible gives a satisfactory answers to these questions. The book of Ecclesiastes devotes itself to this question—“until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives” (Ecclesiastes 2:3). The writer looks at life from every point of view and then comes to a grand conclusion: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Destiny—man is always searching. “Where am I going?” The Bible alone gives a correct and suitable answer. Man, without a revelation from God, is left to grope blindly in the dark concerning his future. However, the Bible reveals that man lives beyond death. It also reveals where both the righteous and the unrighteous will be after death. Truly, the Bible reveals man to man.
Bible study reveals to us the plan of salvation—how man can have a right standing with God. This righteousness is made possible only through Jesus Christ who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He emphasizes this truth forcefully by adding, “No man comes to the Father but through me.” In what is often referred to as the “Great Commission,” He gives to us the framework of our duty to the preaching of the gospel by saying, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Peter restates our necessary response in his message on Pentecost (Acts 2:37-38).
Bible study gives us the assurance of salvation. In his first letter we have in Scripture, John wrote: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1John 5:13). Have you ever asked yourself the question, “How can I know I am saved?” The study of the Bible helps to have the assurance of which John speaks.
Bible study builds us up as Christians. Daily, we need the strength and sustenance to keep progressing in our walk with God. Just like our physical bodies need food for strength, so we need spiritual food; the Bible is that food. Without Bible study—“eating” His word—we cannot have strength. “Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart …” (Jeremiah 15:16). Paul exhorted the elders of Ephesus, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
Bible study gives us confidence and power in prayer. We live in a material world—it is easy to forget the power, confidence, and assurance that comes from prayer. When we study, we see time and again the promises of God for those who are faithful to approach Him. The writer of Hebrews explains to us the reason we have for confidence in prayer (Hebrews 4:14-16)—our High Priest, Jesus.
Bible study gives us the means of cleansing from sin. In His prayer to the Father in John 17:17, Jesus made this petition, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” In the Psalm with which we began our study, the Psalmist asked, “How can a young man keep his way pure?” The answer? “By keeping it according to Your word.” (Psalm 119:9). When we properly apply God’s word it brings the cleansing blood of Jesus to our lives (1John 1:7). “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1Peter 1:23).
Bible study brings joy. What did Jesus say about His words? “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11). Complete joy—what a blessing from His words!
Bible study produces peace. Again, listen to Jesus: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Hearing His words, we know the way of peace. By studying and following the guidance of His word “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Bible study, properly applied, will take us to Heaven. Paul, commending the Ephesians to the word of God, showed them that the word would “give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). We can go to Heaven by following what we learn in Bible study. God has given us His word to show us the way.
Are we following His word? We must study to know. How enormous the value in dwelling on His word!
—S. Scott Richardson Sr.
(some material edited from “From Then Until Now”)