This Week's Gospel Sermons

Preaching Jesus:  The Physician  - Scott Richardson

Interpretation:  Personal Needs In Understanding  - Scott Richardson


March 6 - 11, 2011 Gospel Meeting At Jackson Drive.

Speaker:  Jerry Curry

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April 17, 2011


Examining Scripture and Examining Self

Realizing that the study of the Bible is so vital, we may ask the question, “What do I need to study it properly?” Following is a short list of things required of each individual who desires study and follow God Almighty’s will.

A desire to know and do the truth is necessary. “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance” (Luke 8:15). Intellectual honesty is necessary (2Thessalonians 2:10-12).

Mental effort is another requirement of understanding the Scriptures. “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all” (1Timothy 4:15-16). Laziness never produced a good understanding of the word.

Self-discipline is another requirement. This is closely related to the previous point. Remember, you will never put forth the mental effort unless and until you discipline yourself to put forth the effort.

Time is required if we would learn God’s word. “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). These noble-minded people made time daily.

Tools, we can’t forget we need tools to study. Obviously, we must start with a good study Bible with cross references, indices, maps, or other helps. A concordance also helps us organize our thoughts and searches through the scriptures. I don’t know anyone who knows the background and meaning of every word; keep dictionaries and lexicons at hand. Many times Bible handbooks like Halley’s or Unger’s assist in orderly study. Lastly, an often over-looked tool you need is your own notes. Keep paper or computer at the ready.

God doesn’t intend for us to examine His word and just stop there. He also expects us to examine ourselves in regard to His word. Even people who believe that the Bible is God’s word and that it is worthy of study often fail to look at themselves in its light. Following is the text of an article written many years ago. Read what it has to say and take it to heart. Any would be hard pressed to find a more well-written exhortation to tie in with our present inquiry.

— S. Scott Richardson Sr.



Let a man examine himself is the language of the inspired Volume. It is one of the injunctions we do well to observe in our pilgrimage through life, and it is quite certain were it often observed, we would see more of our fellow beings walking circumspectly and attending to every ordinance of the Lord’s house. We may feel as though we were living in conformity to the requirements of the Lord, notwithstanding we are daily wandering from the path of duty and rectitude. It appears to be so difficult to persuade ourselves or even to be persuaded by others to do our whole duty. This is one reason why we see so many, on their deathbeds, trying to gain, at that critical period, an abundant entrance into that ever-rich and luxuriant land where all is joy, peace, and happiness. They are then brought, as it were, to their senses and enabled to see themselves in their true light by undergoing a rigid examination. Thus it is that afflictions prove beneficial to us in enabling us to prepare for an eternity of bliss beyond the grave.

Self-examination consists in studying and understanding ourselves in the light of God’s word. Were this more frequently attended to, there would be far more Christians in the world; for an individual may be regarded as an acceptable member of the church, and he may feel as though his life conformed in all essential matters with the requirements of the gospel, while in the light of truth he is but too idle and unfruitful in the knowledge of his Lord and Savior. Hence, we see the great importance of adopting a regular course for examining ourselves in order that at all times we be pure, holy, and undefiled.

The more we are engaged in examining ourselves and comparing our works with the standard of the Bible, the greater will be the opportunities presented us for doing good, and we will be greatly enabled to live in obedience to all the commandments of God. Would it not be well to make our reports at the close of every day, always keeping a conscience void of offense toward God and man? Then we would be always in readiness for the dying hour, with our lamps trimmed and burning, having on the wedding garment, with our robes washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, ready to meet him at his coming.

By examining ourselves we will be greatly enabled to progress in the divine life. But we should remember, too, that we are not to compare ourselves with others, even though they may be good men. Not infrequently we have heard the following remark: “Why, what’s the use of living so strict? Mr. _____ is a good Christian and he is not so particular.” To all such we say that the word of God, which shall judge us in the last day, is the standard and the only standard by which we should examine ourselves and reform our lives. We are required to look into the perfect law of liberty and continue therein. Then, and not till then, have we the. Promise of being blessed in our deeds. It requires a great deal of energy and a considerable amount of attention paid to the Bible in order for a Christian to know himself. He should certainly pay more regard to the duty of watchfulness and self-examination. He would then have a greater desire to study the Scriptures, and thereby be enabled to be more faithful and devoted to the service of Christ. Too many professed Christians study the Scriptures but little; and many who do study them do not do it to show themselves approved unto God. They appear to have a desire simply to learn doctrines and defend certain principles. Alas, for such!

By daily reading the Scriptures and at the same time comparing our actions with its sacred truths, we can quite easily perceive whether we are living as we ought in order to obtain that rich reward promised to the redeemed. For instance, when we read the apostle’s injunction, “Pray without ceasing,” should we ask ourselves the question, “Do we always pray?” Again we are required in everything to give thanks, to speak the truth in love, to lay aside all malice, hypocrisies, envies, backbiting, evil speaking, etc. How important, then, that we examine our thoughts, our words, our deeds, and our aims to know whether we are living in strict conformity to the will of him “who was and who is and who is to come.”

Soon our days will be numbered; soon our work will be ended. And soon, too, will we stand an examination before him who presides upon heaven’s golden circle, and who now rules in the kingdoms of this world. What solemnity pervades our inmost soul to think of this! How careful we ought to be to so fit and prepare ourselves here by frequent and thorough examinations that when brought before the God of heaven and earth for a final examination, we will be enabled to stand the test and receive the prize, a crown of glory in the skies.

Wesley K. Burr
The Christian Monthly, 1870

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