By bro Lee Tian Seng
Do you spend time studying the Bible daily?
The common excuse is “I do not have time”. As every one of us has 24 hours a day, no more and no less, so we cannot be asking for more time. Therefore, the issue is not about finding more time but arranging our priorities. If something is important and beneficial, then it would be wise to give priority or spend more time to do it. The management of priorities can certainly be applied to studying the Bible. If it is important and beneficial, why are we not doing it?
The study of the Scripture has the following benefits:
1. Spiritual Growth
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. (1Peter 2:2)
Bible study is essential for the spiritual growth of a new-born babe in Christ or a new convert. As a new Christian, he or she lacks Bible knowledge and instructions to live as a disciple of Christ. Hence, it is advisable for a new convert to study the Bible on his or her own and attend a Bible class. This will help him or her to progressively learn the word of God.
Learning and growing take effort, time and patience. One needs to understand that the effort is worth it because it will result in spiritual growth and strength. Like a new-born baby who will cry when it is hungry, a new convert should have such strong desire and hunger for the word of God.
2. Spiritual Effectiveness
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. (2 Tim 3:16-17)
Let it be known here that verse 16 clearly gives us one major reason to study God’s word. We are not talking about any book or writing written by man but the Bible or the Scripture, which is totally inspired by God. The emphasis here is that “all scripture” is “inspired by God” and so the Bible is the word of God. We need to study it because it is the Word of God.
Further, it is said that the Scripture is beneficial for “doctrine” or teaching. Where can one find the doctrine of God other than in the Bible? Many false teachings arise from the adoption of the teachings of men. If one goes to the Bible for doctrine, he or she will find the doctrine of God.
It is mentioned in these verses that the Scripture equips a Christian to do good works. It contains the instruction for effectiveness in service, providing the biblical knowledge for teachers and the training of the right attitudes and ways to serve God. If one does not study God’s word, one can never be certain about what God wants when we worship him.
3. Spiritual Maturity
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (Heb 5:12)
We expect a baby to progress from drinking milk to eating meat. There are other nutrients needed for growth as a baby grows up to be a boy, a teen and then an adult. Similarly, we were young Christians once. We drank the milk of God’s word which covers foundational doctrines. As years go by, our growth will be halted if we do not take “solid food”. We will not be knowledgeable and skilful in the Word of God. The lack of knowledge and its application causes one to remain weak in his or her faith. Spiritual maturity begins with the study of God’s word, the practice of discerning between good and evil, and the life that is transformed by abiding in His Word. (Heb 5:13-14)
Thus, every Christian needs to study the Bible to grow and to serve. Just as our physical bodies need food and drink, our spiritual-selves need the Word of God and prayers for wisdom.