I want to share with you FOUR REASONS to study God’s Word.
1. It is commanded
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
“Be diligent” can also be translated, “endeavor, labour, study.”
“Rightly dividing” was a phrase used in many ways in Paul’s day — in the way a farmer plows a straight furrow; the way a mason squares and cuts a stone to fit it into its proper place in a building, or the way a cook divides up food into portions.
To rightly divide the Word involves plowing straight to the truth, not getting diverted by pet theories or biases. Using the second metaphor, rightly dividing the Word involves taking each stone or section of teaching and finding its proper place in the larger superstructure of doctrinal truth. And like a good cook, we should make sure we offer a well‑balanced diet of God’s Word.
2. Studying God’s Word will strengthen our faith
Paul wrote this to the Roman believers: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
Some of us are strong in the faith and others are insecure. J.C. Ryle said, “You can talk about religious experiences all you wish, but if it does not have doctrinal roots, it is like cut flowers stuck into the ground. They will soon wither and die.”
3. Studying God’s Word will enable us to discern truth from error
Paul writes in 1 Tim. 4:1, 6: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons …. If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.”
A person might say to you: “I believe Jesus is the Messiah too, but I don’t believe He is deity appearing in human flesh, and here are some scriptures to prove it!” Would you be able to defend your interpretation of those same verses? Would you have reliable linguistic resources or commentaries at your fingertips to help you?
You may have heard this illustration. When a new FBI agent is hired he is given intensive training. As part of the program he is taught how identify counterfeit money. The focus is mainly on doing a thorough study of the genuine bills, not the phonies. This is the best way to spot the fake currency. While it’s helpful to learn about other religions and cults, we should be so familiar with God’s Word that when we encounter error, we will spot it at once. Today, many are being led astray by various “isms” because they don’t know and study the genuine truth of God’s Word.
By the way, we need more FBI agents ‑‑ who have FULL BIBLE INTELLIGENCE!
4. Studying God’s Word will enable us to persuade others of the truth
Acts 18:28 says that Apollos “…vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.” Have you studied the Scriptures thoroughly enough to give solid evidence that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah? There are many who read the same Messianic prophecies we do, but come to different conclusions. This is why it’s good to have a working knowledge of the Biblical languages, as well as be aware of the historical and literary contexts of the Scriptures we use to persuade people of the truth.
1 Pet. 3:15 tells us to be “…. ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.” A great way to be “ready” is to be diligent students of the Scriptures.
Are there other “reasons” I’ve missed? Are there disciplines of study that you’ve developed that would be helpful to share with others? I’d love to read your comments.