Be a Student of God’s Word
Do you realize that if you are a true New Testament Christian you are in a very small minority in the world? If you are a true Christian that has read the entire Bible you are in a very, very small minority in our world. Many so-called Christians are Biblically illiterate. One of the most critical problems in the world today is a lack of Bible knowledge. Have you read the Bible and has it had any influence in your life? Study the Bible for yourself! This will surely make you one of an exclusive few. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
The Bible is God's inspired word. Revelation was the means by which God made known to the world His word. Reading is the means by which that word is learned. Paul wrote, “How that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets.” (Ephesians 3:3-5) The Bible is a library of 66 books, all with the theme of salvation in Christ.
Why should we be a student of God's word?
We should study the Bible because it is God's word. God has spoken through the Bible. "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” (Hebrews 1:1-2) Knowledge of God and an understanding of His requirements for our life come from studying His word. The chief priest and scribes asked Jesus, "By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?" (Matthew 21:23) Authority from God is needed in all religious actions. The word of God warns us against false religious authority and teachers of error. It also stresses the need for obedience to God's constituted religious authority.
We should study the Bible because it is God's final and complete message to man. God, by His divine power, "has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue." (2 Peter 1:3) Everything one needs to know to serve God here and go to heaven hereafter is found in the Bible. The Bible is the word of God. In Jude 1:3 in the American Standard Version we read, "Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints."
We should study the Bible because it reveals God's plan of salvation. God has a simple plan for saving man. Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16) Most religious bodies do not teach God's plan of salvation. An example of this is what is taught about baptism by the largest denomination in the south. In their own words they say, "Baptism does not help a person to be saved or to become a Christian."
We should study the Bible because it is God's way of providing spiritual understanding. God’s word lights the way to heaven. "The entrance of Your words give light; It gives understanding to the simple." (Psalm 119:130) All spiritual questions must be answered from the Bible. Do you want to know how to worship? Read your Bible. Do you want to know how to recognize the one church Jesus promised to build? Read the Bible.
Do you study the Bible with a strong desire to learn? Those that prepare for heaven must have an honest heart and an open Bible. Once you learn what to do you must obey. “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” (Hebrews 5:8-9) To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (John 6:44-45), believe in Jesus (Hebrews 11:6), repent of sins (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized to wash away your sins. (Acts 22:16) After baptism follow Jesus in faithfulness as He leads you home to heaven. (Matthew 10:22)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box, 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA