Reading is different from studying. We can all read the Bible in its entirety but studying it requires a lot of time, energy and wisdom. We need to ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that we may understand what the Bible is telling us.
Why do we need to study the Bible? Scripture is the tool God has given us and it is our duty to study it, know it, and apply it. 2Tmothy 3:16-17 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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
God in His word tells us to study it. 2Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We are exhorted to preach the word and to be able to defend it. 2Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
Studying the bible develops an appetite for God’s word and allows for spiritual growth: Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “
We usually eat food to feed our body. Without food we will become weak and can not function to its fullest potential. If we are weak, we can not work properly at home or at work place. We will become ineffective and worthless. As our physical body needs nourishment, so does our spiritual part. If we do not take in a regular intake of bible doctrine, we become worthless as servants to God. To be strong spiritually and be good stewards we need a steady diet of His word. 1Peter 2:2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.
By feeding on God’s word we will become mature Christians. As believers we have a hunger that can only be satisfied by God’s word, anything else will leave us feeling hungry. Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.
Studying the bible gives us the opportunity to know God and to reveal His character: We learn through His word that He is a loving God offering comfort, peace, and mercy. The attributes of God and His love is probably an endless list but by studying His word we will develop a greater appreciation and a thankful attitude toward God as we see Him unfold in the scriptures. If we do not know God, how can we love and appreciate what he has done for us? Ephesians 3:19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Studying the bible helps us know the truth: As students of the bible, we must not trust the authority of man, but search the scriptures to see what God says. We must study the bible with diligence and prayer. Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
It is important to have prayer and communication with God so that the Holy Spirit can teach us. 1Co 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Truth is important, especially when it is God’s truth. If we study God’s word, we will know His truth and we will be able to recognize a lie when we hear one. 1John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Discover the truth and do not be carried down the path of deception 2Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. Studying God’s word protects us from traveling down this road.
In summary studying the bible allows us to be better workman for God. It equips us with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) so that we can quench the fiery darts of the devil and be more than conquers in Christ. Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Remember our citizenship is not on earth but in heaven and while on earth we are to represent Christ in everything we do. That is our job to represent Christ to the world and to preach His saving message. By studying His word we will be able to give reasons and to prove by the Word to the lost why Christ is our hope. The word of God will set you free, so discover His truth in the word and enjoy the freedom and peace it brings. John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”