Bible study is the highest endeavor the Christian can pursue. No other field of study is more important than the desire to know God’s word. Bible courses are the most valuable courses my students study in college.(1) Only a study of the Bible gives eternal instruction. Only God’s word can guide one through life and into the life beyond. Therefore, Bible study is vital.
Despite the importance of Bible study, many believers do not know how to study the Bible. For them, the Bible is just a collection of disparate teachings which must be interpreted by a preacher. Thus, they entrust their spiritual training to a frail human and limit that training to a few hours each week. You can study the Bible yourself. You do not need a preacher/pastor/priest to tell you what the Scriptures teach!
As with worthwhile task, the beginning is crucial. Let us share some thoughts on how to begin profitable Bible study.
Getting Started with Bible Study
Study the Bible with Humility
The Bible changes lives. That implies that lives need changing. As you approach, the Scriptures bear in mind the reason for your study. Hopefully, you are interested in more than history. You come to the Bible because you are seeking help. Anyone, even an experienced scholar, must bow to the holiness of the teachings of Scripture. Anyone, even an experienced scholar, must bow to the holiness of the teachings of Scripture. Click To Tweet
God is all-knowing. We are not. Acknowledge Him as Creator and allow Him to instruct you. (Proverbs 3:6).
Study the Bible Prayerfully
Begin every study session with prayer. Biblical themes can be profound. There are some things we will never fully understand in this life. But all topics are better understood when we seek God’s favor in our study. James writes that wisdom is freely given by God (James 1:5). He adds that divine wisdom is both pure, and impartial (James 3:17). Consider Solomon’s words:
“…if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2: 3-6).
Study the Bible with Determinationthe blessing of Bible study comes only after hours of focused attention on the topic. Click To Tweet
Someone said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice and study to become an expert. I am convinced that one could study the Bible for 10,000 years and still not plumb the depths of the Bible. A haphazard approach to Bible study will never work.
I don’t want to stretch the illustration too far but consider Genesis 32:22-32 when Jacob wrestled with a divine being through the night.(2) Jacob’s blessing did not come until the very end, as day was breaking. Often the blessing of Bible study comes only after hours of focused attention on the topic. Do not give up!
The rewards of Bible study are magnificent. You will be blessed!
Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at preachersstudyblog.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.
- I am an adjunct professor at Faulkner University.(↩)
- The Bible alternately refers to this being as God (Hosea 12:3), an angel (Hosea 12:4) and as a man (Genesis 32:24). At the very least this being was a messenger of God.(↩)