Study God's Word - Part 2
STUDY GOD’S WORD – Part 2
By Samuel A. Matthews
Let us pray…O LORD God, our refuge and strength. We thank you dear Father in heaven for your amazing grace that is for the benefit of all people who are willing to turn their hearts to your beloved Son. Please accept the thanksgiving that rises from the hearts of those who love your beloved Son on each new day. Open our mind’s eye to the severity of the suffering Christ lovingly endured as a substitute payment for our many sins. We can never fully conceive of the magnitude of your love for every person on earth. Our mind and mouths often fail when we attempt to comprehend and communicate to others how much you love us through your Son Jesus.
Loving Father, give all faithful followers of Christ a renewed boldness so that we will not disguise our faith in public conversations. Help us to pay closer attention to the manner of how we communicate our faith to others in such a way that they see our faith in our lives not only in our words.
Give us more of the pure wisdom that Christ brought into this world so that we will behave with love and kindness toward other people struggling to live by faith in our beloved Son. Help us to be good and faithful disciples of Christ even if it means we receive no honor from others. Forgive us for times when we were overly concerned with what other people thought about us.
Shake up the church that honors Christ as Lord so that sacrificial love will be the motivation behind all our efforts to share the gospel. Guide our footsteps so that we do not step in any direction that might lead us away from full obedience to Jesus as Lord. Overthrow plans of those leaders who scheme to harm the poor. Exterminate the efforts of the enemies of Christ who attempt to elevate human wisdom above the perfect wisdom of our Lord. Silence the deceitful voices that call us to the darkness that leads to hopelessness without Christ. Bless the president of America and leaders of other nations as they struggle to maintain peace and prosperity for all. Bless our ears tonight as we grow in our understanding of the blessings we receive by studying your Holy Word. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Let us all say, Amen!
BLESSINGS DERIVED FROM STUDYING THE BIBLE
Read for me: “16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
We learn from this passage what the child of God needs. We know these are our needs because God has given us His word to furnish or supply these needs. What are the five things from verse 16 and 17 that every human being needs?
ANSWER: doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness, and maturity to perform good works. These five things we receive for our profit come from the inspired written Word of God. They are profitable because they are God-breathed.
1. The inspired Word of God is profitable for doctrine. The confusion over doctrine baffles us.
The word doctrine means “teaching.” Every word of Scripture—from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22—is profitable doctrine or teaching. Satan is well aware of this; therefore his work is to cause some to depart from the faith with his “seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons. His teachers will be “speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
The word of God is profitable for doctrine because it teaches us how to get going or started on the right way. Comments…
2. The inspired Word of God is profitable for reproof. The word reproof comes from the Greek “elegcho,” a word meaning "convict, convince, reprove, or rebuke." You “reproof” someone by telling or showing them their fault according to the word of God. The word involves exposing and reproving the error of false teachers and the behavior of moral reprobates. As we preach the word in and out of season; we are to “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).
Our Lord used this word to describe the work the Holy Spirit would do on earth. "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8).
Paul commanded the Ephesians: "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them," or tell them their faults (Ephesians 5:11). Example: Balaam – 2 Peter 2:15-16.
As a form of discipline or chastisement, God from time to time has to rebuke or reproof us. “5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Hebrews 12:5-8).
We can be convicted or reproved by our own conscience when we humbly look at ourselves in the mirror of God’s word (men in the adulteress woman story - John 8:9).
Faithful elders are to “by sound doctrine…exhort and to convince the gainsayers,” or those who contradict and oppose the truth (Titus 1:9). Even so, an erring sinful elder must be rebuked “before all, that others also may fear” (1 Timothy 5:20).
The word of God is profitable for reproof because it teaches us how we got off the right way. Comments…
3. The inspired Word of God is profitable for correction. The word correction is an unusual word and appears only in this verse in the New Testament. The word means a straightening up again, a restoration to an upright state. This is referring to an improvement in one’s character. Every thoughtful Bible student knows how important the Bible is in helping us to get our lives straight. How could any person know what "straight" is or how to get straight without the Scriptures?
The word of God is profitable for correction because it teaches us how to get back on the right way. Comments…
4. The inspired Word of God is profitable "for instruction in righteousness." The word instruction is a translation of the Greek noun “paideia” (pahee-di-ah). In includes the whole training and education of children, especially by correcting mistakes and curbing passions. It is instruction which aims at the increase of virtue. Therefore, it is translated "nurture" in Ephesians 6:4.
The verb form (paideuo) appears thirteen times in the Greek text and is translated "chastise" (Jesus - Luke 23:16, 22) "was learned" (Moses - Acts 7:22) "taught" (Paul - Acts 22:3) "instructing" (men - 2 Timothy 2:25) and "teaching" (grace - Titus 2:12).
The word of God is profitable for instruction in righteousness because it teaches us how to keep going on the right way. Comments…
5. The inspired Word of God also makes it possible for the man of God to be perfect, completely furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:17). The word perfect never means "flawless" or "sinless" in the Bible. It means “complete,” "mature," or "full grown."
The author of Hebrews says, "Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age" (Hebrews 5:14). The term full age is from the same Greek word rendered "perfect." "Therefore leaving the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection" (Hebrews 6:1).
Are there any truths about God and about His will that men cannot know by carefully reading the Bible? Do we need the so-called "modern revelations" of men like Kenneth Copeland, Rod Parsley, and similar Pentecostal leaders? If we need the "revelations" which those men claim to have received, the Word of God is not complete.
The word of God is profitable to complete us for the doing of every good work. Comments…
6. Another great benefit of a studying the inspired Word God is that it will cut and prick our heart. The people who heard the preached word on the day of Pentecost were pricked in their hearts (Acts 2:37). Why is this true? "12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
We thank God for this piercing, restraining and correcting power over the heart. All deeds are first committed in the heart; therefore, we guard the life by first guarding the heart. The wise man said, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Comments…
7. A study of God’s inspired Word will bless us with food for the soul. A couple of weeks ago we taught about growing in Christ. In that lesson we noticed Peter’s teaching that God's word is milk for the newborn babe in Christ, and is necessary for spiritual growth (1 Peter 2:1-2). In keeping with this figure, we learned from Hebrews 5:12-14 that the Word is also solid food, meat, or an adequate diet for the older Christian.
It is just as impossible to be strong spiritually without spiritual nourishment as it is to be strong physically without physical nourishment. God has appointed His word for spiritual nourishment, and nothing will take its place. Those who neglect the study of it will starve and dwarf themselves spiritually. Comments…
8. Another great blessings is this: A study of the inspired Word, the Bible, illuminates man's pathway. The Psalmist wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). Many grope in darkness because they have refused this light. Why have they rejected this great blessing? Because, “Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). Comments…
9. Studying the inspired Word of God blesses and enables the student to see himself as God sees him, for the Bible is God's mirror for the soul. "22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass" (James 1:22-23). Man needs to see himself daily in his true perspective, so that he may make the necessary changes to be in harmony with God's will. Comments…
10. By studying God's inspired Word, we are given a view of some things that will come up at the judgment. Christ said, “The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). “The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Revelation 20:12). Some will be surprised at the judgment to learn that God demanded certain things of them about which they knew nothing in this life, and all because they did not study God's message to man. Comments…
11. A study of God’s inspired word will stabilize us doctrinally and guard us against apostasy. "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Ephesians 4:14). Hear Paul again: "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee" (1 Timothy 4:16).
The salvation of souls, ours and others, demands that we take heed to both the teaching and the living of God’s word. A knowledge of the Bible will protect us from false teachers who, "Through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you" (2 Peter 2:3).
The addition of godly knowledge is one of the things to protect us from falling. Peter mentions the increase of knowledge and other Christian graces, and then says, "If ye do these things, ye shall never fall" (2 Peter 1:5-10). Comments…
12. Studying the inspired Word of God will strengthen and fortify us in our battle with temptation. Our Saviour left us the glorious example of saying to the devil, "It is written," and then He would quote the Scripture (Matthew 4). Fortunate is the person today who has such a knowledge. Those who do not have it are often led away and destroyed. The prophet’s statement, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" is an apt commentary on some Christians (Hosea 4:6). Comments..
13. Our faith is strengthened by studying the Lord's inspired Word. This is the divine way of developing faith. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Again, ''These are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" (John 20:31).
We definitely need faith. It is one of the articles of the Christian's armor, "the shield of faith" (Ephesians 6:15). Many soldiers of the cross have protected themselves from "the fiery darts of the evil one" with the shield of faith. Many others have perished in battle because they did not have it. Comments…
IN CONCLUSION: Christians are commanded to do several other things which necessitate Bible study:
(1) Preach the gospel. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
(2) “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15).
(3) Defend the gospel. "Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3) . In this connection, Paul said, "I am set for the defence of the gospel" (Philippians 1:17). We must study, for without knowledge none of these commands can be obeyed.
It can all be summed up by saying that a study and application of the Holy Scriptures will build us up and give us a home in heaven.
Paul said to the Ephesian elders, "I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:32). Too much depends upon Bible study for us to neglect it. Comments…