The Bible was not only written for highly educated or intellectual person, like many people believe. Instead it was written for everyone, regardless of their education. The truth of salvation (how we are saved from sin) is made crystal clear. The only people who will stumble are those who read the Bible with an agenda and who ultimately have decided to trust their own judgment and heart over what God’s word clearly states.
Furthermore, we should not take the writings or commentaries of anyone, and substitute their words for what the Bible says. Instead, we should read and study the Bible for ourselves. If we allow others to do our thinking for us, we ultimately miss what God wants to tell us personally. We will only be able to reach the spiritual growth of the writers/speakers we follow, and God desires so much more than that for us. By not studying God’s word for ourselves, our minds will become weak to understanding the Bible’s themes, and we may miss the deep meaning that God wants to show us in our study. To contrast this, our minds and our spiritual lives will grow when we study the Bible, and its themes, by comparing passages with other passages and extracting hidden truths that span multiple verses.
No other book in history has the same ability to strengthen our minds than the study of the Bible. No other book can empower, stretch, and challenge our minds than the truths contained within it. If God’s word were studied as He desires to see us study it, the truths would saturate our hearts and lives, and we would have integrity and focus that is uncommon in today’s day and age.
When we read the Bible, we must not rush through it. It is possible to read the whole Bible from beginning to end and still miss the truths it contains. One simple verse or passage, studied until its significance is clear to our minds is more useful than skimming over many chapters without a clear focus. We should keep our Bibles with us at all times, and as we have the opportunity, we can read it, and begin to memorize important texts. While we are walking around, we can read a short passage and reflect on what it means to us. This will help us embed the passage in our minds and redirect our focus.
Without prayerful study and dedication to learn, we will never gain true wisdom. Some passages in the Bible are too plain to be misunderstood, but there are others where the meaning is not significant at first glance. Bible passages were designed to be compared with each other in the context of prayer, research, and reflection and studying the Bible this way will result in seeing many new truths that are not as plainly visible. Under the surface in the Bible we are able to find layers of truth similar to miners finding deposits of precious metals that are not clearly visible to the rest of us. Holding Bible passages in our hearts and minds, and reflecting on them empower, strengthen, and direct our spiritual lives towards God.
We should never study the Bible without prayer. Before opening it to read, we should ask for the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and open our hearts to its truth. When Nathanael first met Jesus, Jesus said, “‘Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.’ ‘How do you know about me?’ Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, ‘I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you’” (John 1:47-48). Jesus will see us and meet us in the places we pray when we are genuinely seeking Him to learn His truth. God’s angels will be with us when we humbly ask for God’s guidance.
The Holy Spirit praises and lifts up Jesus. The Spirit’s responsibility is to present Jesus, in all His perfection, and helping us understand how we can be saved by His sacrifice for us. Jesus tells us, “He [The Holy Spirit] will bring me glory by telling you whatever He receives from Me.” (John 16:14). The Holy Spirit is the only effective teacher of spiritual truth. God truly values humanity, because He gave His only son to die in our place, and He has appointed His Spirit to be our continuous teacher, comforter, and guide.
Next week, we will begin looking at prayer and how God has given us an amazing gift and responsibility with the Privilege of Prayer.
P.S. As always, if I missed something, or if you would like to respond on this topic, join the conversation below!