Studying Scripture (Spiritual Disciplines Part 3)

“If you find a professing Christian indifferent to his Bible, you may be sure that the very dust upon its cover will rise up in judgment against him.”

-Charles Spurgeon

At times this can seem overstated, like the only thing a pastor talks about is the importance of studying and knowing the Bible. I am sure that many in my church family have felt this way. I must confess that I am not going to bring you any new and startling revelation about the importance of God’s Word, but I would like to give you some practical thoughts on how God’s Word plays an immensely important role in the life of believers.

God’s Word Gives You A Foundation For Living

Some call this a worldview, personal perspective, or viewpoint. I call it a foundation for living because just as the foundation is the most important aspect of building a house, so treasuring God’s Word is for believers. I have witnessed countless people, young and old, who have started out like The Flash when it came to their faith, moving fast and lighting up the world around them at the speed of light. Then as time goes on, they end up fading out and fizzling away. The reason this occurs is because their intent was to do well, but they did not follow through with the proper and needed action to actually do well: a proper treatment of God’s Word.

How can a young man keep his way pure?

By guarding it according to your word.

With my whole heart I seek you;

let me not wander from your commandments!

I have stored up your word in my heart,

that I might not sin against you.

-Psalm 119:9-11 ESV

God’s Word Is A "Rosetta Stone" To Navigate Culture

Found in 1799, the Rosetta Stone is a large stone upon which was inscribed a royal decree (196 BC) written in three different languages: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script, and Ancient Greek. This stone made it possible to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphic language for the first time since the days of the Romans. Today it is still the primary tool we use to translate hieroglyphics, the foundation of our understanding of that ancient language.

The Bible is like the Rosetta Stone because it is the believer’s primary way to interpret the world around us and how we relate to it. Without fail, I can look at what is happening in the world and almost always point back to something similar that I see in the word of God.

I can look at James 1 and find answers for handling suffering. I can look at the Psalms and see what I’m to do when under pressure from the world or personal enemies. Proverbs gives me all around answers to things like integrity, honesty, and pride. These are just a few of the countless examples I see in Scripture for how to navigate through difficult circumstances, how the gospel affects the people around me, and how I can respond to them like Jesus. Culture changes, but ultimately people are the same throughout history. The Bible gives us a road map in human sociology, psychology, and the human condition in general.

However, this is only true for the believer. Two people can look at the same verse and not be affected in the same way. The unbeliever is not affected at all, and the believer is affected because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit that comes through salvation.

Colossians 1 says, “… the Father… has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (12-14 ESV). Only those who belong to the kingdom of light (Christ) can have their eyes open to the light of Scripture.

God’s Word Gives You An Answer In Your Time Of Need

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."

-2 Timothy 2:15 ESV

Simply stated, the Bible allows us to have the right answers in the right times. The Bible is what gives Christians wisdom when discussing politics, when speaking to a young woman who has recently aborted her child, when counseling a friend who is fighting ungodly sexual urges, and even when dealing with the small day-to-day things of life.

The Bible gives the average Christian the ability to have above average wisdom. Often my favorite people to hear speak on the Word of God are not seminary professors or highly educated people, but they are the ones who confess “I am not very educated, and I don’t have a seminary degree, but….” Often is it those men and women who prove the grace of God is providing wisdom and an answer in our time of need through the Word of God.

God’s Word Makes Your Prayers Spirit-Led

There are a countless number of Christians in the world today longing for their prayers to be more spiritual and fruitful. We often pray by rambling about the same things for five minutes and then begin to daydream. It can seem somewhat trite to pray the same things over and over again, to the point where we convince ourselves that God doesn’t listen or that we are incapable of praying well.

To this I would say that the most spiritual prayers do not come through speaking in different tongues, using King James English, or spending hours rambling. The most spiritual prayers come through praying the Word of God. I have prayed the Word of God often and every time, whatever verse I am praying never fails to be practical, timely, or important. I highly recommend a book by Donald Whitney called Praying the Bible. Whitney’s book has been a valuable resource for me in understanding the multi-faceted importance of God’s Word in my everyday life.  

God’s Word Gives Life To The Soul

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple."

-Psalm 19:7 ESV

I don’t think this truth can be overstated. If there is to be hope, life, or light for our souls, it starts with genuine faith in Christ, and we know that that genuine faith is always rooted in the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Beyond the countless important and practical gleanings we receive from the Word of God, we also receive life and light. The life we receive is eternal and passed to us through the words contained within the texts of scripture and the light is our ability to then pass the word of God to the world. The only way to truly live a life like this is to spend more time in our Bible today and every day.

The Word of God forms the foundation of the life of the believer. It shapes our worldview, interprets the ever-changing culture around us, gives wisdom in every circumstance, shapes our prayer life, and fills the believer with eternal life.

Your pastor telling to read your Bible may come across as boring, causing a “we’re heard all this before” eyeroll. Don’t dismiss or ignore it just because you hear it often. The Word of God is the lifeblood of the believer, God’s gift to us, revealing who He is and who we are through the perfect inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In a world of constantly changing culture and pain, only the truth and power of Scripture remains the same. To love God is to love His Word. To love His Word is to study His Word. To study His Word is to have life.

This series draws from Mike Cosper’s Recapturing the Wonder.