The Christian life is like swimming upstream and all you have are two strokes. Without one of these strokes, at best you will only maintain. Take away both strokes and you will without doubt go backwards. These two strokes are prayer and Bible study. Perhaps the stroke that is missing the most in the lives of Christians today is that of Bible study. In Second Timothy 2:15, Paul tells Timothy to “be diligent” when it comes to accurately handling the Word of God. This is a Greek word that means to give diligence by exerting oneself. It is the idea of giving great effort and it is a command for each believer.
Why should each individual Christian study the Bible regularly and personally? There are dozens of reasons but let me give you just eight of them. You would do well to take the time to look up each passage.
• II Peter 1:16-21 = It is God’s Word. According to Peter, it is more sure than hearing the very voice of God with our own ears or seeing God with our own eyes.
• Joshua 1:8 = God commanded us to. We are to meditate on it day and night in order to do all that is written in it.
• Romans 10:13-17 = It saves sinners and sanctifies believers. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
• Matthew 4 = It gives victory over Satan. Jesus responded to each of Satan’s temptations by quoting Scripture. He didn’t do that for Himself as much as He did for we as His followers as an example to show us how to handle temptation.
• II Timothy 4:6-8, 13 = We need it for spiritual growth
• I John 5:11-13 = It answers life’s most important question which is, “Do I know for sure I’m going to heaven?” The whole reason the Bible was written was to answer that question.
• II Timothy 3:16, 17 = It is for our lives today. The Bible contains everything we need to know to do everything that God wants us to do.
• John 20:31 = It is the ultimate proof of our faith
There are four main steps when it comes to Bible study. The first is what we would call preparation. This involves having a proper attitude. This includes an attitude of diligence (Acts 17:10-12); desire (First Peter 2:2); holiness (First Peter 2:1; James 1:21); being Spirit-controlled (First John 2:20, 27); and prayer (Ephesians 1:15-18). When it comes to Bible study we must keep in mind the 5 “P’s”…Proper Preparation Prepares for Powerful Performance.