Purpose of the session
To remember that study from a passionate heart will lead to results, and to expect change and transformation as we allow God's Word to take root and dwell richly in our hearts.
The Results of Diligent Bible Study
The written Word, sown in our hearts, becomes the Living Word within us. It has within it an innate power to transform our life, just as God says in Isaiah 55:11.
We will now list just some of the benefits of Bible Study (we will also look in more detail at the results and working of the Word of God in the life of the Believer in later lessons.
1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:12-14; Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:1-2
The Word brings us from babyhood to full maturity, where we are trained to teach others and bring them toward spiritual adulthood also. This, effectively, is what discipleship should accomplish. The disciple, if he or she is indeed a successful follower, should become a discipler of others.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 in the Amplified Bible, speaking of training our children in the ways of God, says we should be able to express the truths of God’s Word in a manner that ‘penetrates’ the hearts of our hearers. Ecclesiastes 10:10 diagnoses the problem of many churches, who tire themselves with endless programs to try and win the world, because the edge of their ministry is not ‘whetted’ and sharp.
Titus 2:6-8,15; 1 Timothy 4:12-16
A deep knowledge of the Word gives great security and authority to a man or woman of God. We cannot live according to what our Bible School teacher believes, or what our parents understood about God’s Word. We have to take these words and make them our own.
The Bible is our textbook for successful living. It is the banqueting table of kings and queens. The Scriptures are the ultimate universal authority in all matters of faith and morals. God is absolutely bound to His Word and will never break His covenant (Psalm 89:34). We speak with authority because it is not our own words that we bring, but His.
“If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1Pet 4:11 NKJV)
Study of the Word takes us below the surface words on a page and helps us grasp the Spirit of the Word. Ecclesiastes 12:12 says, “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.” Our authority is not based on an intellectual superiority, but rather a thorough acquaintance with the Author of the Bible Himself, the Holy Spirit, who breathes life into all our efforts and enlightens the mind with spiritual understanding. Prayer and study are two key elements that take us beyond the surface waters of intellectual assent to a given truth, into the living experience of it at work in our life and ministry.
This following picture illustrates this concept.
Our words carry authority and presence, not necessarily because they are the words written on the pages of the Bible. There are thousands of powerless preachers who speak Bible words every day with little or no transforming results. Two men can preach exactly the same message, but see completely different outcomes.
I will use the iceberg as an illustration.
It is not the towering edifice above the water that makes an iceberg so dangerous, but the unseen mass below the surface that gives it its awesome presence and power to sink even the great ships should they choose to argue with it. Similarly, what we hold in our heart in the knowledge of God should far outweigh what we speak or people see. This unseen life with God and His Word gives presence and authority to a man of God, not charisma or exterior eloquence.
For this reason, it is not enough for us to engage with God’s Word just because we are preaching on Sunday and need a message, or because of some other ‘spiritual’ function. Such things lead to shallow ministry in the Body of Christ. We must develop a lifestyle of Bible Study and Prayer. Then, when we speak or minister it comes as a result of the overflow of God’s life in our heart.
1 Timothy 4:1; Titus 1:10-11; John 8:31-32; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; 2 Corinthians 11:13-14; Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22
Paul warns that doctrines inspired by demons will abound in the last days. It is essential that we, as men and women of God, are able, by a thorough knowledge of the Word, to avoid such heresies. These heresies, promoted by false teachers clothed as ministers of the gospel, will have great seductive force. Only a true knowledge of what the Scriptures actually teach will protect us.
Jesus said that we will know the truth, and that the truth will set us free. It is important to note that it only the truth that we know that can have this effect in our lives. Something may be true, but if we do not know it, it will have zero influence upon us.
“It is as sport to a [self-confident] fool to do wickedness, but to have skillful and godly Wisdom is pleasure and relaxation to a man of understanding.” (Prov 10:23 AMP)
I include this little gem simply because it is so unusual. Even Solomon in his woeful lament says that much study is a weariness of the flesh (Ecclesiastes 12:12), but he was not here referring to a vital and ongoing relationship with God through His Word. To have God speak to us from the pages of His Holy Word is truly invigorating. If only we kept this truth before us, that His Words are “spirit and life” to those that find them! (John 6:63)
We will continue to look at the positive effects of the Word in our lives in the a later lesson, “The Nature and Working of the Word in the Life of the Believer”