Bible study is vital in the spiritual growth of believers and that is why we should have a thorough look at it. The thought of bible study should be ruminating always in the heart of any believer with an open heart to learn. Like we have identified in the previous episodes that lack of proper bible study leads to error. And because of lack of proper bible study many unfounded doctrinal errors have manifested and become strongholds in the church. Our Lord Jesus foreknew this and because of that He gave His disciples very important command. That they should teach those that believed their gospel the things He taught them (Matthew 28:19-20).
In other ways, they should conduct bible study among the believers. And what to teach is a handover and not something one wakes up to initiate and induce among people. It must stem from the truth that has been revealed. Apostle Jude called it ‘the faith’ which was delivered unto the saints (Jude 3). And Apostle John called it ‘the doctrine of Christ’. He went ahead to say that in this doctrine of Christ is Christ located and the Father is found (2 John 9). On the other hand, the absence of the doctrine of Christ will definitely means that people will not have Christ and will not find the Father.
Bible Study – Harnessing The Truth:
Now Apostle Paul in one of his epistles to Pastor Timothy his spiritual son, called it the ‘knowledge of the truth’. In his assertion, he made it clear that it is important for men to be saved. But he didn’t stop there he went ahead to say that not just being saved but they should come to the knowledge of truth.
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
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The knowledge of this truth can only be garnered from bible study. So knowing and understanding the doctrine of Christ is having the knowledge and understanding of the truth. However, the impartation of this knowledge is very important but more importantly is having the savvy in digesting it properly. This expression is in connection with a proper bible study. This is because, there are truths and there are truths and if not properly ascertained the tendency to mesmerize their content is unavoidable.
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Though, the truth but they have to be sieved in order to remove the chaff from them. The implication of this is that through bible study the knowledge of the truth is properly established in the hearts of believers. Hence Apostle Paul quipped this statement to Timothy his spiritual son.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
(2 Timothy 2:15).
What It Means To Study The Bible:
In the quotation above, Apostle Paul used a word that is vital and shouldn’t be overlooked by any believer. And that is ‘study’. Study here means to learn. This is called bible study. It is important to learn what the word of truth is in order to be able to rightly divide it.
Therefore, any believer who fails to study the word of truth certainly will be distracted. And in most cases such a person will go after profane and vain babblings. The result of this is an increase in ungodliness in the life of that individual though he or she has been sanctified.
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However, every believer should be inundated with the word of truth, through bible study. And then get their eyes fixated on what they have been taught. As they do so they will not found themselves fumbling in profane and vain babblings.
It is because of this Apostle Paul advised Pastor Timothy his progeny in the Lord thus
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;”
(2 Timothy 3:14).
This statement above calls for reasoning in the direction of where one learns the truth from. Therefore, truly it matters who you learn from. And of course one should weigh the capability of the man he eats from his table.
Who Is Your Bible Study Teacher?
If you understand the capacity of the man who guards your way through bible study you can’t help but boast of him. Like Apostle Paul boasted that He was taught by Gamaliel who happens to be a doctor of the law in his days.
The emphasis here is trust, so one should have an atom of trust on the person who is teaching him bible study. This will help him to build and establish the truth emanating from him.
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However, let look at the benefit in holding fast what one has learned from bible study. Apostle Paul indicated in his epistle to the church in Ephesus.
“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;”
The quotation above says “henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” So a believer who is taught cannot be tossed about and be carried away with every wind of doctrine.
A believer who is not carried away by every wind of doctrine is a matured believer. This is because he will definitely be able to decipher between the wrong doctrine and the true doctrine. And the true doctrine is the doctrine of Christ.
The Adverse Effects Of Lack Of Proper Bible Study:
There are adverse effects of being tossed to and fro and being carried by every wind of doctrine. One of the effects is that a believer in that state will become a garbage ground where anything can be dumped by anybody. Whatever he hears is acceptable and he follows because he has built a surface understanding of the Scripture. It is as a result of shallow understanding from bible study in many occasions heated arguments comes up. This was the cased between Apostle Paul and certain groups especially the group called circumcision group.
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These were the advocates of circumcision among the brethren. They believed that everyone should be circumcised for salvation to be completed. Apostle Paul and Barnabas have to confront them and eventually brought the matter before the council of Elders and Apostles. The intervention of the Elders and Apostles removed such a cruel and faithless doctrine. If not it would have been induced and established among believers today.
Again, Apostle Paul in his effort to address the issue of the doctrine of circumcision, (Acts 15:1) declared to believers thus;
“Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.”
Dealing With The Zealous Law Group:
Yet there is another group who were propagating the laws of Moses as a must to every believer. They were called those who are zealous for the law (Acts 21:20). And because of this, Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Galatians addressed the issue of the laws of Moses, and declared its nullification as a means to earn salvation (Galatians 2:16).
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