Among the questions we ask on this edition: why is it important that we study scripture? And what does Jesus say scripture does for us?
Play or download this episode of the Take Note Podcast using the player, or read its transcript below.
“Study is Important”
- We’ll begin a discussion about Bible study today
- We’ll ask, among other things…
- Why is it important that we study scripture?
- What does Jesus say scripture does for us?
- How can scripture make a difference in our daily thoughts and actions?
- On this program and on this station, you’ll know we spend many hours on study
- It is a primary feature of our spoken word programs and its results wind up in every song we play
- We obviously think it’s important
- We obviously believe it does something for us
- And we assert, without hesitation, that it changes our daily thoughts and actions
- Some of our reasoning behind that today
- As our topic will be “Study is Important”
- We’ll begin in John 17…
- If you know anything about the 17th chapter of John
- You’ll know that in it, Jesus prays for His disciples
- He confirms their future persecution
- He tells us why it will happen
- And He reminds us how they will be strengthened and fortified through it
- Now, this is not just for the disciples of His day
- It is for us as well
- What must we do to be sanctified for whatever the future holds?
- Let’s begin to find out in verse 9…
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
- Those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ alone, belong to God
- And we have been given the ability to glorify God by reflecting His attributes
- At this time when Jesus would die, be buried, raise from the dead, then return to His father
- He asks God to keep His disciples (those of His day, and us), giving us unity
- But clearly, based on what we know about the original 12, and ourselves
- Growth and change and development and strengthening would need to take place
- That is emphasized as Jesus goes on…
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
- While Jesus was with His disciples, He taught them
- He gave them God’s word
- And while they were hated, being foreigners on the earth
- They were being equipped
- Because this hatred would lead to violent action against them
- Here’s what Jesus goes on to say about it…
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
- His prayer is not that they be removed
- As citizens of God’s kingdom, they would leave soon enough
- But His prayer is that they would be sanctified
- And that sanctification would come through God’s word
- To be sanctified is to be set apart from profane things and dedicated to God
- It is to be cleansed and consecrated for His exclusive service
- And God has provided truth to do this work – the scriptures
- Because those who know Christ have a job to do
- A mission to carry out
- A service to render
- And we are in need of equipping
- Jesus goes on…
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
- Jesus will command all who believe in Him to “go” and “preach”
- And He has lived (and will soon die) having done exactly what God commanded
- Having lived according to the truth
- And His disciples must obey and follow His example
- Because the message of redemption, which He is about to complete for the world
- Must be spread far and wide
- And it can only be spread by “set apart” servants
- This is why the scripture – and the study of it – becomes so important to us
- Because to grow into His likeness, we have only one tool that works in conjunction with God’s Holy Spirit (the One who dwells in us)
- And that is the Bible
- He uses its truth within us to transform our every thought and action
- We find ourselves going back to Old Testament passages like Psalm 19 as a reminder
- It says…
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
- We are not keepers of Old Testament law in this new covenant
- But we are lovers of all God said and students who “rightly divide” the word of truth
- Meditating upon it, studying it, learning from its people (God’s people, Israel), and finding in it examples
- It is a lamp to light life’s often very dark path
- And a guidebook for a treacherous journey
- This was the case for those early disciples and for us
- Study is important
- Let’s remind ourselves what the Bible is…
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
- It comes directly from God
- Therefore it deserves deep consideration
- For when we deeply consider it, it provides for us a doctrinal foundation
- It will reprove us
- Direct us back to the right path
- And gives us an ongoing series of internal tools (aided by the Holy Spirit)
- To think and act and live righteously
- So that we can be completely who God intends for us to be
- And so that we can carry our His assigned mission for us
- Study is important
- I’ll leave you with the words Paul gave Timothy in the verses immediately preceding…
2 Timothy 3:14-15
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
- Continue in God’s word – that means to “abide” in it
- Learn and keep learning
- Surround yourself with those who would assure you
- Because the holy scriptures can not only make us wise unto salvation
- But they can enlighten us to the implications of that salvation
- Which will mean vigorous and effective ministry
- That will be used by God to provide eternal transformation to others