bible460

This is the question that I’ve been asking myself over the past few weeks. I grew up in church, I serve in a church, I went & earned two degrees in religious studies…but am I convinced that the Bible is true?

I think my immediate response is yes. I do believe the Bible is true. I know the correct words to use to explain this answer…inerrant, infallible, sufficient…but am I really convinced of this?

I need God’s grace to actually move towards embracing the Bible as true & trustworthy, worth laying my life & reputation on its words & meaning. The default of the human heart is not to see God’s words like this. Genesis 3 shows us that sin enters into the world because God’s words were disregarded. The serpent makes the claim that God’s words aren’t true in verse 4 when it is said, “You will not surely die…” And these words were acted upon. Rather than trusting in God’s words, we see a rebellion take place. And this is where we all begin…in rebellion against God & His words. That’s why grace is needed.

So how does God’s grace engineer a deep belief in the truth of the Bible? Is it through some mystical experience? Is it through a ceremonious process? What does it?

I’m sure there are many elements that God can & does use to move His people towards a greater love & belief in His words…but the most common way is through spiritual discipline.

-If I want to see God at work in my life so that I’m all the more convinced of the truth of the Bible…then I need to be consistently reading the Bible.

Get a plan. Get a friend who wants to read with you. Meet once a week to talk about that week’s readings with that friend.

-If I want to see God at work in my life so that I’m all the more convinced of the truth of the Bible…then I need to be memorizing the Bible.

Why does this matter? Because what fills your mind finds a way of shaping you. So fill your mind with God’s words. Start with some basic gospel passages…here a link that has some great verses to put in your mind.

-If I want to see God at work in my life so that I’m all the more convinced of the truth of the Bible…then I need to be talking about the Bible.

This should be done with both Christians & non-Christians. When you talk with others about what you’ve read & considered…several things happen. They hear about the Bible. You get to explain what you’ve been learning, which is a great way to see how much you understand. They get to ask questions. You get to see if you have thought through that question. If you have, then great…answer them! If you haven’t, then great…go think about it, talk with others about it & set up a time to get back with them on their question.

Hopefully this helps & encourages you. We need God’s grace to engineer in us a love & delight in God’s words…so let’s get to it using God’s means, consistent spiritual discipline.

This past week at SHBC we had our Spring Bible Study with Dr. Bobby Kelly from Oklahoma Baptist University. As a church, we went through the book of Colossians & it was excellent…people seemed to really enjoy studying the book in greater detail. So with that as the background, here are some of my takeaways from being a part of it…

1. Studying the Bible is refreshing for the soul.

The Bible is incredible for a lot of reasons. But one incredible aspect that stood out to me this week is that the text is able to do so much in such few words. We took 5 hours over the past few days to walk through the book of Colossians & it still felt rushed. That’s depth. That’s taking time to consider what’s being said…and it was still just an overview. That’s amazing.

Studying the Bible is refreshing for the soul because it is inexhaustible in its depth. There is never a point in life where reading a passage cannot shape you, challenge you, encourage you & on & on. So take time to think & pray on the text. Read a paragraph & consider. Sometimes you may just read a sentence & stay there for a bit. Maybe a word will stick with you & you can’t stop thinking about it. That’s incredible. The Bible is so rich & so good…enjoy it. It is good for your soul.

2. Studying the Bible with others is a gift from God.

The saying is, “No man is an island” & I believe that’s true. This is especially true when it comes to reading & considering the Bible. If we all were to never read or discuss the Bible with others, think of what we would be missing. I know that God has been good in my life to provide teachers of the Bible who have brought new insight into incredibly familiar passages. Praise God for that! I know that I have sat around at a restaurant talking with friends about the Bible & they make a statement that I never would have thought of on my own. Praise God for that! I know that I have been in home groups through the years where someone has asked a question of the text that made me think more deeply on that text than I would have ever done on my own. Praise God for that…God is good to give us one another. So study the Bible with others. Talk about the text with friends. Take full advantage of the gift.

3. Studying the Bible is often down the list of our priorities.

I don’t want to beat anyone up…but this seems to be the way we’re heading as a Christians in America. It is troubling to read statistics of how little Christians know the Bible. Barna Research has a lot to say on this trend. If you’re interested, take time to look at their work.

But if Christians don’t know the Bible well, then how can Christians know about the overall story of the Bible? How will we understand God, humanity, sin, salvation, judgment, holiness, redemption, the church, etc. if we don’t read the Bible? How can we share the good news of God’s rescue of sinners through the person & work of Jesus if we don’t know the story? Let’s make this our priority as individual Christians & as local churches. Let’s encourage one another to read the Bible, know the Bible & share its truths with the world.

4. Studying the Bible will change us.

I want to end here. Because I think this idea is beautiful & true. Let’s not study the Bible out of duty, but out of delight. Let’s study the Bible because we are confident that by God’s grace he is at work in our discipline. Let’s study the Bible because we are confident that the greatest good is in knowing & delighting in Him…and that this happens all the more as we read the Bible.