We believe the Bible is God’s word, and there are many reasons to study the Bible.
In a world that can be busy and loud, filled with distractions like social media or television, it’s easy to not make time to study the Bible. And yet, the Bible is one of the greatest gifts we have ever received.
In this article, we’ll discuss 5 timeless reasons to study the Bible. Then, we’ll share some of our favorite resources for studying the Bible.
1) Study the Bible To Know God
If you wanted to get to know someone better in your life, what would you do? Listen to them of course.
AW Tozer explained the Bible this way, “The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.”
God has spoken about who He is and His plan for us. The Bible is filled with His acts of love, His commitment to His people, and His relentless work in redeeming us. It reveals His power and justice, His mercy and grace. It introduces us to Jesus, the image of the invisible God. It is His Word, and it gives us intimate knowledge of God’s nature.
Knowing God is also essential to knowing who we are. A creation cannot understand its purpose until it receives it from the Creator. Furthermore, there is a significant level of self-worth and security that can only come from resting in God’s love. The more someone reads the Bible, the more amazed they will be by everything that is God. The more we get to know God, the more we can recognize and rest in His love for us.
2) Study the Bible To Produce Fruit
Psalms 1:1-3 compares people who study the Word to a tree planted by streams of water:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
If you want to become more righteous, if you want to live obediently, if you want to produce fruit then you must commit energy to being in the Word.
Without God’s Word, we are quite powerless to “produce fruit.”
The beauty, however, is that when we plant ourselves firmly in the Word we cannot help but produce fruit. As the Psalmist said, the one who “delights” in God’s Word and “meditates on it day and night…is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.”
Do you know what a tree does to produce fruit? It doesn’t squeeze its branches together, squint the knots in the bark that look like eyes, grunt, and pop out a fruit.
Instead, it makes no effort at all. Because the tree is planted by fresh water and receives sunlight, fruit is the natural result. The tree will produce fruit! Likewise, when we are planted firmly in the Word, the fruit of the Spirit will naturally produce. Growing in righteousness is not about trying harder to be good, but rather, focusing our energies on planting ourselves in God’s presence. Like the sun and the water, His Spirit transforms us and enables us to grow and change.
3) To Remind Ourselves of the Truth
We literally hear and see thousands of advertisements everyday. Each of those advertisements contains a message, and many of those messages are lies. At various stages in life, I have personally believed that the key to my happiness was an iPad, a convertible car, and a Nintendo 64.
We tend to know those messages are false, but when we hear them so often, it becomes hard not to believe them. Advertisements are just one source of false things we hear everyday.
When we do not read the Bible, we are prone to developing the wrong idea about God, and this is the root of much sin. This goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, when Eve doubted God’s plans for her. She believed a lie – that God was trying to keep something wonderful from her. Because she doubted God’s nature, she sinned. And we have been doing the same thing ever since.
Our best hope for believing the truth is to constantly plant ourselves firmly in the truth. Because the Bible is God’s word, we know that it is the truth.
4) To Gain Wisdom
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Scripture doesn’t answer every question we have about life – what to do for work or where to live after graduating or who exactly we should marry. But it does grant us wisdom and enable us to make better decisions.
Spending time in the Word transforms our hearts and our minds. Not only does it teach us who we are, but it shapes us into who we are meant to be. We can try all we want to live righteously without the Bible, but ultimately, we do not even know what right is without it.
Time in the Word tunes our mind to think more like God’s, and helps us make the wise and right decision.
5) To Stay Spiritually Fit
Imagine you trained for months to run a marathon. The day of the race comes and you give it your best shot, you complete the race and feel tired but accomplished. In that moment, you could say that you were physically fit.
But imagine that marathon was the last time you ran for 3 months, would you still be physically fit? What if that time stretched to 6 months? Or a year?
Physical fitness is not something that we maintain without work. Even if you were the most physically fit person in the world, if you stopped exercising you would lose your physical fitness.
In the same way, we will never achieve peak spiritual fitness and just be done reading the Bible. You may have just finished reading the whole Bible in a single month, but if you stopped reading the Bible you would start to forget the truth and grow more distant from God.
No matter how much you think you know, there is always more to discover in God’s word. Keep making time, and keep studying the Word so that you can remain spiritually fit and ready for whatever God has planned for your life.
Resources to Help You Study the Bible
If you’re looking to study the Bible more, then we have several resources we can recommend. While there are many methods to study the Bible, don’t get hung up about which way is the best. Just get started and let God’s word work in your life!
The Journey: Looking to study the Bible with others? The Journey curriculum is a gospel-centered resource for discipleship groups. Three full years of curriculum are available, and each year contains in-depth leader’s guides and discipleship content. The Journey will help you study the Bible on a regular basis and leverages the TEAMS approach for transformational Bible discussions with your group.
The Bible Project: Sometimes the cultural context of the Bible can be hard for us to understand today. The Bible Project has created short videos for each book of the Bible that provides an overview of the context and demonstrates how that book of the Bible points to Jesus. These videos are easy-to-follow and will help you understand the connected nature of the Bible.
2-Year Reading Plan: Would you like to read through the entire Bible? This 2-year reading plan was developed by Randy Pope and will help you read through the Old Testament once and New Testament twice in a two-year period.
Invest in a Study Bible: There are many great study bibles, and they can provide helpful context and commentary from Biblical scholars. The ESV study bible is a great option, but there are others too.
Study books of the Bible: Have you ever tried to watch a movie by starting halfway through? Context is key to understanding and appreciating most things, and this is true for the Bible. We often read random verses, but you will get more out of reading Romans 8 when you read all of Romans. If you’re looking for help studying a book of the Bible, there are many great commentaries and studies on specific books of the Bible.
There are many different ways to read or study the Bible, but the best way is probably the way you will actually spend time doing it. The Bible is God’s Word, it is our chance to hear directly from our Creator. It helps us to know Him, to grow and produce fruit, to remind ourselves of the truth, to gain wisdom, and to stay spiritually fit.
If you’d like to learn more about how life-on-life discipleship can take your Bible study to the next level (and the others in your group or church), then checkout our discipleship training program.