Why study the Bible?

People often ask “Why study the Bible?” You may know that the Bible is the most popular book in the world, but did you know it’s also the least understood?  That’s because most people have not spent the time to read it carefully. Here are a few of the reasons why Bible study is essential.

Gain Knowledge

Why study the Bible to gain knowledge? Well, it’s important to realize that the Bible is the way God has chosen to reveal himself to us.  He decided to give us a book that we can read and understand for ourselves.  In other words, the Bible contains a lot of information provided directly by God.

The Bible reveals the character and nature of God who created all things (Hebrews 1:1-3). It helps us to understand our sinfulness and how this has disrupted our relationship with our creator.  We can also learn about God’s plan to save us from the consequences of our sin and restore our relationship with him (John 3:16).

The scriptures also instruct us in every aspect of our lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  And because they’re from God, they have the highest authority and should be followed. They’re also the only place we can learn about God’s real purpose and meaning for our lives.

Identify Error

Why study the Bible if we want to identify error? It turns out that one of the primary purposes of reading God’s words is to help us see our mistakes more clearly. More accurately, reading the Bible exposes our sins.  This will be uncomfortable, but we need to realize its a good thing because otherwise, we’ll never get better. Scripture is also useful for correcting false beliefs and practices among others (Matthew 7:15-20). Even with a simple understanding of God’s word, we can begin to detect many lies in the things we read and hear (2 Peter 3:17-18).

Grow Spiritually

Bible study should not be solely an intellectual pursuit, but instead, it should cause us to grow up in maturity and obedience to Jesus. Jesus said that when we plant the seed of the kingdom (the word of God) in a good and honest heart, it will produce fruit (Luke 8).

Protection From Sin

God’s words can change us and protect us from sin if we keep them in our hearts (Psalm 119:11).  Psalm 119 reads, “How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. They also do no unrighteousness, but, they walk in His ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed” (Psalm 119:1-4). Verse 9 adds, “How shall the young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.”

God’s word has power. However, we cannot casually read it and expect an automatic change in our life. Like the Psalmist, we must carefully study it, meditate on it, and apply it. We should consider how it applies to what we will do today, and then go out and live it. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you” (Colossians 3:16).

Understand Culture

The Bible helps us to understand the culture around us accurately. We find references to the Bible in music, art, literature, philosophy, law, as well as other religions. Many of our favorite phrases also originate from the Bible.  Examples include “the blind leading the blind”, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” “go the extra mile,” and “being a good Samaritan.”

More importantly, the Bible helps us to see the errors of society and culture more clearly.  It accurately records the history of many nations as they rise to power and suffer decline due to their immorality and rebellion against God.  There is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

The next time you hear someone ask “Why study the Bible?”,  you’ll be able to give them a good answer.