What are some practical benefits from a habitual lifetime of study? Let’s examine some of those. I can think of fifteen benefits that are explicated by God Himself in His letter to mankind.
My hope is that as a result you will gain a greater desire to diligently study the Word of God this spring—and develop a lifelong habit!
The repeated internal testimony of the Bible is that it is the written communication from God to mankind. This is the clear testimony of its writers. In 2 Timothy 3:16–17, Paul states, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” In 1 Thessalonians 2:13, he states similarly, “For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.” In 2 Peter 1:20– 21, Peter states, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” Thousands of other passages attest to its godly origin. Accordingly, as stated in my preamble, what are some practical benefits from a habitual lifetime of study? This week, let’s examine some of those. My hope is that, as a result, you will gain a greater conviction to diligently study the Word of God and develop a habit for a lifetime!
II. THE FIFTEEN BENEFITS
A. IT WILL ASSURE YOU OF YOUR SALVATION
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
Saving faith comes from hearing the message about Christ; the unadulterated gospel message is codified in the Scriptures. Without the Word, how would you know for sure if you are saved through faith in Christ alone? We would be lost in various opinions.
B. IT WILL TEACH YOU
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17).
It is the Bible, which contains the total truth necessary for living. It is the basis for one’s confidence in the standards of right and wrong. There are other sources of truth in the world, but their certainty is less than that of Scripture. You can be certain that what you are doing is right when what you are doing is based on God’s Word.
C. IT WILL GUIDE YOU
“For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23).
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
The words commandment, teaching, discipline, lamp and light are descriptors of God’s Word. Like a flashlight on a dark night, it will keep you from stumbling down the path of life. You can walk with surety when what the Bible has taught you guides you!
D. IT WILL COUNSEL YOU
“Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine” (Psalm 119:98).
“Your testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors” (Psalm 119:24).
Unlike other political operatives, the public servant who follows Christ and cherishes His Word can be consistently correct in the decisions he makes both in his personal life and on the positions he takes on government policies. I once heard a new presidential candidate say that he thought religion was good for his personal life, but that it does not necessarily inform his policy decisions. How sad, I thought to myself. Learn and hold on to God’s principles! They are unfailing, unchanging and always correct for every area of your life! Remember that you live to please only one person—your Maker who has revealed Himself to you in His Word—and whom you will face in the day of judgment. Allow Him to counsel you every day you live, in every area of your life!
E. IT WILL RESTORE YOU
“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7).
This passage means that the teachings of the Lord will turn back your soul. Said another way, God’s Word has the power to revive the inner man and strengthen you in times of despondency. It will make you wise and learned from mistakes—so you will not repeat them over and over again.
F. IT WILL WARN YOU
“Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:11).
The word them refers to the Scriptures. Most of the problems we face in life are self-induced, directly related to our ignorance or willful disobedience to scriptural principles. To know Scripture intimately is to inform and bolster your conscience so that in times of temptation you will be strong enough to do what is biblically correct. If one prioritizes the time to place Scripture in his mind, the Holy Spirit will be faithful to use it to warn of danger: to convict. You will be spiritually stronger to not sin if you have a consistent habit of Bible study.
G. IT WILL NOURISH YOU
“Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).
Revealed in this passage is the formula for growth.
There is no consistent growth without a consistent intake of biblical nourishment.
Do you long for the pure milk of the Word? That is the formula for growth. This truth is why biblical feeding is the primary responsibility of a good shepherd:
“In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following” (1 Timothy 4:6).
Watch out for ministers who are not constantly nourished and nourishing others by the Word. Prioritize being around ministers and ministries who feed you God’s Word consistently.
H. IT WILL JUDGE YOU
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
This passage is loaded with profundities! Suffice to say God’s Word exposes false believers and disobedient believers. It is alive, living and ever active!
“So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
When the Word is proclaimed it never returns empty. In its proclamation it always accomplishes what God desires. Often times it serves to expose the real motives and intentions of men’s hearts. For the sensitive believer such exposure is welcome because it leads to repentance and growth.
I. IT WILL SANCTIFY YOU
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” ( John 17:17).
Sanctify as it is used throughout Scripture means a setting apart for Christian maturation. One grows through grappling with the truth, and ultimate truth only stems from knowing the Scriptures. This boilerplate fact is stated again as Christ’s intended way of maturing His church in:
“… that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:26).
J. IT WILL FREE YOU
“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’” ( John 8:31–32).
True believers always hunger to be obedient to the Word. The Greek root for disciples (mathetes) means more than “followers.” The Greek root is the same word we derive “math” from, meaning you will have the ability to calculate the will of God in a matter. True believers always want to know more about God and want to be obedient to Him and discern, calculate His way in their lives. Conversely, if one has no desire for learning the Word and being obedient to God, then one is fooling himself into thinking he is saved when the biblical evidence clearly indicates he is not. (Cf. 2 John 1:9). What results? The truly redeemed have a deep-seated sense of sheer freedom from the weight of sin.
K. IT WILL ENRICH YOU
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).
Richly dwell means “extravagantly” or “abundantly rich.” The Word of Christ refers to the whole of Scripture. To the level that God’s Word saturates and controls one’s life is the degree that one will live enriched and overflowing with thankfulness to God—positively pouring over into others’ lives!
L. IT WILL PROTECT YOU
“Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
How does one live with less sin? The key to overcoming sin is to treasure God’s Word in one’s heart. The Evangelist Dwight L. Moody said, “Either sin will keep you from this Book, or this Book will keep you from sin.”
M. IT WILL STRENGTHEN YOU
“My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word” (Psalm 119:28).
The result of sin is agony, guilt, loss of vigor, and broken relationships, to mention a few. The Psalmist’s remedy? Be strengthened by the Word.
N. IT WILL EMBOLDEN YOU
“Even though princes sit and talk against me, Your servant meditates on Your statutes” (Psalm 119:23).
Do you want to have the courage to do what is right no matter what the pressure is from others? Get into the Word! Set your mind to please God, versus others whose plans may run contrary to GOD’S Word.
O. IT WILL STABILIZE YOU
“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:3).
Over the years I have seen so many “Christian” legislators wither, come and go because they violate this principle of meditating on the Word. Unfortunately, “they are like chaff which the wind drives away” (1:4). God doesn’t honor them and suddenly they are out. It so saddens my heart to so often see this. They are “double-minded … unstable in all [their] ways” (James 1:8). Conversely:
“‘This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go’” ( Joshua 1:8–9).
This passage promises prosperity and success to those who meditate on the Word day and night!
This study provides practical insights as to why one needs to emphasize the study of Scripture every day—and why one need be serious about habitual study of it over a lifetime! Consistent, prioritized Bible study is what you and I really need on an ongoing basis if we are to remain strong on the Hill. Will you make fresh commitments in this regard today?