Buoying Your New Year’s Resolution to Study the BibleDownload Study
There are so many profound and wonderful benefits that inure to those who have formed a lifelong habit of studying the Word of God! The Psalmist says of such a person, But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. 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 (1:2–3). It follows that you need to commit afresh and anew this year to participate in the Members Bible Study. You need to resolve and commit before God (and your scheduler!) to make Bible study a priority. Please remember to invite your colleagues. Together, let’s continue to partner and further build the Members Bible Studies. I commit afresh to uphold my end of the bargain in order to make your time worthwhile— providing a high protein diet of the Word of God so as to build your spiritual musculature. That’s our deal. What follows are 15 scriptural benefits for those who diligently study God’s Word. May this help undergird your New Year’s resolution to grow spiritually in 2023!
Read on, my friend!
The Bible states that it is the written communication from God to mankind. This is the clear testimony of its writers. In 2 Timothy 3:16 and 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. Countless other passages attest to the Bible’s godly origin.
So, what are some of the practical benefits from a habitual lifetime of studying words inspired by God Himself? Think about that! This week let’s examine some of those words! My hope is that as a result you will gain a greater conviction to diligently study His Book—and further strengthen a very positive lifetime habit! Danielle and I are here to help you achieve that goal.
II. FIFTEEN BENEFITS FROM STUDYING GOD’S WORD
A. IT WILL INFORM YOU OF SALVATION
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).
True saving faith comes from hearing the message about Christ; the unadulterated gospel message is codified in the Scriptures. Beware of associating with “spiritual” groups in the capital or churches back home that really don’t believe in the exclusivity of saving faith in Christ alone. Salvation by faith in Christ alone is the clear message of Scripture, and it trumps what others may teach. Without the Word, how would you know for sure that salvation is through faith in Christ alone? Without studying the Word on your own, how could you possibly be sure you are saved? You would be lost in various opinions. The first benefit from studying the Word is the assurance of your personal salvation.
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).
As stated previously in the introduction that Scripture attests to it being the Word of God, it follows that the Bible would contain the truth necessary for living in a way that honors your maker while in this world—and how to survive and prosper in the capital! It does! It is the basis for our confidence in the standards of right and wrong.
The Bible is the final arbiter of truth, far surpassing the certitude and authority of polls, pundits, or party opinions.
Therefore, you need to know its contents—allow it to teach you—so that you can benefit from what it says and be adequate and equipped! Why not be informed by the greatest tool we could possibly possess to successfully navigate the often-treacherous waters of both the capital and the district— to say nothing of the events we all face in our personal, everyday lives?
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 lamp and light are picturesque descriptors of God’s revealed intention, that His Word might be a guide for you! Like a flashlight on a dark night, the Word can keep you from stumbling down the path of life. Instead of being double minded and equivocating on matters of importance, God wants you to walk always with confidence and assurance in the capital! Such confidence can only come to those who study and know His Word!
D. IT WILL COUNSEL YOU
Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine (Psalm 119:98).
Unlike other political operatives, those steeped in Scripture can be consistently correct in their positions on policy! How? Learn and hold on to God’s principles! They are unfailing, immutable, and everlasting! For sure, knowing His commandments will make you much wiser in Congress than the ungodly. But if you want to be wise, you must pay the price of learning the Word first.
Your testimonies also are my delight; They are my counselors (Psalm 119:24).
Remember that you live to please only the One Whom you will someday be face-to-face with at the judgment seat. Allow the Word of God to trump ungodly consultants and their opinions. The degree to which you commit yourself to learn the Word of God is the degree to which you can benefit from its counsel. For instance, Psalm 1:1 counsels you to hire godly, versus ungodly people to be on your staff. Failing to adhere to God’s clear counsel in this case means you could end up being embarrassed and harmed.
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 indicates that the Word will restore your soul. Said another way, the law of the Lord has the power to revive the inner person and strengthen him or her in times of despondency.
Similar to the need to plug in your laptop in order to recharge it, it is absolutely necessary to plug into the Word to recharge your spiritual strength.
Bible study is akin to that—it will keep you energized my friend! As draining as the capital is, how can you possibly expect to survive over the long term apart from plugging into Bible study? It will make you wise and help you learn from mistakes so as to not repeat them over and over again. The consistent study of God’s Word keeps you mentally healthy, stable, strong, and emotionally even! This all means you will be more industrious and productive over the course of your life than someone who is not in the Word. Allow the Word to constantly restore and charge your batteries!
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” in this passage refers to the Scripture. Most of the problems one faces in life are self-induced, directly related to disobedience or else ignorance of scriptural principles. Disobedience stems from a lack of inner strength, or put another way, the inability to resist temptation. To know Scripture intimately is to inform and bolster our consciences so that in times of temptation we will be strong enough to do what is biblically correct. It follows then that if we prioritize the time to place Scripture in our minds, the Holy Spirit will be faithful to use it to warn us of danger: If we lack intake, we will have a weaker warning device. To be convicted and be victorious over temptation, and in keeping with Scripture on a matter, there is great reward!
G. IT WILL NOURISH YOU
Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation (1 Peter 2:2).
Revealed in this passage is the formula for growth (pun intended). There can be no consistent growth without a consistent intake of biblical nourishment which 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 consistently nourished and nourishing others by the Word. In contrast, these ministers focus on a feelings-oriented shortcut brand of “Christianity” that emphasizes the supposed performance of sign gifts such as supposedly speaking in tongues, performing miracles and healings. Those who purportedly practice these things are then equated with supposed spiritual maturity. But don’t be fooled! Physical strength comes by going to the gym every day and lifting weights; spiritual strength comes by going to the Word every day and studying it. Studying the Word is hard work, but if you pay the price over many years of life, its truths will give you endurance and strength like nothing else! You will be characterized by sound doctrine because of your high protein diet and daily exercise from the Word of the faith!
I once knew a person whose pastor had “prophesied” over him that one day he would stand before leaders and kings as a testimony to Christ. Relying only on the “prophesy” he never really paid the price of preparation. When these things didn’t come to pass he ended up quite despondent. God intends for His Word to nourish you today—not to be some supposed miraculous sign! That’s similar to a get rich quick scheme! There are no shortcuts to spiritual growth my friend; it is a lifelong task to grow strong in Christ, but the benefits are both immediate and eternal, so get with others in a serious Bible study with a serious teacher! God intends for Bible study teachers to be like coaches who will watch over, encourage and motivate you to make improvement—as well as offer a strong reproof when you need it. (That’s the reason you shouldn’t simply read Bible studies without interacting with a Bible study group).
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).
Some day we will spend a week studying this verse. It is so loaded with profundities! Suffice to say God’s Word exposes false believers and disobedient believers. It is alive, living, and ever active! If you expose yourself to the Word, it will in turn judge you at times because it is empowered by God to do so.
“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 will not return empty. In its proclamation it always accomplishes what God desires. Oft times it is exposing the real motives and intentions of men’s hearts. For the sensitive believer such exposure is welcome because it leads to repentance, growth, and eventual blessing. That is what is meant by succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
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. We grow through grappling with truth and as already stated, ultimate truth only stems from knowing the Scriptures. This fact is repeated as Christ’s intended means of maturing His Church.
So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word (Ephesians 5:26).
Notice that the means God uses to wash or sanctify is with the Word. It follows that a failure to study the Word means there will be a lower degree of personal cleanliness. Granted, sanctification is more than knowledge of the Word, but it is nothing less.
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, or said another way, to abide in the Word. The Greek root for disciples (mathetes) means more than “followers.” We get the English word for “math” from this Greek root: “to be able to add up or calculate, figure out.” In other words, true believers always want to know more about God and want to be obedient to Him. They have an inner, Holy Spirit-driven desire to learn! Conversely, if a person has no desire to figure out the Word and be obedient to God then he is fooling himself into thinking he is saved when the biblical evidence clearly indicates he is not (cf. 2 John 1:9). Last, the truly redeemed have a deep-seated sense of sheer freedom from the weight of sin. We reap what we sow in terms of sin. It follows that the less we sin the less we reap the deleterious effects of sin. Those who study the Word are generally characterized by greater joy, laughter, and fruitfulness in life.
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 the Word will make you “extravagantly or abundantly rich.” The Word of Christ refers to the whole of Scripture. To the level that God’s Word saturates and controls our life is the degree to which we will live enriched and overflowing with thankfulness to God— positively pouring those riches into the lives of others.
L. IT WILL PROTECT YOU
Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You (Psalm 119:11).
How do we live with less sin? The key to overcoming sin is to treasure God’s Word in our heart. Coach John Wooden often quoted the famed 19th century American evangelist Dwight L. Moody, “Either sin will keep you from this Book, or this Book will keep you from sin.” This passage underscores that idea.
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 various grievances: agony, guilt, and loss of vigor, to mention but 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, even your caucus? Get into the Word!
You will be emboldened by subjecting your mind to God’s Word; it will give you the stamina to keep swimming against the tide of worldly directions (such as runaway spending). Just make sure you are bold without being self-righteous—be loving and stand for God’s righteousness instead.
O. IT WILL PROSPER YOU
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. 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 1:2–3)
This study ends where we started. Over the years I have seen so many “Christian” legislators wither. They get elected to office, and then God does not honor or sustain them because they fail to honor Him, and they lose reelection. Sometimes this defeat occurs because they have violated this principle of delighting in the law of God while in office. Rather, they are like chaff which the wind drives away (1:4). My heart is saddened to see this so often. James calls this being double-minded … unstable” in all their ways ( James 1:8). Conversely God said to Joshua, and He says to you:
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 ( Joshua 1:8).
This passage promises prosperity and success to those who meditate on the Word day and night! Notice this formula! Do such disciplines characterize you? Do you want to be successful?
This study provides practical insights as to why you need to emphasize the study of Scripture—and why you need to be serious about habitual study of it this year! Consistent, prioritized Bible study is what you and I really need on a regular basis! Look at all of these benefits! There are at least 15 benefits from forming this habit in your life! Start attending a Members Bible Study if you are not attending already—I am here to help and encourage you in this discipline, my friend! Here is the path to personal growth and spiritual maturity! Be like a tree firmly planted!