The Bible Student
A. Personal Preparation
1. A personal relation with Christ. A Bible student must be a regenerated person in order to know the Scriptures, (I Corinthians 2:11-14).
2. A positive persuasion concerning inspiration. This BLESSED BOOK must be recognized as such; it must be studied. As Moses came to the burning bush with unshod feet, we should come to the BOOK with heads bowed, looking unto the Heavenly Father for divine guidance.
3. A passionate desire to know the BOOK. A real appetite for the Scriptures is needed.
4. A prayer for discernment. Pray when going to study; ask the Holy Spirit to direct. Martin Luther said, “To have prayed well is to have studied well.”
5. A predisposition to obedience. Keep your heart and mind open to every message; for reproach, if necessary (Timothy, for example). The Great Teacher will not teach them who do not obey Him.” Some parts of the Bible are never studied, or even read, because they hit, or convict, of some personal sin.
6. A persistence of study, unfailing industry, hard work, and keeping at it. Truth is found by study. You can get the truth yourself. Dig out the truth. Verify the teaching by the Word! Study!
B. Practical Preparation
1. A good Bible.
2. A good concordance.
3. Other good books. Right now is the time to start a good library: commentaries, special books on one book of the Bible, sermons, books on types, books on illustrations.
II. PROMOTION GAINED BY STUDYING THE WORD
A. Profound Knowledge
1. Will become a possessor of profound knowledge. Romans l5:4—”For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
2. Wise unto salvation. “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:15-17). “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (I Peter 1:23). Other scripture: I Corinthians 15:1-4; Luke 24:25-27; John 1:45; John 5:46.
B. Personal Faith.
Faith based upon His Book (Scriptural Faith) comes only through the study of THE BOOK. By faith, through Jesus Christ, we have eternal life—”Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”.
C. Purification of Life.
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3). “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). “Husbands, Love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:25, 26); thus, a cleansing by the Word. Moody said, “THIS BOOK will keep you from sin, or SIN will keep you from this BOOK.” This is the Living Book.
D. Preparation of Study.
A student is not equipped for service until he knows the Word. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). Use the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). Peter used the Word at Pentecost. The world today needs ministers who know and preach the Word.
E. Power in Ministry.
Put emphasis on the Word of God!
A. Practice its Truth.
B. Preach its Truth.
The Word must be rightly divided.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15).
Who is to study? The workman in the ministry. Everyone is to be in the ministry. Study is hard work. These words are addressed to workmen; thus, it is no child’s play, nor is it a hobby.
Study to receive commendation of God, rather than to receive the commendation of man. “Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion” (II Timothy 4:17). DO NOT FEAR MAN! To gain God’s approval we must study His Word.
“Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth Life” (II Corinthians 3:6). “It shall greatly help thee to understand Scripture if thou not only knoweth what is spoken, but what is written of whom, and to whom, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstance.” —M. Coverdale