“that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
– II Timothy 3:17 NKJV
For every activity, there are proper tools to utilize. Every diligent farmer goes to the farm with all the necessary tools, even soldiers go to war with the proper tools. Can you imagine a doctor trying to examine a patient with a hoe or shovel? Similarly, in order to study the Word diligently, we must employ the proper tools to aid our understanding and interpretation of the Word.
The most important tool for aiding our understanding and interpretation of the Word of God, is having a good Bible teacher (Philippians 4:9). The Church is a training ground for believers (Ephesians 4:11-16). It is not just enough to receive salvation, God requires every believer to grow in his knowledge of Him (Colossians 2:7), and in order to grow, you should be planted in a sound local Church where you can be taught the Word, edified and you can experience progress and joy in the faith (Philippians 1:25).
The Bible describes Apollos as being “fervent in Spirit,”(Acts 18:25) yet we see that his knowledge was only limited to the baptism of John which he spoke about boldly in the synagogue until Aquila and Priscilla approach him and “explained to him the way of God more accurately.” While it is true that we all have the Holy Spirit and we can study the Word for ourselves, the Church remains God’s plan for the edification of the believer (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Another important tool for Bible study is a Bible Lexicon. Bible lexicons provide definitions and meaning of words found in the original New Testament Greek and Old Testament Hebrew. It is important to trace the words used in the original writings of the Bible so that we can deduce proper contexts and note the emphasis ascribed to certain texts as initially recorded. There are some texts that may not be thoroughly emphasized using English words as they were in the original writings.
Bible commentaries are another important tool for effective Bible study. They give us the contexts and interpretations of certain texts as examined by well-read Bible historians and scholars. However we cannot always rely on Bible commentaries as some interpretations may be well-meaning but doctrinally incorrect. In using Bible commentaries, we must be rooted in our understanding of core doctrines and Biblical truths in order to discern what is true and false.
It is also very important to use writing materials for your Bible study. As you search the scriptures, cultivate a habit of writing down verses so that you can meditate on them and memorize them. Also write down the instructions and lessons that you learn from the Word. This is a vital part of effective Bible study.
Finally, if we will study the Bible effectively, we must employ the right tools. Thankfully, tools such as the Bible Lexicon and commentaries can be accessed on our mobile devices. Let us endeavor to utilize these tools in our daily study of God’s Word.
Bible Reading Plan: 2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Chronicles 20