“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
– II Timothy 2:15 NKJV
After salvation, the next most important thing for a believer is to grow in the knowledge of God’s word. Just like when you got admission to the University, it wasn’t enough to have admission, you needed to attend your classes and study in order to be trained in your chosen field. Similarly, every believer must be given to the diligent study of God’s word in order to grow in what he has received. This is God’s desire (1 Timothy 2:4).
Bible study is the careful reading, interpretation and understanding of the Scriptures. It involves thoroughly examining the origin, background and the intent of each text, as well as outlining lessons and instructions in order to put them into practice (Psalms 119:11).
Studying the Word of God also involves memorizing and meditating on the word (Joshua 1:8). This is why our anchor text instructs us to “be diligent to present ourselves…” Studying requires diligence. If we will properly study the Word, we must invest our time, full attention and concentration.
From the anchor text, we also see that there is a standard that is “approved of” by God. Our diligence in the study of the word is vetted by God and not by how well we think we have studied, or other’s opinions about our knowledge of the word. God Himself has set a standard and the Bible admonishes us to be diligent
The end goal of Bible Study is to rightly divide the word of truth. We study the word diligently not only for our own edification but also so that we can accurately present it as it is in scripture, without being ashamed. More often than not, the root cause of false teachings is wrong interpretations and understanding of the word. As Christ’s ambassador to the world, you owe it to the souls whom you will be ministering to, to rightly divide the word (1 Timothy 4:16).
This is why we must be careful to interpret scriptures in the right contexts. We must take the word exactly as it is, and not attempt to infuse our human understanding in interpreting it. The belief that we each have personal interpretations of the word as revealed to us by the Holy Spirit is highly unscriptural (2 Peter 1:20-21). We only interpret the Scriptures in its context and usage as seen in the Bible.
It is also important that we embrace Hermeneutics, which is the study of Bible Interpretation. There are principles of Bible interpretation and we must be willing to learn them so that we can apply them as we study the Word and teach it to others.
Finally, all of scripture testifies about Christ (John 5:39-44). The Old Testament testifies about the promise of God for humanity – Christ, while the New Testament testifies about the fulfillment of this promise – His life, ministry and His finished works and His works through us today. He is the subject matter of the Bible. In fact, He is the “logos”; the written word and the reason for the scriptures (John 1:1-4).
Hence, everytime we study the Scriptures, we ought to see Christ. All that we study should point us back to Christ and His works in and through us. This is how we know that we have properly interpreted the Word.
Bible Reading Plan: Psalms 69-70