The Importance of Studying The Bible
The benefits of reading and studying the Bible reach far beyond what I can tell you in this blog post. I grew up going to church every Sunday, but I never opened the Bible and read it myself. The only Bible knowledge I had was what I remembered the priest sharing, which wasn’t much at all.
When I made the decision to follow Jesus a few years ago, I was hearing about how I should start reading the Bible. It took a few months, but eventually I listened and bought a Bible.
Studying the Bible is important for every Christian to do. Studying the Bible teaches us how to live, teaches us about our identity in Christ, and helps us respond to people’s questions about faith.
I didn’t fall in love with the Bible overnight. Most of it was confusing to me, which is why it’s important to buy a Bible that’s easy to understand. But eventually, I started reading the Bible on my own and digging deeper into the scriptures. There were so many things that I read and was amazed by.
You simply can’t hear all of the Bible going to church for an hour or two every week. That means there are stories, and wisdom, and knowledge about God that’s in the Bible, but you’ve probably never heard about it unless you’re reading the Bible on your own, outside of church services.
I attended two years of Bible college, and read the Bible nearly every day. There are still new things I learn every time I open it. Here, I’ll share some of the reasons why you should read and study the Bible on your own.
The Bible teaches us how to live
“Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.”
Colossians 1:10 NLT
The Bible is filled with wisdom for our life.
I’ve found that there’s a scripture for every circumstance, and the Bible can help navigate every season of life. Even an atheist or agnostic can read the Bible and find applicable wisdom, apart from Jesus.
In Colossians, Paul relates living a God-pleasing, fruitful life to knowing God. The Bible teaches us more about God, and teaches us how to live a proper life. Since we’re created in God’s image, the more we learn about God, the more we learn about ourselves and other people.
The teachings of Jesus help us love our neighbors, forgive others, find our purpose, and much more. The Psalms are full of wisdom about worshipping and praising God. The Proverbs are filled with wisdom about business and interacting with other people. And the Old Testament is filled with stories about faith-filled people who do incredible things for God.
There are also plenty of stories that show us the imperfection of people. This shows us that we’ll always make mistakes, and should rely on God–the only perfect One in the universe.
You can find something in ever book of the Bible that helps you live a better, more fruitful life.
The Bible teaches us who we are
We face a lot of problems in life because of an identity crisis. I believe that most of our problems would be much easier to deal with if we had a better understanding of our identity in Christ.
When you aren’t sure of who you are, and who God created you to be, you deal with things in life that you don’t need to.
“Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body and [individually] you are members of it, each part severally and distinct [each with his own place and function].”
1 Corinthians 12:27 AMPC
What we believe about ourselves determines how we think and how we act. Our belief systems often create the world around us. If we have false belief systems, we can end up living a life that God never designed for us. It’s up to us to learn and study what the Bible says about us.
Studying the Bible teaches us about humanity as a whole. We learn that we’re collectively the body of Christ, and the Bible helps us understand what that means.
The Bible also teaches us who we are as individuals. Imagine how differently you would live if you believed you were a fry cook at McDonalds versus believing you were a king or queen of a nation.
When we’re confident in who we are and our identity in Christ, we can live the life that God has called us to live.
That knowledge and confidence comes from studying the Bible.
The Bible helps us respond to others
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
What is your response when someone asks you a question about Christianity? Or when you see something that goes against your beliefs?
When we don’t have our own knowledge of what the Bible says, we can be swayed back and forth by what other people say. Do you know how to respond to difficult questions? Do you know how to teach your children about your faith in Jesus?
We need to study the Bible so we’re able to respond to people’s questions and defend our faith.
The Bible tells us that our faith is going to be challenged. If we aren’t sure about our own beliefs, we won’t be able to stand up to opposition. That doesn’t mean we should know what the Bible says so we can start arguments on Facebook. Studying the Bible equips us to answer people who have genuine questions about Christianity.
When I was a new Christian, I had a long list of questions. Thankfully I went to a pastor who knew what the Bible says and was equipped to give me an intelligent response.
Paul reminds Timothy that the Scriptures come from God, and that it can be trusted.
God didn’t give us the Bible because He was bored. It’s useful for our life, and is valuable to know. The Scriptures help us teach people who want to learn, correct people with false beliefs, and train our children or the people we’re discipling.
A lot of people will teach, correct, and train others with their opinions.
Knowing the Bible equips us to teach, correct, and train because it’s truth. Our opinions about life are limited to our own experiences, while the truth of the Bible is useful for everyone in every circumstance.
I know that reading the Bible on your own is intimidating. If you’re unsure of where to start, I recommend getting a Bible that’s easy for you to understand (not a 1611 King James version).
It’s also a good idea to start reading it with a friend or family member so you can talk about what you’re reading and share what God is showing you.