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Teaching

Why Study Scripture?

Two Myths

1.  The Bible is so difficult to understand that only highly skilled theologians with technical training can deal with the Scriptures.

2.  The Bible is boring.

The Clarity of Scripture

Perspicuity (clarity) = the basic message of the Scriptures is basically clear and lucid so that any literate person can understand it.

Recovered in the 16th Century by the Reformation

Not all parts are equally clear.

The cross of Christ is primitive and obscene.

Eastern religions are known for their “insights” that are limited to some remote guru.  Sometimes we think that messages are “too deep” or weighty for us to grasp when, in fact, they may be complete nonsense statements (i.e. “one hand clapping”)

The Bible is not like Eastern religions.  God speaks to us in meaningful patterns.

The Problem of Motivation

The study is not how to read Scripture but how to study it.

Reading can be done in a leisurely way.  Study requires effort – work.

We fail in our duty to study not because it is dull or boring but that it is work.  Just because we’re born again as Christians doesn’t reverse the curse of the Fall that labor is toil.  Sloth is still a sin.

If you have read the entire Bible then you are in a small minority.

If you regularly study the Bible then you are in a smaller minority.

BUT…

Every American has an opinion on what the Bible teaches!  Most people “study” it just to find “loopholes” to escape the weight of its authority.

Biblical illiteracy is very prevalent – even among Pastors.  Seminaries do not test Biblical literacy.

Biblical Basis for Bible Study

Deut 6:4-9

God clearly commands that His Word be taught so diligently that it penetrates the heart.

2 Tim 3:14-17

Continue in the things you have learned – Study is not a once-for-all matter.  Consistency!

Sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation­ – the Scripture’s impart wisdom – not as the world gives but it has to do with the matters of learning how to live a life that is pleasing to God.

Proverbs tells us that the beginning of wisdom is the “fear of the LORD” (Prov 1:7)

Scripture distinguishes between wisdom and knowledge (different but not separate).  We are commanded to acquire knowledge but toward the end of wisdom.

One can have knowledge without wisdom but cannot have wisdom without knowledge.  A person without knowledge is ignorant.  A person without wisdom is a fool – foolishness is a moral matter that is condemned.  Wisdom, in the highest sense, a theological matter regarding knowledge and affection for the things of God.

Knowing from whom you have received them – the ultimate source is God

Scripture inspired by God – “God-breathed” – God is the origin and source.

Scripture is profitable for teaching– pre-eminent way it profits us is instruction.

“Why do I need to study doctrine or theology when all I need to know is Jesus?”

Who is Jesus?  The minute we begin to answer that question, we are involved in doctrine and theology.  No Christian can avoid it.  Everybody is a theologian.  Are we good theologians or bad theologians? (Nobody admits to being a heretic)

We learn who God is and His plan by studying His word – Scripture teaches us.

Scripture is profitable for reproof, correction, and training in righteousness – We are fallen.  We sin, we err and are inherently out of shape with regard to righteousness (and thinking too).

We need to be reproved when we sin.  When we err, we need to be corrected.  When we are out of shape, we need to be trained..  Scripture is our chief reprover, corrector, and trainer.

That the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work – The Christian who does not study the Scriptures is incomplete and inadequate as a disciple of Christ.  Biblically illiterate Christians are not only inadequate but unequipped.  He is inadequate because he is unequipped.

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