Have you ever come across a word in your personal Bible reading that you didnt fully understand? I know that I do quite often. Let me paint the picture for youyou pick up your Bible in the morning (because you know you are supposed to), and skim through your Bible reading, avoiding words that you dont know, or maybe trying to get a basic meaning based on the verses or words around it. You skip over passages that dont make a lot of sense, and then feel frustrated at the end of your devotional time that you didnt learn much or meet with God in a real way. Sound familiar?
Unfortunately, this is what many Christians feel on a regular basis because we have failed to learn or remember some important principles of Bible study.
Here is the main idea: the better you understand your Bible, the better you will get to know God. Its that simple!
2 Timothy 2:15 states, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. Two action statements stand out to the student of the Bible. Study. Bible understanding takes workhard work! We cant just settle for being ignorant in our Christian lives. We must apply ourselves and make understanding Gods Word a priority in our spiritual lives. Failure to do this sets us up for failure in being able to give an answer when asked by the world or other believers, and thus a failure to properly represent Christ.
The second action statement is Rightly Divide. There are certain basic principles (discussed in Part 2) of how we find the meaning, or interpretation and application of Scripture. For instance, an improper interpretation of the doctrine of salvation may very well lead to a missed opportunity to share the Gospel and a soul lost forever in hell! A proper hermeneutic (interpretation and application of truth) is vital for our walk with God. We see a prime example of this in Nehemiah 8:8, So they read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. Not only should we read the Bible, but we must seek the meaning of Gods Word, choose to work at understanding it, and then learn how to apply it to our lives.
Our walk with God is based on the Bible, and shame on us when we are content with not knowing our Bible and thus not knowing our God through His Word. Be willing to become a student of Gods Word and not just a casual Christian with a weak walk with an all-powerful and all-knowing God.