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Bible Study One: The Bible

1. What is the purpose of the Scriptures? 2 Timothy 3:15-17

The apostle Paul addresses Timothy and tells him that from the time he was a child, he had known the Holy Scriptures. The purpose of the Holy Scriptures is to make a person “wise unto salvation.” Therefore, the Bible is not simply a history book or theological treatise. The purpose of the Scriptures is to make a man wise concerning the plan of salvation. It will teach the man how to be saved “through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

According to verse 16, “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The Bible is able to make men wise unto salvation because the Bible contains the very thoughts of God. The phase “by inspiration of God” literally means “God-breathed.” God has breathed life into His Word. As we study His Word, we want God to breathe within us its living truths. In this way, we can become doers of God’s Word, and not simply hearers.

How does the Bible make men wise unto salvation? We are told that the Bible is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
The word “doctrine” could be translated as “teaching.” The Bible is our text book that God teaches us from. No other text books are necessary in understanding the plan of salvation. In fact, the Bible is your safeguard from the errors found in the traditions of men.

The word “reproof” is likened to “censure.” The Bible censures wrong doctrines and wrong behavior. God loves sinners, but hates sin. He hates what sin does to us. Therefore, He not only warns us of evil, but forbids us to participate in evil. The Bible is our textbook to know what to love and what to hate. But remember, we are never to hate people. We hate sin, and we hate what sin does to people.

The word “correction” refers to the restoration of man to his original state of holiness and innocence. So much has been lost through sin and ignorance. But through the power of God’s Word, man can be corrected or restored.

The word “instruction” could be translated as “discipline,” “training,” or “nurture.” Therefore, we could translate the phrase “for instruction in righteousness” as “for training in righteousness.” The Bible is a complete guide to help everyone to grow up in Christ. It is the perfect training manual to live a righteous life that is acceptable to God. Some have the erroneous idea that Christian is only about what you believe. But this is not correct. True Christianity is about training. It is about us being trained for works of ministry to help suffering humanity.
According to verse 17, a man “may be perfect” through God’s inspired Word. To be made perfect is to be made complete, thoroughly fitted or equipped to live a life unto all good works. In short, our study of God’s Word is to help us be perfected into the altogether beautiful image of Jesus Christ.

2. How did God inspire His Word? 2 Peter 1:20-21

The apostle Peter wrote that none of the Scriptures are of any private interpretation. This means that Isaiah did record any of his own private ideas and theories in the book of Isaiah. We are confident that Isaiah recorded only what God wanted him to write.

Peter tells us that the genius of having a Bible did not originate with man. The Bible is God’s idea. His initiated its writing. He inspired its writers. They were His penmen. Furthermore, man would have been incapable of providing any prophesies on his own. All true prophesies come from God who knows all things.

“Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” These holy men spoke for God or had received something from God. In other words, God had something to say to all of us through these men. The Holy Spirit “moved” upon these men as the wind moves a ship. These men were completely motivated and moved by the Holy Spirit.

3. How should we study the Bible? Isaiah 28:10

We need to be careful not to try and establish a doctrine on one text. God inspired His Word, and there will be agreement from book to book on the same subject. We are to build one precept upon another, that we may have a fuller understanding of God’s Word. If we are studying the Second Coming of Christ, we can study what various authors of both the Old Testament and New Testament have to say.

4. How long can we trust God’s Word? 1 Peter 1:25

If I can trust all of God’s Word, then I will trust what God had to say about Creation, the Flood, the history of the Israelites, as much as what is said about the early church and last days events. All of God’s Word is true and endureth forever. This also means that none of God’s Word has lost any of its sanctifying power.

5. How powerful is God’s Word? Psalm 33:6

In the Creation account, it says, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, . . . and the earth brought forth grass. . .” Genesis 1:11-12. In fact, everything that was created was by the Word of God. We are told in the Gospel of John that Jesus is “the Word.” John 1:1, 14. Through Jesus, the Word, “all things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:3

Jesus tells us that His words “are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. The teachings of Christ focus on spiritual things. If the spiritual truths that Jesus taught are received into the heart, then they will bring forth spiritual life. If the words of Jesus can create grass, trees, animals, oceans, stars, and man out of nothing, then His words have the power to re-create us into His image and prepare us for heaven.

6. How long does it take for the words of Jesus to take effect? Luke 18:41-43

When Jesus came near to Jericho, He met a man that was blind. Jesus had asked the man, “What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee.” The man replied, “that I may receive my sight.” Jesus said unto him, “Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.” Then the Scriptures recorded, “And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.” Luke 18:41-43

In the healing ministry of Jesus, people were made whole immediately. Will the same words of Jesus heal us immediately as well? The apostle Paul tells us, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

The Word of God is “quick,” meaning that it is living. It is alive. It imparts life. It is just as able to re-create man today, as His Word created the worlds. The Word brings about conversion, as Peter said, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” 1 Peter 1:23

The Word of God is “powerful.” Hebrews 4:12. This word comes from the Greek word for energy. The Word of God has all the energy necessary to transform a sinner into a saint.

The Word of God is “sharper than any two-edged sword.” It can cause a separation between anything. If the Word can cut through “soul and spirit” or life and breathe, which are inseparable, then it can cut through anything. “Joints and marrow” are very much fused together. Only the sharpest tool could possibly separate them. The Word is a “discerner” able to judge perfectly the “thoughts and intents of the heart.” It can separate or discern between good thoughts and bad thoughts, good intentions and bad intentions.

Because of the power of God’s Word, it is able to separate us from sin. Evil thoughts and feels can be cut away. Then we are left with good thoughts and pure motives. This is all possible by the planting of God’s Word inside of us.

7. Who is the main focus of the Bible? John 5:39

Jesus is the main focus of the Bible because He is the Savior of mankind. Therefore, as we search the Scriptures, we are to be learning new things about our Lord and Savior. He is “the Word.” John 1:1. The last book of the Bible is entitled, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”

If we study the Bible with our focus on the Savior, then we will find eternal life. But many of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day thought that they had eternal life by simply studying the Bible. It is possible for us to study the Bible the wrong way and then hitherto fail to receive eternal life. It is vital that you find Jesus in the Scriptures as your Lord and Savior. We do not study the Bible to simply gain information. Rather, we study God’s Word that we may receive that life which is eternal.

Jesus said, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.” John 7:17. The Word has a sanctifying power. The Word is to be planted in our hearts to bear the fruit of a righteous character. But it is possible to “hold the truth in unrighteousness.” Romans 1:18. A man can know what is right and chose not to do it.

For example, if I had memorized the words of Jesus when He said, “Love your enemies,” and I continued to hate my brother, then I have only memorized the order of words. Matthew 5:44. When it comes to studying the Bible, we want His Word written upon our hearts. We want to be doers of God Word and not mere hearers.

The beloved John said, “But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goes, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” 1 John 2:11

Can we love our enemies? John wrote, “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” 1 John 1:10. Jesus has shown us the way. After He went through seven unjust trials, cruel beatings, mockings, and crucifixion upon a cross, He would still pray, “Father, forgive them for they know what they do.”

8. What did Jesus promise those who keep His Words? John 14:23

The true manifestation of our love to Jesus is by abiding in His words. We indeed show our trust and love in the Savior by keeping all of His commands. Therefore, we should take time every day to study and abide by the words of Jesus. And what has Jesus promised? Jesus and His Father will abide inside of us.

Consider this pronounced blessing for all who study the book of Revelation with the desire to obey. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 1:3

God’s Word is to make us wise unto salvation.
God’s Word points us to Jesus.
We are to keep all the words of Jesus.
The Word of God is powerful.
It is able to sanctify us and re-create us into the altogether beautiful image of Jesus.
We are to study God’s Word careful and thoroughly.
We should study God’s Word every day with the attitude to obey.
In keeping His Word, we are abiding in Christ.