Q: Do I have to study the Bible to be accepted by God?A: I'm not really sure what prompted the person who wrote this question on an index card at our Q Sunday event on February 6, 2011, but I'll take a stab at a few observations.
- The Bible is one of the primary ways that God uses to reveal himself. So, while I wouldn't say studying the Bible is necessary for acceptance with God, it is just about impossible to come to a meaningful faith without a growing understanding of and regular exposure to God's word. Beyond learning what God is like, the Bible is nourishment to the Christian. As Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:15, "and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
- The Bible is a primary resource for personal correction & learning. Again, while you don't need to study the Bible to find acceptance with God, the Bible is a key to growing in the Christian faith. Like Paul write in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "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."
- The Bible is the primary tool for sharing the good news of Jesus with others. Finally, while you don't need to study the Bible to find acceptance with God, you should want to learn all you can about the Bible, as it is the basis for sharing the Gospel with others. Consider what Paul writes in Romans 10:17, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ."
The Bible is the key to connecting with God and helping others to connect with him. While every Christian does not need to study the Bible professionally to find acceptance with God, a growing knowledge of the scriptures, along with time spent in prayer, are the surest path to spiritual growth and personal transformation. As Paul wrote to Timothy, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15).
Labels: Bible study, discipleship, God's Word Q Sunday, Q Sunday, Question and Answer, spiritiuality, spiritual growth, the Bible