“Every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:13-14).
The vast majority of church members are like those to whom Hebrews 5 was addressed. They are not serious Bible students, are not skillful in God’s Word, and do not have their senses exercised in spiritual discernment in an effectual manner. If God’s people will become skillful in God’s Word, they will be more spiritually minded, more serious in prayer, more faithful to the house of God, more separated from the things of the world, wiser in the use of time, more surrendered to God’s perfect will, more diligent in building godly homes and training their children, more zealous for the salvation of souls.
We are doing everything possible in our church to renew the minds of the members with God’s Word. We use the Effectual Bible Student video course. We have a one-on-one discipleship program using the One Year Discipleship Course. We have a Bible memorization and meditation program. We have a church-wide program to read the Bible through each year. We have a weekly men’s discipleship meeting and women’s discipleship meetings. We have serious youth meetings that focus on helping the young people become real Bible students. We have a Bible college to train preachers and teachers. We teach the preachers to do the type of expository Bible preaching that builds up the saints in God’s Word.
We teach the people to see the breathtaking beauty of the Bible.
The Bible is a whole university. There is more wisdom in the Bible than all the universities of the world. It contains the best theology (this is its first purpose), the best history (the key), the best philosophy (Ecclesiastes, Job), the best anthropology, the best natural philosophy (study of nature), the best social science, the best apologetics, the best prophecy.
The Bible is a paradise. Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania is 1077 acres or 1.6 sq. miles. It has indoor and outdoor flowers, ponds, a five acre fountain garden with 1700 fountain jets, an Italian water garden. It has colors, smells, and wildlife. It is delightful, but the Bible is a much more delightful paradise.
The Bible is a treasure mine filled with silver and gold and jewels. Yea, it is “better than thousands of gold and silver” (Ps. 119:72).
The Bible is a feast for the mind and soul. Shady Maple in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has 200 feet of buffet tables, with cheese bar, soups, all sorts of meats (beef, pork, chicken, salmon), flavored breads, southern style vegetables, cooked to order breakfast, Amish style cakes and pies. But the Bible is a much greater feast! It is spiritual milk and honey, bread and meat.
God Himself is the greatest treasure, and He is the theme of Scripture. To know Him is the greatest delight; to feed on Him is the greatest feast; the knowledge of Him is the greatest wisdom.
The treasures of the Bible will open to those who love it more than gold and silver, to whom it is sweeter than honey (Psa. 119:72, 103). After I came to Christ, I didn’t care about pursuing general education (whereas before that I had aspired to get a degree in psychology) or money. I just wanted to study the Bible. The ultra-orthodox Jews have a ceremony called Upsherin. At age three, the Jewish boy gets his first haircut and starts learning the Hebrew alphabet. Honey is put on the letters to make the Word of God sweet to him. This is a vain religious tradition, but it points to the reality of what the Bible should be to every child of God.
Learning the Bible takes work. We must be diligent in study and learn to rightly divide Scripture (2 Ti. 2:15). We must seek wisdom as men seek for silver and treasures (Pr. 2:4).
Learning the Bible requires training in such things as how to have an effectual daily Bible study, how to employ principles of interpretation, and how to use Bible study tools. A good start can be obtained with the 12-hour video course The Effectual Bible Student.
Being an effectual Bible student requires gaining the equivalent of a Bible Institute education. It is impossible to be “skillful in the word of righteousness” (Heb. 5:13) without a Bible survey, Bible geography, Bible customs, the life of Christ, Bible theology, Bible prophecy, the history of Bible times, Acts, the Pauline Epistles, the General Epistles, etc.
The Bible must get into the believer’s heart and life. He must meditate therein day and night (Ps. 1:2). He must look at life through Scripture. He must obtain a biblical worldview. For example, he must look at life through the lens of Genesis 1 (a six-day creation by an Almighty, all-wise Creator), and through the lens of Romans 3:10-18 (man’s fallen character), and through the lens of John 14:6 (Christ as only Saviour), and through the lens of Psalm 100:5 (“the Lord is good”), and through the lens of Psalm 119:64 (“the earth is full of thy mercy”), and through the lens of 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (end-time apostasy), and through the lens of 1 Pe. 4:7 (“the end of all things is at hand”). Developing a biblical worldview is the path to renewing of the mind.
The student must take the time to study the Bible thoughtfully, purposefully. He must ask questions such as these: What is the context? Who wrote it and to whom is it written? What is the main lesson of the passage? What are other lessons? What does the passage teach about God? What are lessons for my daily life? What sin does it reprove? He must use a good dictionary and concordance, The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and other Bible tools. He must write down questions and find answers.
This process will not produce sinless perfection, but it will produce spiritual growth and ever increasing blessing and fruitfulness.
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Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials