Bible Study (Part 3)

This entry was previously published by me on another blog. Due to its relevance, I have included it here.

This entry is a continuation of the initial Bible Study entry. If you haven’t read them all, I wouldn’t worry too much. (After all, we’re not supposed to worry.) ;’)  They aren’t going anywhere, as far as I know.  :’D

So, the next part of our journey leads us to the function of Bible study. Let’s see what is given to us today.

How Does Bible Study Function in Our Life?

Does Bible study have a function? In this day and age, our lives are jam-packed with immediate and extended family, friends near and far, activities both academic and fun, events for nearly everything with which we are involved, sports, the To Do List, the serendipitous other happenings like crises. We are probably to a point where we prioritize everything. Or, if not, we face short spurts of success followed by cycles of frustration, failure, or even depression. Our culture screams, “Do it all, Mom!” Our minds and bodies weakly whine, “Please give me a rest!”

So, wisdom says we should choose our time investments well. Because God, in His wisdom, limited the hours in our day and limited our physical strength, we know we can’t do it all. At least, not for long, and not well. That brings us, hopefully, to a point of prioritizing.

When we prioritize we think through the value of the investment. People familiar with the accounting world know it comes down to cost benefit analysis. We evaluate the cost (pros and cons of the investment of our time, energy, and resources) versus the benefit (the end result or yield after the short or long term investment).

Well, let’s take a look at the function of Bible study under those criteria, if you don’t mind. There are a myriad of verses that beg to be included in this entry, but I’m going to do my best to select those that are intended for this particular entry. Please bear with me, as I know there are many things left out. I’d really like you to comment on those things you feel are left out here, and let’s not lose those!   😉  We’ll all be blessed by what God reveals to you as readers!

The Identity of God
When we spend time in study we find the most incredible thing happens. We are introduced to the Person of God! Here is a book that He has given to us to reveal His character, His will, His purpose, His plan, His likes and dislikes, His holiness.

“In the beginning God. . .”  ~ Genesis 1:1  (He was first!)

“Then God said, “Let us make man. . .”~ Genesis 1:26 (Our Creator!)

“God blessed them. . .”~ Genesis 1:28  (Our loving Creator!)

“so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.”~ Genesis 2:2 (He rests!)

“I am the LORD your God. . .”~ Exodus 20:2 (God, Savior, Rescuer)

“He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin. Yet, He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.'”~ Exodus 34:6-7 (He reveals Himself this way to Moses!)

If you want to know who this God is that you love, honor, and obey, spend time in the Word. You will not be disappointed. The words are clear, or can be made so with some basic reference tools, and your personal relationship will be transformed! You can say that no one colored your perspective on the Person of God except. . .God himself! That’s the way to get to know someone in an intimate, personal way. Spend time with them. The Word of God is one way to get to KNOW Him.

Our Identity
When we study we will also get to know ourselves from God’s perspective. If we agree that God created us, then how important is it to know our Creator, how He made us, and the plan and purpose for which we were created? Philosophers have spent thousands of years and myriads of words on something as deeply complex as “knowing ourselves”. I believe God has a very specific purpose in communicating about us to us in the Word. Our identity is a very important part of the process!

“So, God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'”~ Genesis 1: 27-28  (We are special!)

“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.” (Very good after man’s creation!)

(Insert verses about “each going their own way” and “going astray”.)
😉

“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?”~ Matthew 5:13 (Salt was important in that culture!)

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill can not be hidden.”~ Matthew 5:14 (Hmmmm. A special calling for us?)

As I said before, there are so many verses. Thankfully, most of us have years of opportunity to spend time in the Bible. Nothing, even a foundation in the Word, is built in a day. This is the kind of marathon-like journey we are setting our eyes on here.  ;’)

Our Relationship to God and Salvation
So much could fall under this heading. Can we just agree that the Bible is full of verses discussing the relationship between God and Man? Time after time we see God revealed as the I AM, Creator, the Almighty, Holy God, Covenant Maker, Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Protector, Author and Perfecter of faith, and so much more. We see man as a weak, rebellious sinner in need of redemption offered a covenant relationship with God, and saved from the penalties of sin against this holy God.

Enter God showing His people what is expected of them. When they fail, He provides a Savior, a Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus.

“Fear the LORD your God and serve Him only. . .Do not follow other gods, the gods of the people around you. . .”~ Deut. 6:14a,15a (These are high expectations then and now!)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”~ John 3:16-17 (We are restored to relationship with our Creator!)

And a covenant is established and kept! What promise!

For those who are familiar with these verses, that’s wonderful! Did you notice I did something that might be considered a wee bit “off” when it comes to Bible study techniques? It’s okay either way. I did it with a purpose in mind!

May you be blessed today in your Bible study!

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