Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God,” (John 6:68-69).
When everyone else had abandoned Jesus because of the difficulties of His teachings, the disciples remained with Jesus because they saw plainly that He had the words of eternal life. They knew that knowing Jesus– and knowing His words– was of the greatest importance. We today do not have the luxury of being able to follow Jesus around in Galilee and hearing Him preach; as John indicates later in his Gospel, however, we do have the written accounts of Jesus and His teachings, so ” that by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31). If we desire to obtain eternal life, we are going to have to believe in Jesus, and to believe in Jesus we are going to have to know His word! Let us spend some time and see why it is so necessary to study the Bible so as to know God and His will.
Bible study is necessary because it is commanded. Many times we will look into the Scriptures and read verses like 2 Timothy 2:15, where Paul exhorts Timothy to “be diligent to present yourself as one approved…a workman needing not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth,” or Peter in 1 Peter 3:15, exhorting to be “always ready to make an answer for the hope that is in you,” and forget that these are really commands. God has commanded us to be diligent to handle the Word of God properly. God has commanded us to have the ability to make a defense of the Word of God. Could we if called upon?
Bible study is necessary for our spiritual nourishment and strength. We have often mentioned how if we ate only three physical meals a week, our bodies would not be strong at all and we would be very ill, and yet spiritually many are content with just being present in three assemblies and think that such should nourish their soul. If the only times you open your Bible are in assemblies, you are not going to really grow spiritually! Consider the example of the early church in Acts 2:42-47: they daily came together and continued steadfastly in the doctrines of the Apostles! You have the same opportunity every day in your homes with your Bible.
Bible study is necessary so that we may teach others. The Hebrew author sharply criticized the Hebrew brethren in Hebrews 5:12-6:2 because they still needed spiritual milk when they should have already become teachers. This is no less true today. Do you fear talking to people in your life about spiritual things? Is your fear due to feeling like you may not know enough to answer people’s questions properly? While the fear is understandable it is very easily removed: study your Bible more to know how to answer each person and you will do well (Colossians 4:6)!
Bible study is necessary to fight the spiritual war. Paul explains the current spiritual state of the world in terms of war in Ephesians 6:10-18, and shows that we are on the front line of that war. The only weapon we wield in this conflict is the sword of the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17; comp. Hebrews 4:12). A sword is not an easy weapon to wield, and if you are to use it well you must have practice with it. This is no less true with God’s Word! If you do not know how to use it because you have not studied it, you are not going to be able to fight well! Remember: Satan knows what the Scripture says, also, and it requires a knowledge of the Scriptures to combat his errors (cf. Matthew 4).
Brethren, on the Judgment day, you are going to have to stand before God and give an account (Acts 17:30-31). You won’t be able to call the preacher and get answers, nor can you get the counsel of an elder. You are going to have to stand on your own and give a defense. What will you say? What will you do? Consider this and get studying in God’s Word!