About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
I Study The Bible
Note the title of my
article. "Why I Study
(not read) The Bible". Studying
the Bible for me is not an intellectual exercise.
It's not a mere matter of cramming knowledge into my head, although
knowledge is necessary if you are to transform your minds as Romans 12:2
commands. Biblical knowledge
is also the prerequisite for heartfelt understanding that leads to its
implementation into my life. The
sad fact of the matter is that our secular, not interested in details,
mentality has inflicted western world Christianity to such a degree that
Biblical truth is not implemented into our lives.
The reason why I study
the Bible is because Jesus told me that I don't live by bread alone but by
every word that proceeds from God's mouth (Matthew 4:4).
I believe, as Christians have always believed, that the Bible
contains the words of God. If
I want to be a healthy mature believer; if I claim to follow Jesus'
instructions; and if I don't want to be spiritually malnourished, I have
no other logical choice but to devour every last slice of Biblical bread.
I can't swallow it down in western world fast food fashion.
I must chew on it, digest it, and allow it to nourish me into
The Apostle Paul said, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16 NIV)." I understand that the pronoun "you" in context is plural. Paul is writing to a community of believers, not just one person, but, if God's word is to live in us corporately, I suggest that it must first live in me individually. It must live within me richly, or abundantly, as the Greek texts implies. The word "abundantly" tells me that I must have a daily feast of my Biblical bread. Snacking is not an option.
English verb "dwell" is a present active imperative Greek verb
in Colossians 3:16. Present means that right now in real time the
words of Christ must live within me, and us. Active means the words
of the Bible will actively influence my life, and our lives.
Imperative means that it's a command to have God's word living within me,
and us. It's not a suggestion.
Paul told Timothy to
"study (Greek spoudezo - to be diligent) to show yourself approved
… rightly dividing (Greek orthotomeo - to cut, divide, or dissect) the
word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).
Paul told Timothy, and I believe me too, to diligently dissect
God's word in proper hermeneutical fashion.
Hermeneutics is the process by which we interpret the Bible. Only then would Timothy, and me, and you, be approved for ministry.
Few of us view the Bible as a book to dissect.
Christianity is presently inflicted with a deadly decease called Biblical
illiteracy. It's starving the
life out of both individuals and the church.
More than any other time in the history of Christianity we have the
time, opportunity, and tools at our disposal to study and understand the
Bible. We don't even have to
leave our homes. At the click
of an internet link we have all we need to dissect, devour, and implement
the word of the Lord into our lives. My
Bible college days in the mid 1970's would have been much easier if I had
these tools back then.
In many parts of the
world today believers yearn for portions of the Bible.
They share Bibles by ripping out sections and passing these ripped
sections around among themselves. Here
in the wealthy west, we have tons of Bibles sitting on shelves begging to
be used. I'm not suggesting
that we all need to be Bible teachers in the Body of Christ because that's
not what Jesus' body is about. What
I am saying is that if we desire to be healthy mature believers we must
devour our daily Biblical bread as if it was Christmas dinner.
If you're not motivated
to study then find a qualified and reputable teacher of the Bible to
disciple you in Biblical truth. Notice
I said teacher of the Bible, not an inspirational preacher of the
Bible. There is a huge
difference between the two that our modern church frails to distinguish
I am legally blind.
When I read my Bible the tip of my nose often gets a little black
as it scrapes across the black ink on the pages of my very large print
Bible. I may be legally blind
but I'm not spiritually blind. I
feast on my daily Biblical bread as Jesus commanded me.