February Dear Friends, Years ago, I wrote in my notes on Matthew, “The Sermon on the Mount is not an ideal; it is a statement of what will happen in me when Jesus Christ has altered my disposition and put in a disposition like His own. Jesus Christ is the only one who can fulfill […]
Years ago, in my first church, in order to encourage members to attend Sunday School, we had a campaign called “March to Sunday School in March.” It seems that adults think Sunday School is only for children. That’s why, years ago, churches changed the name of “Sunday School” to “Bible Study” trying to get the adults to attend.
Folks, Bible study is very important for growth in your Christian life. Here at Central, we have numerous opportunities for you. There is Sunday Morning (10:00AM) Bible Study for all ages. Currently, in the adult class, I am teaching a survey of the book of Genesis. On Wednesday, before prayer time, we are studying Christology. In the Sunday evening (6:00PM) service, I am preaching (expository messages) verse by verse through the book of Colossians. Previously, we have studied the book of Luke and part of Jeremiah. In the AM service (11:00AM) I usually preach short series of messages – right now we are considering “Life Changing Stories (Jesus’ Parables).” This series will continue until Palm Sunday.
All these services are to help you “Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.” Avail yourself of every opportunity to be at the “church house” to study and learn how to become a Christian and then how to grow in the Christian life and be pleasing to your Heavenly Father.
AWANA, the program for children, has a theme verse which we will now look at and apply to our individual lives. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Folks, this verse was written to a young minister of the gospel but it is also for us (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16). “Study,” give diligence to the task of learning all you can from God’s Word. Webster’s dictionary says of “diligence” – constant, careful effort; perseverance. How do you approach the Bible? It is not like any other book – it is the Word of God – and should be considered “precious” to each of us.
- The unsaved cannot expect to understand God’s word at all – 1Cor. 2:14 and John 3:3
- The carnal Christian (a worldly Christian) cannot understand the “deep things” of God’s Word – 1 Cor. 3:1-3
- We need the Holy Spirit (who resides in Christians) in order to understand God’s Word – 1 Cor. 2:9-12; John 16:13; 1John 2:27
- We should look to the Lord to teach us Bible Truth – Psalm 119:33-34
- Each time we approach God’s Word, to “study” it or hear it preached or taught, our prayer should be “Open thou my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” – Psalm 119:18
“A workman“- Bible study is strenuous, whether you are doing it yourself or learning from a pastor’s message or lesson. Be prepared to give some effort to this endeavor.
“Not to be ashamed” – When you look over what you have done, you won’t blush or fear shame because you did not apply yourself to the task.
“Rightly dividing the word of truth” – Albert Barnes in his notes says; “The word here rendered ‘rightly dividing’ appears nowhere else in the N.T. It means properly, ‘to cut straight, to divide right’ As your pastor, I work very hard at making sure I always do the best possible job I can preparing to preach and teach. I trust you also are very careful in your personal Bible Study.
Note: One commentary states: “What is clear is that the shame of God’s disapproval awaits those who mishandle His Word.” So let each of us determine that we will always come to church services (and personal Bible study) with awe and respect for the precious Book, the Holy Bible, that God has preserved for us down through the centuries.
A fellow student of God’s word;
Dr. Frederick W. Carroll
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” – Psalms 119:105