Summary: We are commanded to "Study God’s Word" - the Greek verb in our text is second person "imperative." This means "I command you."
Study the Bible
Study to [show] thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [KJV]
A. Bible Availability –
1. In the United States of America – approximately 82 | 83% identify themselves as Christians.*
2. Of all the household in America - approximately 92% own at least one copy of the Bible. Of those households the average number they own is three. **
3. Of these who own a Bible – approximately 41% read the Bible outside of church worship services in a typical week.*
4. In American homes the Bible has taken on the status of an icon with little practical value. When asked, “What book has most influenced your life?” in a recent Library of Congress survey, respondents awarded the Bible the top position … [however,] of that group only 13% claim to read it daily.***
* Brister, Timmy, “Survey Says” – 2007 Reports on American Christianity, (timmybrister.com/2007/05/24/survey, downloaded 08 June 2007)
** Viach, Michael J., American and the Bible: Bible Ownership, Reading, Study and Knowledge in the United States, (www.TheologicalStudies.org, downloaded 08 June 2007)
*** Widenhouse, Kathy, Back to the Bible, Christianity Today, March/April 2003, (www.christianitytoday.com/biblestudies, downloaded 08 June 2007)
B. Bible Knowledge –
1. According to the Gallup Poll: “The Role of the Bible in American Society” –
50% – adults interviewed nationwide could name [some] of the four Gospels of the NT
37% – interviewed could name all four of the Gospels
42% – were able to name as many as five of the Ten Commandments correctly
70% – knew where Jesus was born
42% – knew who delivered the Sermon on the Mount
2. According to Barna Poll: “The Bible” –
38% – Americans believe the “entire” (OT | NT) were written several decades after Jesus’ death
12% – adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife
49% – believe that the bible teaches that the “root of all evil” is money, instead of “the love of money”
75% – believe that the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves
** Viach, Michael J, Ibid.
NOTE: Surveys indicate –
George Gallup, Jr. (Pollster)
Americans [may] revere the Bible … but, by and large, they don’t read it.”***
C. Bible Reading –
1. Reading the Bible here in the United States | Indiana | Underwood is not an illegal act.
It does not lead to fines, arrest, or imprisonment. Yet the way the majority of Americans today interact with the Bible – they seem to regard its importance with much apathy.
2. Perhaps you are of the majority of Americans who do not read your Bible regularly.
If that is the case, then join the minority – don’t they always get all the benefits!
3. Perhaps you say:
I don’t have time to read – surely you can find 10 minutes and read a chapter a day or maybe one chapter from the OT in the morning | one chapter from the NT in the evening | visa-versa.
The Bible is dull, boring – try reading the Psalms | Proverbs
I just don’t get it or I don’t know where to start – start with the NT and then read the referrals to the OT when they referenced: this will get you familiar with the OT
I hear it read at church on Sunday: isn’t that enough? – Billy Graham says, “The Bible is the road map for life.” – the more familiar you become in finding your way around with a map, the easier it is to go to and fro
The Bible makes me fearful | uncomfortable – running into things in the dark cause us to fear – in the light of God’s truth we can see our way and move comfortably about any object
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
D. Bible Importance –
1. Trustworthy – The Word of God is our Rule of Faith and Practice –
Blessed is the man who walks not --- nor stands --- nor sits - in ungodliness, but his delight is in the law of the Lord.
Inspired … Infallible/Inerrant … Absolute … Infinite
Inspired – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 --- All Scripture is inspired by God …
Infallible/Inerrant/Absolute – John 17:17 --- Sanctify them in your truth. Your Word is truth.
Infinite – Psalm 119:89 --- Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled [lit. - stands firm] in heaven
2. Effective – Accomplishes God’s will – Isaiah 55:8-11 -- God’s Word accomplishes what He desires
Faith – Romans 10:17 --- Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God
Salvation – 1 Peter 1:22-25 --- born again … through the word of God which lives and abides forever