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Summary: Part 2 of this series. This message focuses on different ways to study the Scriptures so God can use them to transform us to be more like Jesus.

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The Foundation of Following Jesus

Part 2 – Studying the Word

2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:3-4

January 16, 2004

NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT IS FROM ANDY STANLEY'S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."

Audio of his message can be heard at www.aberdeeenwesleyan.org.

Me: I was very fortunate in that immediately after becoming a Christian I wanted to learn more about the Bible.

I hadn’t had a ton of exposure before then, except for what I had been reading the summer before I went to college.

I was also fortunate in that I was able to get involved with a campus ministry that had lots of Bible study groups on campus.

Throughout college, I learned lots about the Scriptures as well as different ways to study the Bible, which made for a really enjoyable experience that laid the major foundation for me becoming a different person, and ultimately, becoming prepared for full-time ministry.

But I didn’t study the Bible so I could be a pastor. At that time, I wasn’t planning on a career in ministry.

I studied the Scriptures because I enjoyed it and I wanted to be better equipped to lead people to Jesus.

We: Some of you had the same experience – you have always enjoyed studying the Bible and you had people who could help you and give you the tools you needed.

But others of you might think of studying the Bible and you say, “I’d rather have a root canal.”

For some folks, the idea of Bible study sounds boring and tedious.

Well, let me be perfectly honest. If you think it’s going to be that way, then you’re probably right. It’ll be boring, tedious, and meaningless.

Others might be thinking that you’d like to get more into the Scriptures than what you get just listening and reading but you never knew how to go about it.

My hope is that no matter what part of the spectrum you’re on, you’ll get something you can use today, and that the Holy Spirit will begin to fan a flame in you that you can’t ignore.

God: I’m not going to cover everything there is to know about Bible study.

First of all, I don’t know everything there is to know about Bible Study. I’m still learning, I’m still finding new ways to get into the Scriptures myself.

Second, we could spend literally weeks just on the stuff I am going to share.

But fear not, we’re only going to spend a couple hours…today.

Actually, we’ll be out of here at pretty much the normal time.

I’m going to start off with four reasons studying the Scriptures is so important and why we shouldn’t be satisfied with just listening and reading.

And then I’m going to briefly cover different ways to go about studying the Bible that anyone here can start doing right away.

Okay? Let’s dive into some reasons to make studying the Bible part of your life.

1. Gaining better overall knowledge.

Getting a deeper and broader knowledge of Scripture or knowledge of a particular topic are great reasons to be intentional about studying the Scriptures.

You may have been wanting to study a particular book or topic or person just so you can better understand what that person or that issue is all about so you can better relate when someone else is discussing it or so that you can simply nail down what you believe about something.

But you need to be careful. The Bible says that “knowledge puffs up.”

Not that it’s wrong to have knowledge, of course. But knowledge is supposed to lead somewhere.

In this case, knowledge is supposed to lead to life-change – making us more like Jesus.

Because remember: The purpose of Scripture is not to inform but to transform.

I know a number of people who can talk all day long about what they’ve learned about a particular topic, but it’s obvious that they haven’t learned anything that made a difference in their life.

And what’s the use of that kind of study?

So study different topics and whatever, as long as the goal is to equip you to be a better disciple of Jesus.

2. Discerning truth.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (not on screens) –

3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Folks, there are lots of ideas about what people think the Bible says and teaches.

For example, lots of people think that the Bible say, “God helps those who help themselves.”

Sorry, that was from Poor Richards Almanac.

That’s just one example.

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