Why Every Christian
Should Study the Bible

Posted by on 08/16/2017 in: ,

This title might seem slightly redundant. Shouldn’t a Christian study the Bible because she (or he) is a Christian? If only that was enough to convince us. I graduated from a Bible college and work for a Bible app—and yet I still find myself procrastinating on reading God’s Word. Somehow, I manage to forget the importance of it all.

So, this blog post is for me just as much as it’s for you. We’re all in need of a reminder now and again. And perhaps you are reading this and you have never, on your own, truly studied the Bible. That’s alright! Let’s chat about three reasons we should study God’s Word.

1. THE BIBLE IS ALIVE

The writer of Hebrews tells us that “the word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). What does this mean? The Bible pierces our souls. It discerns our thoughts and intentions. It brings our darkness to light.

This can take place without deep, academic study. You don’t need a PhD or a seminary education in order to be changed by God’s Word. Simple meditation can bring about growth because that’s how God works. If you knock, He will answer.

This is the first reason that we should study the Bible. Even if you hold to the word study very loosely–that’s okay. Read the Bible. Even if you struggle to understand, or find it boring at times, or would rather be doing something else… find time to read the Bible. Read the Bible because God desires to communicate with you, encourage you, and make you more like Him. This can only happen when we take time to be in His presence and to read His life-giving words.

2. IT ISN’T ALWAYS ABOUT US

Now, I won’t retract what I’ve said. Simply reading the Bible is better than not reading at all. But there are a few other points we need to consider.

The Bible, being the very Word of God, deserves great respect. We need to treat it better than we would Hamlet and Don Quixote, which means taking the time to understand the author and their intent. It would be wrong to say “This line in Pride and Prejudice reminds me of my sister, so I think that Jane Austen wrote about my sister.” That would be silly! In the same way, the Bible isn’t (always) about us. It is for us and our edification, but more often than not, Scripture is talking about a group of people in an era of time that we have never experienced.

However, one of the neatest accomplishments of our God is that He composed His Word for His people through His people. He included humanity in the process. Although remarkable, this characteristic does make our job of understanding the Bible a bit harder. Scripture is wrapped in history, cultural nuance, assumptions of understanding, and genre differentiations. Leviticus was law for the Israelites, the Epistles were letters to different churches, the Psalms were songs of praise and lament, Song of Solomon… you get the picture.

So, what do we do? For starters, we can read study bible notes, single-volume commentaries, or Bible dictionaries alongside Scripture. As we grow, we could read about Hermeneutics (the study of interpreting Scripture), Systematic Theology, Greek, Hebrew, or any other number of areas of study. That way, we don’t make our own assumptions about the text, but instead listen to those who have dedicated their lives to investigating the history of God’s Word. Then, with a more accurate understanding, we can begin to apply what we have learned about God to our own lives.

3. WE’RE CALLED TO DEFEND OUR FAITH

You’ve probably heard this verse: “Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…” (1 Peter 3:14-15). What kind of defenses do we need to be able to make today—and to whom?

There may come a time when you need to answer questions such as:

These might be questions that other people ask you, or these might be questions that you ask yourself. How do you answer them? You read.

Millions of Christians have composed their defenses of the faith in books such as commentaries, apologetic undertakings, topical research, personal testimonies, and more. These, although not perfect like the Bible, are fantastic resources for you to grow in your understanding and trust of God’s Word.

OUR PASSION: INSPIRING PEOPLE TO READ GOD’S WORD

The reason the Olive Tree Bible App exists is to encourage people to read God’s Word. We also want you to study God’s Word, and to apply it to your life. This is why we work very hard with publishers to give you price reductions on titles that we think will help you achieve this goal.

Right now, we have an array of titles on sale with the aim of helping you read and study God’s Word in new ways. Check out what is available by visiting our website.

19 Comments

  • David Hutchins says:

    I use this Bible study app to get a better understanding of the Bible and very closer to Him.

  • Donald M. Toth says:

    I have been a fan of yours from my own Palm Pilot PDA days. I seem to have little patience with myself in learning and using my program. I restarted using your program when I bought a Kindle because my sight had gotten so bad. The operation was a success but I am hooked. Now that I advise younger preachers, I can stay with them as they preach and leave notes for critiques during the week. Thanks for your product(s).

  • Richard Savage says:

    Why do I read the Bible as often as I can? Like Jeremiah 15:16 “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.” And it is for me, as it was for Jesus, “in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do Your will, O God.” There is nothing more glorious than to find and do God’s will in our daily life circumstances, to hear and obey the Bridegroom’s voice through the Holy Spirit, and walk as He walked victoriously on the way through the flesh to all the glory of God’s kingdom, step by step. No wonder David was enraptured by God’s Word with just the Old Testament and his limited resources, and we have all the New Testament and the grace of our Lord Jesus who fulfilled all the Word in His earthly circumstances as a man who was tempted in every way like us, and triumphed over all sin and Satan’s craftiness. Our lives can be completely transformed through obeying His Word.

  • Chad says:

    Your reasons given have excited me

  • Jeanelle Sims says:

    To these question I would answer :
    I was born again at 49 years old. To see and know how my desires and motives, have changed in my life. Not only could I see the change but my loved ones can compare the change in me.
    In God’s mercy and grace He gave me a hunger and thirst for His Word. His word is indeed living and active. This I have experienced for the last 40 years.

    • Cierra Klatt says:

      This is great, Jeanelle! It’s true. Our God is a personal God. We each have unique stories to tell of ways that He has changed our lives. He has opened our eyes to the works done by His hand. No one can discredit your personal experience.

  • Jim says:

    Cierra, very good post and very good list. I’d like to add a couple of reasons.

    II Corinthians 3:18 and its surrounding context refer to how we, when we contemplate (NIV) or engage in understanding our God in Spirit we are transformed into ever-increasing Glory. That is we are changed to be more like him. The context refers to the readings of OT about Moses, and implies that our advantage as unveiled New-Testament Christians is that we can see the truth of scriptures and God with the Spirit’s help. The practical application is that in viewing God’s word/truth revelation about Himself, we are being transformed into His likeness. Studying God’s word has the power to transform us, to change us into His image. This is perhaps an extension on the claim in your blog on the Bible being Alive. This claim reinforces that, by boldly claiming that beholding God (which we do in large part through His revealed Word) is transformative. I gotta get me some of that! 😉

    Secondly, related to “defending our faith” is the rudimentary question, “faith in what?” Without study of the scripture you lack much of the information you need to achieve powerful faith. Faith is not an unguided “quiver in your liver” or “hope for the best” thing, it is rightly placing trust in expected outcomes. “Faith is the promise of things not seen” but that is not wishful thinking, it is supportable observation that is every bit as structured and worthy of defense as anything done through the scientific method. It is the result of claims and supporting evidence that lead us to trust, not simply blindly hopping on a bandwagon. Scripture provides the raw material for faith. It demonstrates God’s claims, God’s love, justice, and other attributes, and provides the evidence on which we can be sure of the validity of his promises. My faith in an eternal afterlife in God’s presence is not a blind hope for all to be well, but an informed reality that if God can so demonstrate His holiness, just nature, power, and grace as he moves through history, I can lay claim to his promises and trust in his ability and trustworthiness to deliver on them. I can see these truths in the evidence of His word historically, in the relevance of His commands/obedience to them in the lives of those around me, in the design of His creation, and through the touch and inspiration of His Spirit.

    Study reveals the raw materials for this evidence and brings our assurance in God’s greatness, Lordship, and love to higher levels of confidence and defensibility, no less rigorous in its extreme than the most intense scientific endeavor, and with the fabulous basis of truth, endowed with transformative power to create in us sanctified examples of God’s nature and attributes. God provided and has sustained his written Word for that purpose, and to not study deprives each of us of the very source material that will strengthen our faith and transform us into righteousness.

    You don’t have to understand everything you read in scripture, but as you invest rigorously in doing so, it will change you, and comprehension and life-changing transformation will occur, IT (scripture) has the power to do this, it isn’t a factor of our capability. I, like the author of this blog post, am constantly frustrated at the degree to which I find other ways to invest my time and not take advantage of the goodness inherent in the study of God, for He desires relationship, obedience, not sacrifice, and what better way than to reflect on what He has left me as evidence of Himself? When I do find the will and discipline (sometimes it is all I have) I never walk away feeling that the time was not well spent, without some insight into my own nature, or without a renewed sense of inquisitiveness, joy or peace regarding God’s goodness to me. Why then do I not pursue it with more vigor? I share the author’s (and the apostle Paul’s) bemusement at our ability to not do what we know is good and to do what we should not. Study is not only good, it is essential in order to receive the transforming power of and assurance in God’s truth.

    Thank you so much for the highly accessible tools for Bible Study Olive Tree!

    • Cierra Klatt says:

      Wow, Jim! Thanks for your well-written response. I appreciate your desire to interact with my thoughts and share your own. There’s so much to be said on this topic. One blog post honestly isn’t enough! I pray that God continues to instill in your a fervent hunger for His Word—so that even the everyday tasks and distractions don’t keep you from reaching out to Him. God bless.

  • Juniper says:

    I love your message, it’s full of powerful information especially to christians who are young in the faith.
    God bless you.

  • Theresa says:

    Thank you all, I read the bible every night and when I look up at the stars and tell God how great he is, for creating such beautiful things, the only thing that I have trouble with is trying to talk to God in my prayers not knowing the right things to say, I love reading the psalms
    well, I am 84 yrs old and thank God for letting me live this long, God bless every one of you and I liked reading your comments.

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