Don’t Study the Bible

Don’t study the Bible; let the Bible study you. God’s word is alive and active, sharper than a razor blade, able to separate our soul from our spirit; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12). Yet, we come to the Bible to study it, as if it’s a text book. When studying the Bible, we can come away will all kinds of profound insight – “Wow. ScalpelIt’s sharp. Hummmm. It has a pen-like handle on it. You know.? It kind of looks like a scalpel.” Hello! It is a scalpel. We feel so much better when we have discovered what it is – we can even sound devoted to God when we share the intellectual insight we have discovered about God. Studying the Bible can make us feel better about ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we are healed. We must give the scalpel of scripture to the master surgeon and let Him study the inner workings of our lives, revealing our cancerous sin, self-righteous indignation, and brokenness. It’s painful to let the Word of God study us, but it brings healing and improves the quality of life. Don’t study the Bible; let the Bible study you.

Scalpel Comic

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11 Responses

  1. So true… many times I go in with the “study to get knowledge” attitude and don’t let the words penetrate my heart. However, I do think there needs to be a balance. If we don’t study for knowledge, how do we know how God wants us to live and what He demands of us?

  2. Lesley, you ask, “If we don’t study for knowledge, how do we know how God wants us to live and what He demands of us?”

    If we allow the Word of God to study us, then in the process, we will discover how God wants us to live. Studying for knowledge – usually produces knowledge with little life change – the image of a spiritually obese Christian. By letting the Word of God study us (as defined in this blog), not only do we get to know (or gain knowledge of) the master surgeon, but our true identity is restored, and living obedient to the master becomes natural. Why? Because we begin living in His image, which is how we are created to be and live in the first place.

    In short, studying for knowledge gives us knowledge. But by letting scripture study us, we are transformed into the image of our Creator through knowledge and obedience.

  3. I do agree with what you are saying, but then what is the point of people going to seminary or schools that teach you about the Bible.. or church even?

  4. Good question. Shouldn’t it be for the transformation of their lives. When I listen to someone preach or teach (this person in most cases has a seminary education), I want it coming from their heart – not that their knowledge isn’t important, but knowledge needs to flow from a transformed heart. I also find that the Spirit of God is more active in my life when I am talking with someone who lives their message. They may possess new perspectives (knowledge), but this knowledge has almost no credibility without a transformed life. Perhaps the present seminary model needs to be overhauled in most Biblical institutions. Dare I say that most churches in America need this same overhauling.

  5. totally agree… I think that is what is lacking in churches (the institution). Instead of increasing our building size, activities, and programs, we should be increasing our heart capacity with Christ and showing his growing presence in us in our lives.

  6. To be sure, knowledge is good,.. it is the culmination of facts and ideas that lets us know where we stand before God almighty. It comes from the fear of the Lord (Prov 1:7), is nurtered through discipline ((Prov 12:1), is the stablizing companion to zeal (Prov 19:2), and is a kind of aroma, testifying to the Lordship of Christ (II Cor 2:14). Yet, without love, it only puffs us up (I Cor 8:1-3) and amounts to nothing (I Cor 13:2), and we can be decieved by false knowledge; empty chatter that results in a fruitless ministry, and eventually cult doctrines (I Tim 6:20-21). So what we gain by letting the Bible study us is not in conflict with knowledge, but is the fruit of true salvation –Love. Knowledge, though good, pails compared to Love. Love is what builds us up. It is what gives us hope in ministry, and hope for the world. It is what draws us to our Father, and to the human race he created. Love is what confirms our knowledge, and shows us how to act on it. Love never fails. Where there is knowledge, it will pass away (I Cor 13:8) “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love surpasses knowledge –that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:19) Allowing God’s Word to disect us is the first step in learning how to truly love.

  7. Aaron – this is powerful man. I appreciate how you have brought applied knowledge back to love – the essence of all the commands of God.
    We have all heard the old saying – “Knowledge is Power”. Not so true. The saying needs to be modified, “Applied Knowledge is Power”. When we consider this from a Biblical perspective the power of the resurrection at work within us.

  8. I have been a Christian for many years and read the Bible daily, but never thought about it in the terms of letting the Bible study me. What an awesome concept! That’s what I need to let it do for me.

  9. Edna – I am glad to read that this has encouraged you. God is continuing to work this concept in my own life.

  10. […] Posts Don’t Study the BibleJoshua Tree ClimbNOVA Church Plant – IMAGINE the VisionBe a Disciple; NOT a christian – part 1Be a […]

  11. But we must keep in mind that the Bible is an ancient document, several of thousands years old, and rooted in rhetorical situations and the socio-economic culture and perspectives of the day. I think that we must study the Bible to see what its authors are saying, in the context of their life and times, and thus apply it to our own lives. Not to say that the Bible is living and active, I totally agree! But we can’t ignore the fact that the Bible is an ancient document and lots of scrutiny in the matters of historical, social, and cultural context should be given to it. I’m not embracing Higher Biblical Criticism, only that we should be smart when we approach it.

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