So, we are picking up from where we left off on Part 1. Taking an excerpt from my online course Learning the Bible 101: Benefits, Methods & Hindrances.
Let's jump right in and look at the other 5 key benefits that Christians pass up by NOT learning the bible.
#6 - Endurance and Strength in Trials
Trials and tribulations. You know those difficult times. When you feel like you can’t go on. You can't face another day. Or maybe you are ready to officially throw in the towel and call it quits. Then, God’s Word reminds you of your purpose and strength that is found in Him. And He gives you endurance to push through!
Let's look at a few key verses:
Psalm 119:71: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.”
“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” - Psalm 119:92
Psalm 119:143: “Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight."
You can even tell God that you feel like you are at your wit’s end. That you need strength from His word to go on:
I Thessalonians 4:18: "Therefore, encourage one another with these words.”
#7 - Blessings and Success
This is the benefit that most people want, without having to do what is required to have it.
Luke 11:28 says, “But He said, “On the contrary, blessed (happy, favored by God) are those who hear the word of God and continually observe it.”
Psalm 119:2 says, “Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.”
There are blessings we get by mere association as believers, simply because we belong to God and have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. However, there are additional blessings that we receive when we read and obey God's Word.
Looking for a breakthrough? Feel like you have hit a plateau in your walk with God? Have some unanswered prayers? Looking for God to move in certain areas of your life? Spend more time learning the bible. Work on those areas where you may not be putting into practice what you’ve been reading. And then watch God start to bless you on a whole new level!
Joshua 1:7 goes even further to say....
I’ve often taught based on scripture that “the one short cut to blessings and success is obedience”. Reading the Word is one thing. But, start obeying God in different areas of your life. Then watch blessings and success become your new reality in ways you’ve never known.
NOTE: blessings and success isn't always referring to material possessions.
The bible even tells us in I Samuel 15:22: "To obey is better than sacrifice". God is less concerned about the fact that you did a good deed. But, He is more concerned about whether or not you are living in obedience to His Word.
#8 - Discernment of Truth
This is a very important benefit that most people aren’t even aware of and sometimes overlook.
John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”
There are soooo many “religions” and “doctrines” and “false teachings” today. Even when you narrow it down to just “Christianity”, there are many contradictory “truths” being taught nationwide. One preacher says this and another says that. So how do we as individual Christians discern truth from untruth? By reading and learning the bible for ourselves, so that we know truth when we hear it. And it will help us to also easily identify a lie or false teaching, as well.
Jesus said plainly in John 8:31-32: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
By learning the bible, we will arm ourselves with “truth”. Knowing the truths of God’s Word will set us free from any former false teachings, beliefs, religious notions, or traditions that we have previously had or may currently be being taught in our local church or assembly.
We will never be able to discern truth without first knowing what the bible (“the truth”) actually says.
Lets look at some more verses. Paul told the first century believers in Acts 20:29-31:
“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!”
John also warned believers:
False Teachings vs. False Teachers
NOTE: "false teachings" don’t ALWAYS come from “false teachers”. Sometimes true Christians can simply be in error due to a lack of understanding or knowledge about a particular passage of scripture. This is all the more reason why we should learn God’s Word - so that we can tell the difference.
No matter how long you have been going to a church, or how familiar you are with the pastor, you should never just accept a message as it is. You should listen, take notes, and then go home and look at it on your own to see if in fact it is in alignment with what God is actually saying in His Word.
I Tim. 4:1 takes it a step further:
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”
We must spend as much time reading and learning the bible as possible, so that we can guard our minds against the false and deceptive teachings of the world.
Many people will quote the bible as a means to further their own hidden agendas. And some even to bully Christians into supporting their cause.
Either way, as Christians, we MUST be aware at all times!
#9 - It Keeps Us From Sin
Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.”
If you ever thought that by simply becoming a Christian you will automatically stop sinning, you are sadly mistaken. The Bible teaches that the only way to not live in sin is to stay in His Word.
First and foremost the Bible is what defines sin and helps us to identify it. Even in its most subtle forms. If we don’t know what sin is, how will we know what not to do in our walk with God? Yea, most of them are obvious, such as lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, murder, etc. But what about envy, pride, selfishness and hatred? Its those “subtle” sins that we forget about, that we need to work on!
The more time we spend in his Word, the more Word we hide in our heart. Then when temptation to sin arises we have more ammunition to overcome temptation.
So if you. want to stay away from sin, kick some bad habits, or bad attitudes and emotions that keep flaring up – then spend more time learning the bible and watch God make some changes!
#10 – It Helps Us Fight Spiritual Battles
You may have heard the phrase, “put on the full armor of God”. But what does that mean exactly? Are we literally dressing up as knight or soldier of war to fight against the devil?
Well let’s start by taking a look at the passage that phrase comes from.
The Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10-17: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
So let me make a few key points here:
- Paul says be strong in the Lord – so step one is to realize that our spiritual strength comes from God
- We must put on the full armor (every component) in order to be able to take a stand. Without it we don’t stand a chance
- We must realize that our battle is against spiritual enemies and therefore requires spiritual weapons to fight with
I could do a week long study on each piece of armor. However, since we are talking specifically about the Word of God, I will focus on that. I want to first point out how all pieces of the armor of God are mainly “protective gear” or defensive weapons if you will. So that upon attack we can defend ourselves against any blow of the enemy. However, notice how the Bible describes the word of God – as the sword of the spirit. I love this imagery, because of all the armor this “sword” is our “offensive” weapon that we can use to go on the attack!
Using the Bible to Fight
So I know you’re saying “ok”, spiritual battle, spiritual weapons, but what does that look like in reality and how do we use the bible to actually fight?
Well for starters, we must realize that things like hatred, racism, violence, murder, fornication, adultery, jealousy, pride, selfishness, and any other thing you can name that does not stem from God, all have their roots in spiritual darkness that stem from Satan. So we are not fighting against that man, woman, teacher, boss, neighbor, sister, ex-lover, child, or parent that you think is “ruining your life” or making you miserable. But, we are fighting against the demonic forces behind their words, thoughts, behavior and actions.
II Cor. 10:3-4 says, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds“.
Many times, the situations, people, and circumstances we face will have no physical solution. It is during those times that we must battle it out in the spiritual realm – by holding on to our faith, by displaying righteousness, by maintaining a godly attitude or by not reacting in anger or violence even if the situation tempts us to. We must stand on the truth of his Word and most importantly, speak the Word in prayer and trust God to work on our behalf to resolve the situation.
As Christians we have God and His Word at our disposal and should not handle life’s issues as a non-Christian would. He’s given us too much access to Himself and too much authority and power in His Word, for us to walk around defeated.
Real Life Translation and Application
Those times when we are physically run down and weak. Where it would be soooo much easier to take a short cut, to cheat, to steal, to tell a little lie, to hide something from our spouse, or “borrow” money from the offering basket.
Whatever the temptation may be, remember the enemy knows our individual weaknesses, preys on them, and will seek to tempt us by using our circumstances against us, and promising us temporary pleasure to resolve our current pain. And He will sometimes come up with Scripture to back up our reasoning for doing what we’re doing.
However, as believers, we MUST learn to recognize the tricks and temptations of the enemy and learn how to use God’s Word against Him, so that we pass the tests when they come. Because believe me, they will come. The bible guarantees it. The question is will we be ready when they do?
We must speak the Word of God, and in order to speak it we must first learn it! Otherwise there are many spiritual battles that we will lose.
These Benefits are Guaranteed!
If you are still reading and have stuck it out over the course of this two part post, first of all congratulations! The fact that you read to the end means you're at least curious, if not serious, about spending more time learning the bible and reaping the benefits thereof.
Truly enjoying life on a consistent basis, as a Christian, MUST include a change in our attitude about the bible. We can’t neglect God’s Word and expect Him to bless us with everything we want out of life.
I promise that the moment you begin to embrace His Word for what it truly is, not only will God begin to change your perspective on life, but He will begin to bless you in ways you weren’t even thinking about before.
And by the way, I only guarantee these things because the bible guarantees them. As you now see, Scripture is very clear about the many benefits of learning the bible:
- It shows us how to obey and live for God
- Spiritual nourishment & Growth
- Wisdom and guidance for life
- Peace and Comfort
- Healing and Hope
- Endurance and strength during trials
- Blessings and Success
- Discernment of truth
- It keeps you from sin
- It Helps Us Fight Spiritual Battles
Are any of these things missing from your life?
What if you could significantly improve and enjoy your life more, simply by spending more time learning the bible? So when are you going to get started?
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