WHO CAN STUDY THE BIBLE
In the nineteenth century there was a Danish religious philosopher by the name of Søren Kierkegaard. He said many things regarding Christianity and religion that we would not necessarily accept, but every once in a while he would say something rather profound. Let me quote one statement he made: “Too often in their church life people adopt an attitude of the theater, imagining the preacher is an actor and they his critics, praising and blaming the performances. Actually, the people are the actors on the stage of life. The preacher is merely the prompter, reminding the people of their lost lines.” I think he perceived a real problem. It’s very easy for people to come to church and treat it like a theater, and just sit and watch it happen. Then, they either praise or criticize what went on. But the purpose of a ministry in the pulpit is to stimulate the people in the pew. The reason I study and teach is to stimulate you to study and teach. But the sad part is that there are so many Christians who don’t really get into it; they don’t study the Bible, so they aren’t able to teach it to somebody else.
A. Know the Word
B. Live the Word
Would you make a covenant with me?
Can I ask you to make a covenant in your heart? I don’t want to impose it on you, I just want you to do it because it’s right. You may say, “Well, this Bible study is hard work.” Yes, but these things were written “that your joy might be full” (John 15:11b). Do you want full joy in your life? That’s why God wrote the Bible. Would you make a covenant? And I’ll give you a covenant so you don’t have to think up your own. This covenant was made by Josiah the king, and God really blessed him for it. In 2 Chronicles 34:31 it says, “And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord.” This young man Josiah was like a beam of light in the midst of the darkness of ancient Israel. He was a godly man and he made a covenant before the Lord. Now listen to it: “to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book” (emphasis added). Josiah said, “Lord, as long as I live, this day I vow to learn and to live Your Word.” That’s why he was different than everybody before him and after him. We can rise above the crowd too if we make that same covenant with the Lord. Are you willing to make that covenant?
Now who can actually study the Bible? I’ve said that everybody should study it, but who can study it and get something out of it? You might say, “Well, I’ll have to go to seminary,” or, “I’ll have to get a lot of books to understand it.” Will you? Now there are a lot of people who purport to understand the Bible, and they knock on your door and tell you that they’ll explain it to you. But who can really understand the Bible? What are the basic requirements? Well, let me give you six requirements for who is able to understand the Bible.
I. Those Who Are Believers
A. Believers Can Understand
B. Unbelievers Cannot Understand
II. Those Who Are Diligent
III. Those Who Have a Great Desire
A. Hunger for the Word ()
B. Seek the Word ()
C. Treasure the Word ()
IV. Those Who Are Holy
V. Those Who Are Spirit-Controlled
VI. Those Who Are Prayerful
Who can study the Bible? Listen, you’ve got to be the right who or the how won’t matter. Are you born again? Do you have a strong desire in your heart? Are you diligent? Holy? Spirit-controlled? Prayerful? If you are, then you can open the pages of the Bible, and God will reveal His truths to your heart. When your life is right, then the method of how to study the Bible will become productive and life-changing as you study His Word.