Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part column.
We began last week looking at the challenge to study the word of God. On considering the words of Paul, it was seen that one needs to study God’s word. In doing this one must know how to “rightly divide the word of truth.”
One must understand the divisions of the Bible. While it is all-inspired (II Peter 1:20,21; II Tim. 3:16,17), not all of it is for man to follow today.
The Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments. The New Testament is what is to be followed today. The Hebrew writer told that the Old Testament was a shadow of things to come (Heb. 10:1-22). With the death of Christ, the New Testament was given to man (Heb. 9:11-28). Christ took the old law out of the way (Col. 2:14).
When Jesus said his words would judge man, he made it clear that all should be aware of what the Bible teaches. It tells man the way to live lives that will make us ready for the day of judgment.
Those who believe in God should see the necessity to challenge themselves to study more and more. Doing this will make for stronger individual Christians and stronger faithful congregations of the Lord’s church.
Those who seek to teach the word know that they must truly understand the word as they will be held accountable for their teaching. James wrote, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1).
It seems in that day some wanted to be teachers without the knowhow. The same can be true today – one must study diligently to know the word well enough to share it with others.
Once, a man was trying to leave a denominational group, yet he kept teaching in that group. This man thought he would keep teaching the things he knew until he found the truth. Unfortunately, he failed to see the danger in his decision.
Those who stand forth to proclaim the gospel, must hide behind the cross, giving God all the glory and they must “speak as the oracle of God” (1 Peter 4:11).
The Last Will and Testament of the Lord shows Christians are to study the word and teach it to others so those they teach will study the word to develop faith (Rom. 10:17), which leads to repentance (Acts 2:38) and a willingness to confess Christ before men (Matt. 10:32).
After which, one realizes the need to be baptized for the remission of his sins (Acts 2:38). The word, then, gives one instruction on how to live the Christian life.
Studying the Bible is a lifelong challenge, but the reward is worth all the work. Heaven is that reward. A place unlike any other, where there is no sickness or dying, no tears, no locks, no guards or any other think that causes one pain and concern. It will be a place where the saved will spend eternity worshipping and praising God.
Every person on the face of the earth should accept this challenge, and study God’s word.