Serious Bible Study

By

Shelby G. Floyd



The apostle Paul commanded his son in the gospel, Timothy, to : “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV). From his childhood Timothy had enjoyed superior advantages, for his grandmother, Lois, and mother, Eunice, had taught him the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:14-17). Paul had also imparted to Timothy a miraculous gift which he was told to stir up, or use (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6). Notwithstanding all of this, however, Timothy still needed to study the Bible, God’s word.

Some critics of the Bible are deriding the use of the word study in 2 Timothy 2: 15. They say this passage does not teach that we should read, meditate upon, and examine the Holy Scriptures. But is this criticism correct? The word from which study is translated carries with it the idea of making haste, exerting oneself, endeavoring and giving diligence, which is exactly the meaning of the English word study. When one studies the Bible, one should give diligence, exert oneself and endeavor to understand what the will of God is. Therefore, the English word study in this context is an exact representation of the original language.

This is not the only passage in the Bible which emphasizes the need for children of God to apply their minds to the study of God’s word. We are told that the Bereans “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). To fulfill the noble purpose for which man was created, we, like the Bereans, must search the scriptures daily. The word study, therefore, does not mean just to read the Bible but to thoroughly search the scriptures to understand the truth.

The Psalmist described the man who is blessed: “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalms 1:2). When we properly study the Bible, then, the meditations of our heart will be upon the scripture day and night.


One reason so many Christians fall short in studying the Bible is because it does require effort, diligence and exertion of our energies. The Sage, Solomon, said, “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). After all these years there is still no end to the making of books, but the book that demands our utmost attention is the Bible, which is still the best seller; and we should count it a joy to have the privilege to ponder God’s word. And, like Job, we should esteem it more than our necessary food (Job 23:12).

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

 

Shelby G. Floyd, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142

WORSHIP AND THE SUNDAY BIBLE CLASSES

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The religion of Jesus Christ must be taught to every person who would be a Christian. This religion is not inherited by a fleshly birth (John 1:11-12; 3:3-5), but it is obtained by faith in Christ Jesus (John 20:30-31). Since faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), the word must be taught. In giving the great commission, Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). A person then must enter the school of Christ to be instructed in the gospel in order to be a child of God. Jesus taught that, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:45).

However, this instruction does not end with conversion, but extends throughout the Christian life. After the apostles baptized the disciples; Jesus instructed them to teach the disciples to observe all that he had commanded them (Matthew 28:20). The three thousand on the day of Pentecost who gladly received the word, and were baptized, did not stop their instruction in the knowledge of Christ: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). We have access to the grace of God through the teaching of Christ and his apostles (Titus 2:11-12).

The Sunday school with classes for every age is one of the best ways the church can obey the great commission. The Sunday school contributes largely to the number of persons who are baptized each year. The teachers of each class should realize they have a weighty responsibility to edify the body of Christ. One of the purposes of the Sunday school then is to teach the gospel to those who attend the services, but are not yet members of the church. Those who are members need to attend the classes on Sunday in order to obtain knowledge of the Christian religion:

“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:2-3).

Unless each Christian advances in grace and knowledge there is reason to believe that person will be carnal minded and a detriment to the church (I Corinthians 3:1-3). Each congregation needs to equip and train more teachers and evangelists to preach the word. The Sunday school classes provide an excellent means to do this. Any Christian aspiring to be a teacher of the gospel will not be absent himself from the Bible classes conducted in the church. The teachers can train other teachers by committing the gospel to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). Many members of the church who should be teaching others need to be taught themselves, because they have become dull of hearing (Hebrews 5:11-14).

Each Christian is commanded to, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The Bible is “…given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible is therefore the text book in every class in the Bible School.

Copyright © 2019 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142
shelby@thefloyds.net