The Importance of Personal Bible Study
What is the importance of personal Bible study? If you attend church regularly (sometimes multiple times per week) and have a good pastor that teaches well, why should you feel the need to study the Bible on your own? The Bible is not always clear in the points it makes, and it can be somewhat confusing. Why not just leave it up to your pastor to break it down to you on a week-to-week basis? If you’re going to read and not understand, then why read at all?
Valid questions, no? Well, no. There are plenty of flaws in the logic behind those questions. For one, attending church on a regular basis does not equate to salvation. It’s been said many times before that “attending church on a Sunday [or any other day] doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.” I seriously doubt that anyone has ever made it into Heaven based on his/her church attendance. The purpose of church is not to ensure our salvation. Its purpose is to provide a venue for the Body to learn and grow together.
Next, how do you know if you have a good pastor that teaches well if you aren’t reading on your own? What makes a good pastor? What is good teaching? Without reading on your own, you have no reference. Good preaching has nothing to do with the volume of one’s voice, the tone in which one delivers, whooping, or any other theatrics that we’ve created. Those things aren’t bad, but they don’t make a person a good preacher. Content is the key. The truth is that it’s impossible to judge the content of a sermon without first having some knowledge of the Word to use as a reference. If we find ourselves in a place where we don’t study for ourselves and leave it up to a pastor to teach us everything, we leave ourselves open to the possibility of false teaching. We can’t trust that everybody out here speaking from the Bible is actually speaking from the Bible.
On top of that, it’s pretty difficult to go through life being led by the Word when you have no idea what it says. The moral of the story is to study. Learn. Grow. Study for yourself. Allow your pastor to bring new revelation to what you’ve already read and confirm the revelations you’ve gleaned on your own from what you’ve read. When you read seeking understanding, it will come. Trust.
Until next time…