Introduction to Bible Study Series
What is the Christian Life all about?
Basically I asked this to help us focus on the fact that we are to "grow to become more like Christ".
How do we grow to become more like Christ?
Actually the answer I was looking for is "through a deepening relationship with him". But certainly the answer "we must know him" is good.
How do we know him? Or, how do we have a deepening relationship with him?
Why I prefer the latter point of view is because it helps us see that our knowledge of him is meant to be dynamic, not static. We are involved with him. If you read my little talk on "How to Read the Bible", you will see that I emphasize that having a deepening relationship with him happens in the context of
Prayer (speaking to Him) and Service (serving Him) and Worship (responding to Him). You can't have a growing relationship with Him if you are not speaking to Him, or not responding to Him, or not serving Him, or not listening to Him. All are aspects of the one thing, the one objective.
What I want to emphasize here is that Bible Study is not an end to itself. Rather, it provides the knowledge for us to Pray, Serve and Worship intelligently and effectively. But it is Pray, Serve and Worship that cause us to grow to become more like Christ.
Why was the Bible written?
Primarily to reveal God, his mind, his person and his purpose. Out of this primary purpose, we are told about his plan of salvation and out of this secondary purpose we are taught as to how we should live, under the shadow of the cross.
The reason why I ask this is to emphasize that we should read/study the Bible for the purpose it is written. And so while we do get encouraged, guided, etc. when we read the Bible (sometimes), we should not be disappointed when this does not happen. We should be disappointed when we read the Bible and it tells us nothing about God, his mind, his person... etc.
The biggest hurdle we face is that we need to learn to bring the things we learn about God together so that our knowledge about him can integrate and we begin to have an impression of who he is. And in coming to know who he is, we then need to bring him into our lives.
What will we ask Jesus if we have the opportunity to meet him?
I think that we have a lot to ask. There is much that we want to learn from the Lord of the Universe. As we begin to know Him, we can begin to bring our deepest questions to Him, and find answers, because we know Him. Our knowledge of Scripture deepens and we begin to see how Scripture indeed speaks to our hearts.
I hope that as you begin to understand this, you will begin to desire to study the Bible and continue this wonderful journey with our Lord.
Just a little reminder about the quiet time exercise. It is completely voluntary. If you wish to take part, start with Matthew 6:19-21. Write out a short meditation on it and email it to me. I encourage you to continue meditating and writing on the same passage for a few days.