To study the Word of God carefully and with the proper method is very important. But, just as important, perhaps even more so, is that we put into practice what we have learned. The ultimate goal of studying the Bible lies not in acquiring greater knowledge, as wonderful as that can be.
The goal is not about our mastering of the Word of God but about the Word of God mastering us, changing our lives and our way of thinking. That is what really matters. To be willing to live the truth that we have learned means to be willing to submit to that biblical truth. This choice sometimes involves an intense struggle, because we are fighting a battle over who will have the supremacy in our thinking and in our life. And, in the end, there are only two sides from which to pick.
Read Philippians 2:12-16. What are these verses saying about how we should live?
Yes, God works in us, but He does so through the Holy Spirit, who alone gives us the wisdom to understand the Holy Scriptures. Furthermore, as sinful human beings, we often are opposed to God’s truth, and left to our own devices we would not obey the Word of God (Rom. 1:25; Eph. 4:17-18). Without the Holy Spirit, there is no affection for God’s message. There is no hope, no trust, no love in response. Through the Holy Spirit, God indeed “works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13, NKJV).
The Holy Spirit is a teacher who desires to lead us into a deeper understanding of Scripture and to a joyful appreciation of the Word of God. He brings the truth of God’s Word to our attention and gives us fresh insights into those truths, so that our lives are characterized by faithfulness and a loving obedience to the will of God. “No one is able to explain the Scriptures without the aid of the Holy Spirit. But when you take up the Word of God with a humble, teachable heart, the angels of God will be by your side to impress you with evidences of the truth”. — Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 411. In this way, spiritual things are interpreted spiritually (1 Cor. 2:13-14) and we are able joyfully to follow God’s Word “morning by morning” (Isa. 50:4-5).
|Philippians 2:16 says that we should hold “fast the word of life” (NKJV). What do you think that means? And how do we do that? See also Deuteronomy 4:4, which teaches something similar. What is our role in this whole process?|