Jesus answered and said, ‘It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ ” (Matt 4:4). The quest for every believer should then become, “Where shall we eat and what shall we eat?” Jeremiah states, “Thy Words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts (Jer 15:16).
As we consider the assembly Bible study, God will, through His Word, stir within us the joy and rejoicing of a relationship with Himself. In choosing a book of the Bible or a topic to study, we should provide instruction to meet a current need or interest in the fellowship, the community, or Christendom as a whole. Verse by verse study of the Word of God is essential in understanding the full meaning of a passage. A brief overview of the people, history, and location often helps to familiarize ourselves with the time period and to better grasp the teaching in its context. The Lord used parables and illustrations familiar to the people of the time to instruct them.
We should then ask ourselves if there is another portion of Scripture that provides a comparison or contrast that allows us to better understand the purposes of God or the heart of man. Often our midweek Bible study in the Old Testament complements our Sunday Bible study in the New Testament. It is important when considering a topic that an outline is prepared so the passages to be considered can be read and studied in advance.
Preparation and participation are the keys to a good Bible study. This is the ideal place for our young brethren to be given responsibility in reading the portion and commenting on the passage. For those beginning public participation, it brings reassurance and confidence to know that other brethren are prepared to continue with the study. Often these new perspectives lead to questions and conversation that make a Bible study more interesting and profitable. It is also important to keep the Bible study moving, and to avoid dwelling on controversial positions. Demanding my view doesn’t make it any more correct or desirable.
May the study of the Word of God not only provide knowledge of the Scriptures, but may it also transform our lives day by day as we grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ! “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (to be right), for reproof (when we’re not right), for correction (to make us right), for instruction in righteousness (to keep us right)” (2 Tim 3:16).