Can you be a strong Christian without Bible study?

 “Let’s all turn to the book of Abraham chapter 12 verse 30.”

Then I went silent and observed the congregation.

To my utter amazement, almost half of the people were furiously
flipping the pages of their Bibles. Clearly, the Christians that were in that camp meeting were not very familiar with their Bibles.

So what’s the big deal? Isn’t it possible to be a good Christian without Bible study? Well, it is actually not possible for one to be a good Christian without Bible study. The Bible is not only our manual for living a victorious life but it is also our weapon of war. Paul describes it as the sword of the spirit. The same way you wouldn’t expect a soldier to go to war without their weapons, a Christian shouldn’t try to live on earth without reading the Bible regularly.

Bible study is one of the most important spiritual disciplines without which your Christian faith will fizzle out. Think of Bible study as the nourishment a newborn baby needs to grow. The more you neglect your Bible, the more malnourished you will get. A Christian without a Bible study discipline is a weak Christian. Here are some important reasons why a Christian needs to take Bible study seriously.  

  • A christian without Bible study will get malnourished
  • A christian without Bible study will have no authority
  • A christian without Bible study has no fellowship with God

Let’s look at each of these in more detail.

1. A Christian without Bible study will get malnourished

The Bible is our spiritual food as Christians. And it makes no sense for any Christian to try to look for a way of being a Christian without reading the Bible. Can you imagine going to an eatery and refusing to eat but still expect to leave with a full stomach? That’s just dumb! There are many illustrations in the Bible that clearly show that the Bible is our diet. Let’s consider some of these.

The Bible gives nourishment

 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:  
~ 1 Peter 2:2, KJV

The scripture above likens the word of God to milk. Every newborn baby craves for milk. It is hardwired in them from birth because that is the diet they need for nourishment. Nutritionists tell us that milk is the only complete food we have on earth – that’s because it has all the important nutrients (proteins, carbs, vitamins, and minerals). A newborn baby can survive on exclusive breastfeeding for up to 6 months before they are introduced to any other food.

Likewise, the word of God is enough for our spiritual sustenance. Even though reading Christian books, listening to sermons, and reading Christian blogs can help, nothing should ever replace the place of Bible study in the life of a Christian. Notice the words used by Peter in the scripture above – “crave the milk of the word.”

Your attitude shouldn’t be to avoid reading the word of God. Do not join the bandwagon of a new crop of beleivers who want to be Christians without Bible study. On the Contrary, develop a genuine desire for the word of God. It takes consistent Bible study for any Christian to grow and develop spiritually.

Here are more scriptures that illustrate the nourishment qualities of the word of God.

 But he 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.
~ Mathew 4:4
Being nourished with the words of the faith.
~ 1 Tim 4:6
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: 
he that cometh to me shall never hunger;
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 
~ John 6:35
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
~ Psalms 119:103

The Bible gives life

 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: 
the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
~ John 6:63

If someone has an accident and stops breathing, you resuscitate them by giving them the kiss of life. The Bible is the proverbial kiss of life every Christian needs to keep living in a world that is hellbent on sucking any meaning of existence out of them. This is why Jesus said that the words he spoke are spirit and LIFE.

So how exactly is the word of God life?

Well, for starters, The Bible is the most comprehensive manual ever written. And unlike other manuals, the Bible was written with instructions of how to live a productive life on earth. When you live by its dictates, you will not only have life but have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

But there is another interesting angle to it. The Bible gives life because it is also medicine. That’s right – you can study the word of God and get healed of any disease. I heard of a lady who was completely healed of cancer after reading 7 chapters of the Bible every day for 3 months. She says she decided to read 7 chapters religiously, like someone on dosage, because she got the revelation that God’s word is actually medicine. But is there any scriptural proof for this? Absolutely! Here are two proofs:

My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but keep my commands in your heart ...
This will bring health to your body
    and nourishment to your bones.
~ Proverbs 3:1,8
 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.  
~ Psalms 107:20

The Bible gives satisfaction

Just like any good food, the Bible satisfies. Satisfaction is one of the most sought-after things in life. People look for it in spouses, siblings, parents, children, colleagues and even strangers. Interestingly, no amount of earthly satisfaction comes close to the kind of satisfaction that you can get from the word of God. Any Christian who eats the word of God daily will enjoy this satisfaction. On the flip side, anyone who attempts to be a Christian without Bible study will miss out on the blessedness of the satisfaction that comes from his word.

Bible study is not always fun – because it is a discipline. And like any other spiritual discipline, the benefits are huuuge! Even if it doesn’t feel like you are getting satisfaction from your Bible study just keep doing it and you will see the benefits in no time. This is why Jesus said that anyone who eats from him will never hunger. In other words, you wil get satisifed by his word.

2. A christian without Bible study will have no authority

In Ephesians 6, Paul talks about the full amour. We have:

  • The helmet of salvation
  • The breastplate of righteousness
  • The belt of truth
  • The shield of faith
  • The sandles of the preparation of the gospel of peace
  • The sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

Have you ever noticed that out of all those components of the full armor, only one of them is offensive and the rest defensive? The helmet protects the head (in this case the mind), the breastplate protects your heart, the belt holds your holster, the shield protects you from the arrows of the enemy, and the sandles protect your feet from rocks and other sharp objects. That leaves you with only one offensive weapon – the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

A Christian without Bible study can be likened to a soldier who goes to battle without any weapon – no gun, no grenade, no rocket launcher – nothing. Now, you wouldn’t expect such a soldier to have victory against an enemy that comes armed with superior weapons right? If my country was going at war against another country and our army decided to go completely unarmed, I would be a worried man!

There is no such thing as a victorious Christian without Bible study. God’s word is the only offensive weapon in the full armour. Without it, we can only play defense and never strike back. That was the secret of Jesus. When the devil tried to tempt him three times (refer to Mathew 4), he defeated him with the same response each time; it is written. In other words, Jesus used the sword of the of the spirit – and we all know who won that battle.

Do you feel like you have been losing to the devil lately? Maybe its time you removed the sword from its sheath and put it to some good use!

Strong Christians are good students of the word

James warns us to beware of the enemy who prowls around looking for Christians that he can devour.

 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, 
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
~ 1 Peter 5:8

So, which criteria does the enemy use when choosing his victims? My guess is he looks for those that are weak in spirit. He will throw one temptation your way to see how strong you are and if you falter, he knows he has found someone weak enough to devour. Then he will launch a full blown attack. The only sure way to avoid falling prey to the devil is to be a good student of the word of God.

If you allow the word of God to dwell richly in you, you will be too strong for the devil’s attacks to see the light of day. Sadly though, most Christians have neglected their Bibles and as such, have become victims of the devil. No wonder the bigger chunk of the church fears the devil so much that they would rather encounter a grizzly bear than the devil. But that is not how it should be – Christians are supposed to have their feet on the devils neck. After Paul consistently taught the word of God to the Christians in Rome, he saw a better victorious future for them and this is why he said,

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. 
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
~ Romans 16:20

Crushing the devil under your feet is possible – but only if you have a good relationship with your Bible. Otherwise, you might just be the one that will be crushed.

3. A Christian without Bible study has no fellowship with God

I am quite introverted in nature. This makes it very hard for me to communicate effectively especially to strangers. I was very blessed to get a lovely wife who has been helping me to become a better communicator. And the better I get at communicating, the better my relationships get. I hope one day I will confidently say that I am now good at it. So help me God 🙂

As a married man and a pastor, I have come to appreciate how important communication is. Most of the scuffles in marriage would have been averted if there had been better communication. And communication is two-way traffic. After making your point, you must also listen to the other party. The problem with most people is they mistake listening for waiting to talk. And if you bring this mentality into your relationship with God, you will never have good fellowship with him.

The Bible is God’s word to us – when you read the Bible, it is actually God speaking to you. In other words, when you neglect reading his word, you have neglected his voice and have ignored his will. And this is why a Christian who neglects Bible study cannot purport to be in fellowship with God. Don’t get me wrong – you can still be in relationship with God. The relationship only depends on accepting Christ in your heart. But fellowship requires some extra effort. In the words of Jesus,

If ye love me, keep my commandments.  
~ John 14:15

But is fellowship with God really that important?

Oh yes it is!

Fellowship with God means you are growing daily in your knowledge of Him. It means you are prioritizing Him above other things. It is not possible to show love to someone without spending time with them – and if you are thinking of becoming a Christian without Bible study, it means you really don’t understand how relationships work. The only way to have a solid relationship with God, or with anyone for that matter, is to invest quality time in the relationship. For your relationship with God to thrive, you must spend quality time with him daily. That means spending time in Bible study and in prayer.

Yes, fellowship with other believers is very important but even more important is your fellowship with God. That is why John said,

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, 
so that you also may have fellowship with us.
And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
~ 1 John 1:3

From the scripture above, we can infer that when you have fellowship with God, it will also affect the kind of fellowship you have with other believers. See, it is impossible to be in fellowship with God without being transformed by his power. When you fellowship with God, you will be changed into a new person.

You will shed off some of the old habits that have been disturbing you. You will overcome the sin that so easily besets. You will find it very easy to conquer the temptations that in times past seemed insurmountable. And as you continue to fellowship with other believers, this change you have experienced will be evident to them and it will also inspire them to get closer to God. So never imagine that you are the only one that will benefit from your fellowship with God – there are lots of other people around you that can benefit from your experience.

 Conclusion

A good Christian must devote themselves to the study of God’s word. Instead of looking for a way of becoming a Christian without Bible study, we should be craving for the milk of the word like new born babies. When we study the word of God, we are not doing God a favor. We are doing ourselves a favor. Bible study helps us to develop a strong spirit and this makes it possible to lead a more productive life. In the book of Ezra, the Bible tells us how Ezra had devoted himself to the study of God’s word.

For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD,
and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.
~ Ezra 7:10

The dictionary defines the word devote as giving all of one’s resources and time to something.

Now, think about that for a minute.

What if every Christian was to devote themselves to Bible study? Oh! what a glorious Church we would have!

Comments

  1. Stephen Opondo

    Actually I was watching pastor Robert Morris yesterday and he was talking of the same thing that we can’t live without the word of God. This is a confirmation for me from the Lord. God bless you for sharing this.

    Shalom!

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