Rev. Dick is pastor of Grace Protestant Reformed Church in Standale, Michigan.
Good Bible study is the study of Jesus.
Jesus, He and no other, is the eternal, living Word of God. Jesus, He and no other, is the name, the revelation of God, whom to know is to know the Father, whom to call upon is to call upon the Father, whom to praise is to honor the Father.
Jesus, the Word, the communication of God given among men.
Come, He is, incarnate. In flesh!
He is also in ink! Not that Jesus is John 1 verse 29. Or that Jesus is the Bible on your shelf. But Jesus is the truth of the Scriptures. He is all that it says. And all that it says is one Word: Jesus.
This is because the Spirit of Jesus authored the Scriptures (II Tim. 3:16,17; I Pet. 1:11; II Pet. 1:20,21). And the Spirit always testifies of Jesus (John 15:26; cf. John 5:39!).
Good Bible study will, therefore, be focused on Jesus. What do we look for in Bible reading? Jesus! About whom do we talk in our Bible studies? Jesus!
What, therefore, does Genesis 1 mean to us, but Jesus? For by Him and for Him all things were created (Col. 1:16). Why the fall into sin? Jesus! For His coming to save us from it. To the praise of the glory of grace and gospel truth come by Him (John 1:16,17; Eph. 1:4-6). Who is the seed of the woman, and of Abraham, and of David? Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man (Gen. 3:15; 17:7; Ps. 89:3,4,29; Gal. 3:16)! What are the Old Testament sacrifices all about? Jesus, the pure, atoning Lamb! Who spoke through the prophets, was prefigured by priests, and reigned through kings? Jesus, the officer in God’s covenant! Of whom do the gospel accounts testify? The historical Jesus! Of whom and what does Paul write? Jesus and justification through His blood! Whose coming does the Revelation depict? Jesus’!
Good Bible study, focused on Jesus!
Good Bible study, focused on Jesus, will be done in the Spirit of Jesus.
Good Bible study will be in the Spirit who makes special students. He makes children-of-the-Father students. These cling to Scripture as the loving, Holy Word of the Father. These come to Scripture desirous of hearing Father speak in and through the Mediator. These are humble to submit to His will revealed to them, and even to His rebuke sounding forth to them from His Word. These believe the Bible. These have the mind of the Spirit to receive truth profitably. These are encouraged and comforted by the promises of the Word. These delight in the promises and blessings of the Word more than in all the riches of the world.
Good Bible study, focused on Jesus, in the Spirit of Jesus, is rich and enriching!
We study one subject, Jesus.
Just Jesus is our study, but never dull.
For Jesus is the Star out of Jacob! He is the only Mediator and name of God given among men whereby we must be saved! This Jesus! Sun of God! God’s Man! He shines brighter, once in humiliation, and now forever in glory, than the most brilliant star in the heavens.
He goes out—in hell’s black hole! But no! He shines brightest there! Bearing our sins on Calvary’s tree, enduring God’s wrath…. He is brilliant in love, in passion, in power!
He then rises! He ascends! To the zenith of God’s right hand! To the glory He had with the Father before the worlds were framed. In Him, from there, we see the light of God’s own countenance shining upon us.
He is our Man! Our Sun! Our light forever!
Jesus! Our light and joy!
Study of Jesus: truly enlightening and enriching!
One subject, also inexhaustible—for Jesus is the eternal and infinite Son of God come in the flesh. Jesus, Man. And Jesus, God. Scripture study, the study of Jesus, is the study of God.
Christology … is theology!
Scripture. Jesus there. God in Him revealed. There is eternity about Him. There is infinity about Him. There is pure goodness in Him. There is Godness, fullness of the Godhead dwelling in Him. There is communication of essence, from eternal Father to eternal Son. There is communion of love in eternal divine Spirit. There is Trinity….
Oh, who can search the depths?!
Good Bible study is one study. One subject. One end: knowledge of Jesus. Knowledge of God in Jesus. Theology!
Never poor knowledge.
For believing knowledge is not cold. It is not abstract. It is not outside of our life. For to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent is life eternal. Such Scripture knowledge, therefore, is fellowship with God. It is the blessed life of holy intimacy with God and things of heaven. Forever.
Good Bible study…and Jesus!
Focused on Him.
In His Spirit.
Much Bible study today is not good.
There are other spirits. They are from the devil. All are anti-Jesus. They are, therefore, anti-Bible. They seek to hinder and stop altogether good Bible study. And these spirits have a willing ally: weak flesh.
The spirits of Satan would divert our focus. They would have us focus, even in Bible study, on everything but Jesus, or at best on Jesus and other things. Indeed! There are Bible studies which examine the history, so true; which commend the doctrine, so fair; which are concerned to discern the will of God for godly living, so important. But these same Bible studies may well miss Jesus by their lack of spiritual focus on and devotion to Him.
These other spirits would ruin the way we study. They would turn our study from deep red to deep blue, from heartfelt to heartless, from contemplation to computation, from hot to lukewarm or cold. They would make us lazy, easygoing, and casual about our approach to Scripture. They would make us proud and critical of Scripture. They would make us worldly and indifferent to Scripture.
The result of the anti-Jesus spirits’ work is seen today. There are still many Bible studies, and Bible students. There are some even learned in the truth and able to refute all comers with a single diatribe. But there are very few who, through their studies, and in their knowledge of sacred truth, grow closer to Jesus and to God.
Bible study: to make us poor!
Who will have good Bible study? Who will search the Word written to investigate the truth as it is in Jesus? Who will scan the Book to survey the cross? Who will love the message loving the love of God? Who will seriously, intensely, and devoutly engage in believing, Berean Bible study, studying the Word written in order to commune with the Word who lives and abides for ever?
Pray for the Spirit of Jesus and the grace of Jesus.
Good Bible study … and Jesus!