Why is Bible study so essential to the Christian life? David Platt gives three reasons:
1. Bible study is essential for spiritual growth.
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2)
We need God’s Word like a baby who needs milk. It’s not just a need; we crave it. I love that word in 1 Peter 2:2. We crave it. Second, we have a hunger for it. We want it. We need it for our spiritual lives. Lastly, we want it, and we cannot grow spiritually without it. If we don’t give babies milk, then obviously they will be completely stunted in their growth. That’s a picture of the church of Jesus Christ apart from the pure milk of God’s Word.
2. Bible study is essential for spiritual maturity.
“About this, we have much to say, and it is hard to explain since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:11-14)
We need solid food even beyond the pure milk of God’s Word.
3. Bible study is essential for spiritual effectiveness.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
I love that phrase “All Scripture.” All is useful. That includes Leviticus, Habakkuk, and Deuteronomy. Remember when Jesus was tempted three times in the desert by the devil–what did he do each time? He quoted from where? He quoted from Deuteronomy. What if your spiritual success this week was dependent on your knowledge of Deuteronomy? Scripture is the means by which we, not only get to know God but also become useful in God’s hands. I am guessing that all of us have, at some point in our spiritual journey, wondered or thought, “I want to be more effective. I wish I could be more effective in my life for Jesus Christ.” The Word of God is the key to that. It is essential for spiritual effectiveness.