WHY STUDY THE BIBLE? #2
By David J. Riggs
A. Ignorance of what the Bible actually says is very prevalent in
1. It was also very prevalent in the O.T. era. Hos. 4:6
2. Hosea was writing to people who should have known God's
3. They had rejected knowledge and forgotten God's law. Jer.
B. Are God's people any better today?
1. Some in the Lord's church are inexcusably ignorant of the
C. What we all need is deep, serious, diligent study of God's holy
1. In this lesson, let's look as some reasons, excuses, or
hindrances which keep people from studying the Bible as
2. Our purpose for studying these is that we might watch and
I. IMPROPER ATTITUDE.
A. All the excuses and hindrances which we will mention can be put
under this heading.
1. One's attitude toward Bible study is his "set of sail" as to
a. "One ship sails east, another west
By the self same wind that blows.
'Tis the set of the sail, and not the gale
That determines the way it goes."
B. Many do not study because they have no desire to do so. They
see no need for studying. They don't want to study. Prov. 17:16
1. A knowledge of God is a very precious commodity and we
should diligently seek to obtain it. Prov. 23:23
C. Many are wilfully ignorant of the Bible. They choose to forget
what the Bible teaches. 2 Pet. 3:5
1. Many love darkness rather than light. John 3:19-21
II. SEEKING TO JUSTIFY ONESELF OR ONE'S DOCTRINE.
A. Many people go to the Bible simply to justify a practice or
doctrine they already have.
1. They do not go there to learn from God.
2. Their purpose is not to learn the truth.
B. Man has sought to justify everything under the sun from the
Bible - social drinking, adulterous marriages, traditions and
doctrines of men galore.
C. This was Balaam's problem and the reason the angel of God was
sent to kill him.
1. Num. 22:12 - This should have been the end of the matter
once for all.
2. However, he wanted to "see what more the Lord had to
say." Num. 22:19
3. Many people are like this today. Instead of accepting a very
plain passage which reveals the truth, they want to "see
what more the Lord has to say."
III. READING WITHOUT EXPECTING TO UNDERSTAND.
A. Many people have been told that the Bible is a dark and
1. For example, their church practices sprinkling or pouring
water as a mode for baptism, but the Bible teaches
immersion or a burial in water. Rom. 6:3-4
2. Thus, in such matters, instead of rejecting the false
teaching of their church, they conclude that the Bible is an
obscure and difficult book.
B. The common people could understand the Lord's teaching. Mark
12:37; Matt. 13:51
1. The wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err therein.
2. Paul said that they wrote nothing other than that which they
could understand. 2 Cor. 1:13
a. Certainly, "some" things are hard to be understood. 2
b. However, the terms of salvation are for every creature.
Everyone is expected to understand and obey. Mark
3. Paul's criteria for understanding is "read." God expects us
to understand. Eph. 3:2-5
a. God expects us to understand. Eph. 5:17
IV. SEEKING TO IMPRESS PEOPLE.
A. One's sole purpose for studying the Bible should be to learn
what to do to please God.
1. However, one's pride gets in his way. 1 John 2:15-17
2. One may read and study for bragging purposes or to be
accepted by a particular group.
3. This was a problem with the Pharisees. Matt. 23:5; John 5:44
4. Jehovah's Witnesses like to impress people by indicating
they are the only ones who truly study the Bible.
5. There are those who are ever learning, but never able to
come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Tim. 3:7
V. READING WITHOUT SYSTEM.
A. The story is told of a lady who had an unusual mode of Bible
study which she later had to abandon. She, in early mornings,
after quickly flipping through pages of the Bible with her eyes
closed, would bring her finger down on a verse. She would then
open her eyes, and that verse supposedly was her special God-
given inspiration and exhortation for that day. One morning as
she brought her finger down on a verse, it said, "Judas went
out and hanged himself." She didn't particularly like that
verse, so she thought God would add further instructions if she
tried again. The next time her finger hit the verse, "Go thou
and do likewise." She now being very perplexed on what to do,
tries again. The next placement said, "What thou doest, do
quickly." Thus, she now had her God given exhortation for that
day: Judas went out and hanged himself. Go and do likewise! Do
B. Many read and study only their favorite passages.
1. This is why the book of Psalms was placed in the back of
some the New Testament publications.
2. They are not getting a well balanced diet.
a. We should live by "every" word. Matt. 4:4; Psalm
b. We need the "meat" as well as the "milk." Heb. 5:11-6:l
VI. RELYING ON MEN FOR UNDERSTANDING.
A. Some rely far too much on a particular preacher or teacher.
1. This is the reason whole churches go into apostasy.
2. With no true knowledge on the part of the membership, they
can easily be lead astray. Eph. 4:14; Col. 2:8,18
B. Many rely far too much on the books of men in their study of
God's word, on commentaries, study guides, and religious books.
1. This is the straining of God's Word through another man's
2. When one relies on man for his study, God's Word is certain
to be modified and colored by man's limitations and
C. Some rely far too much on another family member for their
1. Instead of studying, searching, and learning for themselves,
they simply ask their companion or parents.
2. With a steady dose of this for many years, one family might
be very knowledgeable while the other is very ignorant of
VII. WE BECOME TOO BUSY FOR BIBLE STUDY.
A. If we are too busy for Bible study, we need to do some
rearranging and rescheduling.
1. We always think that we will have more time for Bible study
later. We can always say that we will start tomorrow, but
tomorrow never comes.
2. Some can really "cry on another's shoulder" when it comes
to making excuses for not studying the Bible.
3. Will God accept you petty excuses? Luke 14:16-24
a. We must somehow work in time for Bible study.
B. Television is a great robber of our time. Here is another
Version of "The 23rd Channel."
The TV is my shepherd, I shall not want.
It makes me lie down on the sofa.
It leads me away from the Scriptures.
It destroys my soul.
It leads me in the paths of sex and violence for the sponsor's
Yea, though I walk in the shadow of my Christian
responsibilities, there will be no interruption for the TV
is with me.
It prepares a commercial before me in the presence of my
It anoints my head with humanism.
My coveting runneth over.
Surely laziness and ignorance shall follow me all the days of
And I will dwell in the house of Satan forever. (Author Unknown)
A. All other excuses and hindrances take their death toll on our
Bible study; however, this one probably does so more than any
1. The reason many of us do not study as we should is just
plain old laziness. We are simply too lazy to get the job
B. Study of the Bible requires great diligence. We must have
strong self discipline.
1. The lazy get nowhere. Prov. 6:6-11
a. Those lazy in Bible study will reap spiritual poverty.
C. I know of no cure for this except to give warning that the lazy
person will not enter heaven. James 4:17
1. Also, I exhort the lazy person to strive to do better. Luke
13:24; 2 Tim. 2:15
A. Satan has many devices to hinder us.
B. Let us see the need and urgency for Bible study and be diligent
C. In our next lesson we hope to lay out some basics for a good
Bible study program, and for good Bible study habits.
WHY DON'T PEOPLE STUDY THE BIBLE?
1. Improper attitude.
2. Seeking to justify oneself or one's doctrine.
3. Reading without expecting to understand.
4. Seeking to impress people.
5. Reading without system.
6. Relying on men for understanding.
7. We become too busy for bible study.